Victor Hammer Fellowship
In 1998, Wells established the Victor Hammer Fellowship to benefit the College by offering courses in the practice and history of the book arts. This Fellowship brings an emerging book artist to Wells for two years.
Jocelyn Webb, the inaugural Fellow, served from 1998-2000. Webb was instrumental in establishing printing courses, initiating the broadside series for the Visiting Writers Program, and laying the foundation for future Fellows. She and Michele Brown, the Binder-in Residence, were the Book Arts Center.
Terrence Chouinard, the second Fellow, arrived at Wells in 2000. His two years were marked by major improvements in organization of space and facilities, acquisition of more presses & type, and the development of a Book Arts Minor. The popularity of his printing courses and his beautiful broadsides brought campus-wide attention to the Center. Chouinard stayed on as Director of the Book Arts Center after his tenure as Fellow, a position he held until January of 2008. He is the proprietor of the Wing and the Wheel Press.
Sarah Roberts, the Fellow for 2002-2004, refined curriculum, taught History of the Book, the first course in calligraphy, and one section of introductory printing, with Terry Chouinard teaching the other. She and Chouinard organized the Book Arts Symposium Matter and Spirit in May 2004, which featured Donald Jackson, director of the St. John's Bible project, as the keynote speaker. After her term as third Fellow, she stayed on for another year as Director of Book Arts Initiatives, in which position she organized the Wells Book Arts Summer Institute.
Margot Ecke joined the Center in fall 2004. Having completed the apprenticeship program at North Bennet Street School in Boston, Margot was the first Fellow to teach bookbinding. She taught rigorous binding courses, including a second level course that had many students on a waiting list. At the end of her fellowship, Margot went to the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia, Athens, where she teaches printing making and is developing the book arts program. She has sent several students back to Wells as interns in the Summer Institute.
The fifth Victor Hammer Fellow, Rachel Wiecking, came to Wells from the Oregon College of Art and Craft. A book artist who had already been exploring the artist book, Rachel taught her binding students the possibility of using book structures to respond to text in a number of ways. Her work was featured in a collaborative visual arts and poetry exhibition with poet Ben Moorad in Portland. Rachel returned to school upon leaving Wells, earning her MFA in interdisciplinary studio art at Purchase College in 2010 and her MA in art history, also from Purchase, in 2011. She is currently the designer and letterpress printer at Swayspace Studio in Brooklyn.
Sarah Bryant arrived at the Center in summer 2008. She interrupted the completion of her MFA in the Book Arts Program at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, in spring 2008 when invited to teach book arts at the University of Georgia program in Cortona, Italy. She received her MFA in the book arts program from the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa in December 2008. At Wells, Sarah taught intro book binding, the Editioned Book, Art on the Press, and a variety of independents. She won the Minnesota Center for Book Arts 2011 Artist's Book Prize for her book "Biography" and was the first fellow at Wells to stay on an extra year. Sarah returned to Alabama to teach at Tuscaloosa during Anna Embree's sabbatical leave in fall 2011.
Katie Baldwin is a printmaker who has received artist-in-residence grants both in the U.S. and several other countries including Japan, Mexico, Cuba, and Poland. Her work is included in special collections such as the Fine Prints Collection at the Library of Congress. Baldwin has been artist-in-residence at the Women's Studio Workshop and a Stein Fellow at the Center for Book Arts in New York. As the seventh Victor Hammer Fellow, she is teaching courses in bookbinding and letterpress printing and has quickly become an integral part of the Center.