Jeff ThomasExecutive Director
Jeff (he/him) hails from the great state of Michigan. He left the north woods to attend Northwestern University, receiving a BA in political science. After several years of wandering in Vermont and Europe, Jeff focused on a career in public finance, first at Fidelity Investments in Boston, followed by a ten-year stint as credit analyst at Moody's Investors Service in San Francisco.
Jeff said goodbye to the finance world after deciding to devote his energies to arts nonprofits. He earned his nonprofit chops as Associate Director of Development at Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco. In 2012 he, at long last, joined the book arts world as Director of Development at the San Francisco Center for the Book. In early 2014 he took on the role of Executive Director for the Center. Jeff is a longtime linocut printmaker, studying with Katie Gilmartin of Chrysalis Studio. And as an SFCB certificate holder in bookbinding and printing, Jeff’s appreciation for craft grows more each day.
Jeff is a long-time member of the local Soto Zen community, with stints as both board member and resident of Hartford Street Zen Center. Weekends find him running, biking, or sitting on the couch curled up with a book.
Chad JohnsonStudio Director, Resident Instructor
Chad Johnson (he/him) is an artist, printer, bookbinder, and teacher who has been living in the Bay Area for the past two decades. After earning an MFA in Book Arts/Printmaking from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, he has worked in conservation labs, letterpress shops, and libraries. He has experience conserving historic books, analyzing collections of rare books, working with artists and authors, printing professionally on many different letterpress machines, and teaching and sharing his love of books and printing. As SFCB's Studio Director | Resident Instructor, he brings knowledge and experience fueled by passion and enthusiasm for the art and craft of making books by hand. From digital typesetting to steamroller printing to fixing presses to talking about letterpress history, Chad is always happy to help students and artists learn to express themselves through the powerful medium of the handmade book.
Jennie HinchcliffDirector, Exhibitions and Artist Programs
As Director of Exhibitions and Artist Programs at SFCB, Jennie (she/her) seeks to build connections between book artists and the larger arts community by focusing on exhibiting works that question, inspire, and challenge. She believes that now, more than ever, artists advocating for and expanding upon the book format provide powerful expressions of self, identity, and community.
From 2007 through 2015, Jennie was an adjunct instructor in the Fine Art department at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where she taught bookbinding and artist book theory to undergraduate and graduate students. In 2015, she transferred to UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library to work in Public Services and Exhibitions, supporting Bancroft staff as both an exhibitions registrar and duplications assistant.
Hinchcliff has been involved in the artist book and correspondence art communities since 1996 as a creator, curator, and organizer. Her studio work can be seen in the collections of the Whitney Museum of Art's Special Collection, the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design, New York’s Museum of Modern Art / Franklin Furnace / Artists' Books Collection, and Stadtbibliothek zu Berlin. Her writings have been published in Kolaj Magazine, the Artist Book Yearbook, BAR (Book Art Review), and the Blue Notebook Journal.
Sarah SongerProgram and Studio Manager
Nearsighted from childhood, Sarah (she/her) learned to read at a young age because she couldn’t see anything twelve inches past her nose. Her love of books continued even after she got her first pair of glasses, and she earned a BA in Comparative Literature from UCLA.
She is the daughter of a printer and a graphic artist; in rebellion, she became a bookbinder. She spent ten years at Arion Press and trained many apprentices in edition binding. She is a longtime student of design bookbinder Eleanore Ramsey and was the proprietor of Bay Area Book Repair for several years. Sarah enjoys sharing the many bookbinding tips and efficiencies she's learned over the years, and finds her own personal projects most satisfying if they make her laugh.
Alex ArztDevelopment and Communications Manager
Alex Arzt (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist, publisher, educator, and administrator based in Oakland, California. She comes to SFCB after serving as the Development Associate at AXIS Dance Company and is excited to be part of the book arts community here. As an arts educator, she has taught courses at San Francisco Art Institute, UC Berkeley, and UC Davis. She runs a Risograph press called A Magic Mountain and has shared her work at residencies such as Headlands Center for the Arts, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, and Real Time and Space. She is passionate about helping individual artists and arts organizations sustain their work and thrive by cultivating community support, crafting successful fundraising strategies, and developing lasting relationships with donors.
Katie SmithRetail and Visitor Services Manager
Katie Smith (she/her) is a recent Bay Area transplant from Humboldt County, where she earned a BFA in Studio Art and Art History, and stayed for over a decade to sell every manner of books. Her bookselling career began in academic texts and evolved towards the rare and antiquarian. She is excited to join San Francisco's community of bibliophiles and represent talented book artists in the SFCB retail space.
Cheryl BallAdministration & Outreach Manager
Cheryl Ball (she/her) is a native San Franciscan who has always loved books and paper. She has studied Book Arts with Alice Armstrong who encouraged and gave her confidence in her artistic abilities. While taking classes with Alice in Berkeley, another student asked Cheryl why she traveled to take classes when she had the San Francisco Center for the Book in her backyard. The door to the world of fine binding and design binding was opened. Cheryl jumped in and took a Master Class with Dominic Riley in his Account Book Binding class, even though she had never worked with leather. She has been immersing herself in classes ever since and has completed the Bookbinding Certification and Letterpress Printing Certification at the San Francisco Center for the Book.
Cheryl brought her love of bookmaking to her last position at a San Francisco Public Elementary-Middle School as their Art Coordinator and now every year the students create original story and art filled bound books. In addition to being the Administration & Outreach Manager at the San Francisco Center for the Book, Cheryl is also an ILSP Apprentice with the Alameda County Office of Education.
Alisa NascimentoAdministration Coordinator
Karen LeungStudio Assistant