Assistant Professor

Steven Kostell (b. Gary, IN) is an intermedia artist & designer whose work explores the convergence of traditional and experimental techniques in print and digital media, resulting in hybrid forms. His work is grounded in material-based production and digital image processing, involving papermaking, printmaking, artist books, and multi-channel audio/video installations and interactive methods of social practice.

His research areas focus on environmental issues, the relationship between urban/rural morphology and constructs of social/visual vernacular. Collaborative materials research focuses on the regional hemp fibershed development; linking production, processing and manufacturing through regenerative materials and sustainable practices. Additional interests focus on transition design, human-centered design, cultural entrepreneurship and creative communities.

Kostell's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at such venues as the Center for Book and Paper at Columbia College, Chicago; the Qijiang International Printmaking Festival, Chongqing, China; Ozu Washi Gallery and the Oji Paper Museum, Tokyo, Japan; New Forms Festival, Vancouver, BC and the Laura Haber Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Research and/or Creative Works

Selected Exhibitions

CBAA Exchange Portfolio Exhibition. College Book Arts Association Annual Meeting, February 19-25, 2022.

Introspection / Retrospection. The Morgan Art of Papermaking 10th Annual National Juried Exhibition. Juried by Sienna Brown, Curator at the Cleveland Clinic, and Jared Ledesma, Senior Curator at the Akron Art Museum.The Morgan Conservatory, Cleveland, OH. March 25 - May 6, 2022.

LCB Kickoff. Group exhibit with Katsitionni Fox, Martin Loft, Dave Fadden, Curt Stager and Carol Marie Vossler, and Steven Kostell. BluSeed Studios, Lake Saranac, NY. June 26, 2021. Supported by the Lake Champaign Basin Program AiR grant.

The Environment. College Book Arts Association Northeast Print Portfolio Exchange. January 15, 2021.

The Book as Art v.8: Infinity. Decatur Art Alliance, Georgia Center for the Book, Atlanta, GA. Jurors: Bexx Caswell-Olson, Ann Kresge, and Joe Sanders. August 28 – October 17, 2020.

Context III. Foundry Art Centre, St. Charles, MO. Juror: Levi Sherman, May - June, 2020.

40th Annual National Print Exhibition. Artlink Contemporary Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN. Juror: Karen Kunc, April-May 2020.

Between the Fold. Gallery One 2020 juried book arts exhibit, Ellensburg, WA. Jurors: Lisa Myers Bulmash and Ed Marquand. April - May, 2020.

Book Club. Harry Wood Gallery, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Juror: Jake Friedman. October 7-25, 2019.

The Word Made Manifest: Text in Handmade Paper. Brodsky Gallery, Kelly Writers House, University of Pennsylvania. Curated by Mary Tasillo, 2019.

Atmospheric Noise. (in Social Practice), Artist Residency Exhibition, Gallerie 21, Hamburg Germany. Juror: Jana Schumacker, 2019.

Turn the Page, Sing a Line, Form a Sheet: Hand Papermaking for Artistic Expression and Social Justice. Catherine Tedford, Richard F. Brush Gallery, St. Lawrence University. 2018 (w/Peace Paper Project).

Pulp as Portal: Socially Engaged Hand Papermaking, The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY. February 3 – April 8, 2017 (Fresh Press)

BOOKBODY, New City Galerie, Burlington, VT. Jurors: Ben Aleshire, Glynnis Fawkes and Susan Smereka, November 6 – January 26, 2016

Future Identities, Laura Haber Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina. April 20 – MAY 20, 2015

Turning the Page: Contemporary Artist’s Books, Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute, IN. October 3 – December 27, 2014

SOCIAL PAPER, In association with the annual College Art Association Conference in Chicago. Co-curated by Jessica Cochran and Melissa Potter. February 10 - April 5, 2014 (Fresh Press)"


Manuscripts in Refereed Journals

Kostell, S., Hamshaw, K., DeSisto, T. et al. Fusing Community-Engaged Learning & Transdisciplinary Curriculum for Undergraduate Community Development Education. International Journal of Commmunity Well-Being 4, 207–225 (2021).

Book Chapters, Reports and other publications

Kolodinsky, J., Darby, H., Kostell, S., et al. Developing Metrics for Novel Value-Added Products: The Case of Hemp in Vermont. White Paper Developed for the ARS Food Systems Research Center, University of Vermont, January 15, 2021.

Barcham Green, S. The Universal Solvent, Hand Papermaking, Volume 33, Number 1, Summer 2018, page 6. Photographic images.

Kostell, Steven. Re-Envisioning Research: Handmade Paper as Catalyst for Systems Thinking. Hand Papermaking Magazine, Volume 31, Number 1, Summer 2016, pages 23-25.

Kostell, Steven. Esteem the Giver: Q&A with Kiff Slemmons. Hand Papermaking Magazine, Volume 30, Number 1, Summer 2015, pages 16-19.

Book Chapter in Review

Kostell, S., Jones, M. (2022) Paper as Praxis. In Matott, D. Miller, G. (Eds.) The Art and Art Therapy of Papermaking: Material, Methods, and Applications. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Refereed Conference Presentations

Paper & Transdisciplinary Practice in the Academy: Creating undergraduate research opportunities through transdisciplinary studies. North American Hand Papermakers Annual Meeting: Paper Currents; Oct. 17-18, 2020.

Innovation Spaces & Cultural Industries, NEA/USDA sponsored panel: The Arts and Creativity, Cultural Capital, and Economic Dynamism. American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Washington D.C. 2019. Timothy Wojan and Sunil Iyengar, organizers.

Creative Communities: Bridging Paper with Practice, Friends of Dard Hunter Annual Conference: Chasing Paper; Atlanta, GA. Oct. 11-13, 2017.

Sustainable Papermaking FTW! College Book Art Association Annual Conference: Print–Publish–Produce; January 2-4, 2014, Salt Lake City, UT.

Fields of Gold, Deckles and Moulds: Fresh Press and Agri-fiber Papers, Friends of Dard Hunter Annual Conference: Papers! Please! St. Louis, MO. Oct. 17-19, 2013.

Invited Lectures

The Design Innovation Mindset: Shifting the Waste-to-Value Paradigm. VTeen 4-H Science Pathways Café. University of Vermont Extension. February 9, 2022.

Wisconsin Hemp by Hand, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Human Ecology and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. March 3, 2022.

Makerspaces, Innovation Spaces & Cultural Industries. University of Vermont Entrepreneurship Forum. February 11, 2022.

The Design Innovation Mindset: Shifting the Waste-to-Value Paradigm. VTeen 4-H Science Pathway Cafe. University of Vermont Extension. February 9, 2022.

Processing Hemp for Fiber. Industrial Hemp Training Program webinar series. UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils (NWCS) program. February 9, 2021

Art, Science, and the Lake Champlain Watershed. Presentation and discussion with Katsitionni Fox, Martin Loft, Dave Fadden, Curt Stager, Carol Marie Vossler, and Steven Kostell. BluSeed Studios, Lake Saranac, NY. June 26, 2021. Supported by the Lake Champaign Basin Program AiR Program Grant.

Innovation Spaces & Cultural Industries, NEA/USDA sponsored panel: The Arts and Creativity, Cultural Capital, and Economic Dynamism. National Endowment for the Arts Headquarters, Washington D.C. 2019. Timothy Wojan and Sunil Iyengar, organizers.

[RE]design – Pedagogical Currency and Curricular Evolution, Building Capacity & Diffusing Innovation in Community Development Education 2019. Sponsored by U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food & Agriculture (USDA/NIFA).

Transition Design — Identifying Rural Micro-Manufacturing Opportunities, Industrial Hemp Conference. Sponsored by The University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops & Soil Program and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, 2019.

Transition Design through Sustainable Materials in Rural Economies. Vermont State Legislative Summit, The University of Vermont, 2019.

Material Choices: The Craft of Hand Papermaking. Special Collections, Howe Library, The University of Vermont, 2019.

Awards and Recognition

Funded Research Grants

Kleinman, S., Lewins, S., et al. AgroTek Innovation. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Food and Agricultural Non-formal Education (FANE).

BluSeed Studios, et al. Multi-Cultural Interpretations on How Pollution Impacts the Lake Champlain Watershed. Funded by a Lake Champlain Basin Program grant under an agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.

Kostell, Steven (PI, Project Director); Jane Kolodinsky (Co-PI); et al. Agricultural Transition through Transformative Practices in Rural Economies with FACT. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Research and Extension Experiential Undergraduate Learning (REEU).

Kolodinsky, Jane; Kostell, Steven, Entrepreneurial Mindset course development support. Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Vermont, 2019.

Innovation in Makerspaces through Cultural Entrepreneurship. Express Grant, Office of the Vice President for Research, 2019.

Honors, Recognitions, and Outstanding Achievements

Invited cohort participant, Building Interdisciplinary Collaborations to Transform Food and Agriculture into Circular Systems: A Mid-Career Mentoring Workshop in Kansas City, MO. Sponsored by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA). 2022.

Awarded competitive Vorwerk-Stift Artist-in-residence, Hamburg, Germany, July 2019.
Residency exhibition at Gallerie 21, Vorwerk-Stift.

Invited studio residency, St. Pauli Paper Studio, Hamburg, Germany, July 2019.
Collaborative book project focused on new refugee populations.

Sustainability Faculty Fellow, University of Vermont, 2015-2016.

AIGA (Re)design Award 2013. Fresh Press Agri-fiber Paper Lab (Eric Benson & Steven Kostell). This unique design competition honors sustainable design solutions and the designers, educators and students throughout the world that use their creative influence to create a positive impact on our environment and society. Judges included Banny Banerjee, Associate Professor at Stanford University and Founder of the Design Change Lab, John Bielenberg, Founding Partner of Project M and C2, Holly Robbins, Adjunct Faculty, MCAD | Partner and Creative Director at This Is Folly, and Natacha Poggio, Founder and Executive Director of Design Global Change.

The International Design Awards, Silver Prize in Print Competition. Fresh Press Agri-Fiber Paper Lab (Eric Benson & Steven Kostell), 2012. Jurors included Alice Blackwood - Editor, Design Quarterly; Lise Coirier - Editor-in-Chief, TL; Hans Fank - Editor-in-Chief, OBJEKT International; Aaron Kenedi - Editor-in-Chief, Print; Rebecca Epstein Kong - Co-Founder, Artware Editions; Raj Nandan - Managing Director, Indesign Group; Laurence Ng - Publisher, IdN; Josh Rubin - Editor-in-Chief, Founder, and Publisher, Cool Hunting.

Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy Faculty Fellow, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2011-2012.

Associations and Affiliations

  • The University & College Designers Association (UCDA)
  • AIGA, the professional association for design (AIGA)
  • College Art Association (CAA)
  • North American Hand Papermakers (NAHP)
  • College Book Art Association (CBAA)
  • International Association of Hand Papermakers (IAPMA)
Steve Kostell

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

visual communication, graphic design, time-based media, design systems, traditional craft practices, creative economies, cultural entrepreneurship, material prototyping


  • MFA, Intermedia - Arizona State University
  • BFA, Graphic Design - Indiana State University


  • 8026568574
Office Location:

Morrill Hall 004A

  1. Hand Paper Making