The American Academy of Bookbinding is pleased to announce the three-member jury for the OPEN • SET 2025 Competition and Exhibition.
Lili Hall Sharp
The exhibition’s jurors are working professional binders with impressive teaching, lecturing, and exhibiting backgrounds.
The jury will choose the prize-winning bindings and the books to be exhibited.
We thank them in advance for accepting this huge job!
Coleen Curry is an internationally recognized contemporary design binder and book artist. Her aim is to craft technically astute books that evoke a visual, sensual, and tactile experience. Coleen began her studies in 2004 at the American Academy of Bookbinding, first with Tini Muira, then continuing with Monique Lallier; in 2009, she received a Diploma in Fine Binding.
Currently, Coleen teaches privately and leads workshops in contemporary book structures, design techniques, as well as leather dying and surface treatments. She serves on the San Francisco Center for the Book board and is a past president of the Hand Bookbinders of California. Coleen lives on the California coast, swims, and rock climbs in her free time.
Coleen’s work has been exhibited internationally in France, Belgium, England, Australia, Argentina, and North America. Notable awards include winning the Ninth Helen Warren DeGoyler Award for American Bookbinding in 2022; First Prize Case Binding, The F.J. Ratchford Trophy, Society of Bookbinders International Competition 2015; J. Hewit & Sons Award for Excellence in Design, Society of Bookbinders International Competition 2019; and three different Highly Commendable Awards in both the 2017 and 2020 Open Set Competitions. Additionally, Coleen’s work is held in both private, and public collections, such as the Bancroft Library, Bainbridge Museum of Art, and the Boston Athenaeum.
Samuel Feinstein discovered bookbinding after a traumatic brain injury left him in constant head pain and unable to continue his studies at the University of Wisconsin. In his search for what he could do, he found out about the inspiring world of hand-bookbinding.
Samuel began teaching himself in 2009 and continued his studies formally at the North Bennet Street School under Jeff Altepeter and Martha Kearsley. Among the workshops he has taken, time spent with Monique Lallier in 2011 and Luigi Castiglioni in 2022 were particularly fruitful in his constant pursuit of craftsmanship in fine bookbinding. After graduating from North Bennet in 2012, he went into private practice creating fine and design bindings, executing finishing for other binders, and teaching workshops on finishing by hand and edge gilding. He has been teaching finishing for over ten years for various institutions around the United States. He has also given lectures and presentations for The Society of Gilders, The Caxton Club, the American Bookbinders Museum, Wellesley College, and the University of Iowa.
Samuel’s work has been exhibited across the United States and internationally. He received a Design award from the 2015 Helen DeGolyer Competition for American Bookbinding, a “Highly Commendable: Tooling” award from the 2017 Open Set Competition & Exhibition, he received a rare commission from the Newberry Library in Chicago for a binding for their exhibition celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and he exhibited a binding in the 2022 Designer Bookbinders International Competition. He currently lives and works in Chicago.
Lili Hall Sharp
Lili Hall Sharp is a design binder, artist, and rare book conservator. She has studied design binding at the American Academy of Bookbinding with Tini Miura, Monique Lallier, and Don Glaister. Over the years she has also sought opportunities to learn from other artists and binders she greatly admires.
Lili holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from Brigham Young University (2007), and a Masters in Conservation and Restoration of Books from West Dean College in the United Kingdom (2008).
Lili has produced and exhibited her own artist books and fine bindings for years. She has also participated both as artist and as binder for collaborative book arts exhibitions and editions. Her binding of Happy Abstract received Second Prize in the 2020 Open Set Competition. Lili enjoys teaching and has taught bookbinding, book arts, and decorative paper techniques both in university and workshop settings. Her work has been exhibited and collected nationally and internationally.