By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Nov 27, 2007 at 5:09 AM

It sounds like three is definitely the charm when it comes to the Bay View Book Arts Gallery (BVBAG) finding a home. Originally, co-owners Robin Kinney and Dawn Donner opened the gallery on the third floor of the Hide House, 2625 S. Greeley St., then later moved to a small storefront, 2693 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

“I stayed there for three years. The location was terrific, but the space was too small and hard to heat and cool. I started looking for new digs, and discovered that the leasing office on the first floor of the Hide House was available,” says Kinney.

The Bay View Book Arts Gallery moved again, this time to the first floor of the Hide House, and officially opened Thanksgiving weekend. The new space features a gallery, classroom and gift shop, called Bibelot. It also has its own entrance.

Kinney and Donner are both graphic artists who wanted to find an affordable and comfortable space to make fine art. They paired up in 2002 to open the first Bay View Book Arts Gallery, and continue to work together as business partners today.

Donner, a mosaic artist, and Kinney, a bookmaker, invited Jessica Poor to serve as the artist-in-residence. Poor teaches book making, doll making and collage at the gallery.

Most of the artists with work in Bibelot are local, including bookmakers Petra Press and Sharon von Ruiswyck; silk screeners Gene Evans and Todd Graveline; and artists Bridget Griffith Evans, Dina Lieb, Carolyn Brady, Becky Tesch, Tony Hix, Suzanne Berland, Darlene Hagopian and LeAnn Wooten.

“In addition, I’ve exhibited many talented local and international book artists over the years,” says Kinney. “Expect to see more amazing book arts in 2008.”

BVBAG will host four major book art shows in 2008 and the city’s first mosaic art show in the spring. The gallery participates in Gallery Night & Day.

Kinney says the difference between BVBAG and other galleries is that most of the art in her gallery is meant to be touched since a bulk of it is art books.

“Most pieces here are created to be handled. Why make an artist book if you’re not going to let people experience each page?” says Kinney. “Because books in general are so iconic, almost pedestrian, there’s no intimidation aspect to the gallery experience.”

Kinney believes BVBAG's current space is a great fit, and that Milwaukee's local art scene is flourishing. 

“I think right now is the best time to be an artist in the city. Thanks to a bunch of enterprising people, there are great venues, lots of innovation and lots of good art. I continue to be amazed at the work being made by the art underground in this city,” says Kinney.

The Bay View Book Arts Gallery is open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. until Christmas. Kinney and Donner will announce longer hours for 2008.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.