Brad Freeman’s professional involvement with artist books spans almost forty years in a number of capacities including educator, facilitator, editor of the Journal of Artists’ Books, and as an artist. He founded the Journal of Artists’ Books(JAB) in 1994 to provide a forum for critical writing about artist books. JABalso maintains a commitment to creative print production which manifests in artist books which are included in each issue. JABis produced at the Center for Book, Paper & Print / Columbia College Chicago where Freeman works and teaches. Freeman has been associated with a number of arts organizations including the Visual Studies Workshop Press, Nexus Press, and Pyramid Atlantic where he worked with book artists in the production of their artist books. The artists included Ulises Carrion, Helen Douglas, Telfer Stokes, Janet Zweig, Johanna Drucker and many more, some of whom make up the canon of top book artists in the world. Freeman has taught courses in artist books, bookbinding, photography, and offset printing at SUNY Purchase, MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art), George Mason University, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has initiated symposia including “French Artist Books” with Leszek Brokowski of the University of Rennes, and “Making Artist Books” with Miriam Schaer and Phil Zimmermann at Columbia College Chicago. In 2018 Freeman received an award from the NY Center for Book Arts honoring him for his work with the Journal of Artists’ Books. Freeman has participated in a number of international residencies including at Bath Spa University, the University of Rennes, and Queensland College of Art. Freeman received his MFA in Book Arts / Printmaking from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
As an artist Freeman’s primary medium is the artist book. Since 1980 he has made more than twenty-five of his own artist books including Wrong Size Fits Allwhich was a finalist for the Minnesota Center for Book Arts MCBA Book Prize in 2011. Freeman’s topics and conceptual approaches are wide ranging while his strategic approach to making artist books includes integrating text and image using sequencing, pacing, continuity, and rupture as well as other tactics, keeping in mind that the artist book must be an organic whole with many parts working together. With his advanced technical skills in offset printing, binding, and photography he is able to intervene at all points of the bookmaking process therefore extending the production of the books into an active realm of creativity. Freeman’s artist books are collected internationally.