Tag Archives: CBAA

CBAA Member Showcase: Robbin Ami Silverberg

At the CBAA Member Showcase, I had the pleasure of seeing more artist’s books by Robbin Ami Silverberg.

I don’t know her personally, but one of her books, A Week of Jewels, has really stayed with me since I first met her last year at Codex. A Week of Jewels, using Ms. Silverberg’s own words, is “a book about a minor event, a missing ring, that signifies loss.” Perhaps because a dear friend of mine is dealing with his mother’s dementia, and perhaps because we all worry about our parent’s forgetfulness, this book is poignant and universal. It is also beautifully made using Ms. Silverberg’s own handmade paper. (She runs a papermaking studio, Dobbin Mill.)

Also at Codex, I found Home Sweet Home to be interesting and thought-provoking. From Ms. Silverberg’s website, “For this book about the home, I “designed” an architectural album of an imaginary middle-class suburban house, filling its plans and layout with the many proverbs I’ve found about woman in the home. The book was printed to look like the almost obsolete Diazo printing (blue-printing), but in fact, is archival inkjet. The proverbs depict a prevailing misogyny that is as funny as it is painful.”

At the CBAA conference this year,  I enjoyed a new-to-me work,  Affadavit.  Says Ms. Silverberg, “Istán Örkény’s story of the same name, from his collections of “One Minute Stories,” was the fillip for this small edition. This artist book about a ‘day in the life…’ of an artist spans segments of a day as seven statements of identity. Despite that each one ends with a declaration of forgery and fraud, Silverberg had them notarized by different notary officers. The process spurred discussions or even conflicts with the notary officers about identity. Each interaction was logged and described in the “Compendium to Affidavit”.

I find Robbin Ami Silverberg’s work to be strong in both content and form and encourage you to wander around her website to enjoy more of her many artists’ books.

This is the last blog post about the CBAA Member Showcase in which I’ll highlight an individual artist. Believe me there were many, many more artists that were more than deserving, these were just a few of the artists whose work spoke to me personally on that particular day. I’ll compile a list of some of the other artists and their websites so that you an experience more of the amazing work available for view at CBAA. I’ll also tell you more about the workshops and lectures that I attended and the interesting art that I was exposed to in those settings. Plenty more to tell you about CBAA. I’ll fit it in over the next few weeks.



CBAA Member Showcase: Luz Marina Ruiz

Part of the CBAA conference was the member showcase where artists had the opportunity to share their work. Originally I’d signed up for a table but later I realized that if I was showing my artists’ books I wouldn’t be able to enjoy and learn from the wealth of other work being shown. It turned out to be the right decision. I spent two hours (and could have spent all day) talking to artists and looking at their work and learning not only about the techniques, content and strategies used in their art making but also formulating a list of questions I need to explore about my own.

I’ll start by telling you about  Luz Marina Ruiz. I first met Luz Marina Ruiz in 2010 via one of her artists’ books at the Unbound show at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. I fell in love with her tunnel books: rich and vibrant, mysterious and welcoming.

After we go to any art show, performance or concert Greg and I usually share a meal and discuss the work – one of our favorite conversations after an art show or museum exhibit is for each of us to pick our “top 3” pieces and explain why. On that day both of us picked Luz Marina Ruiz’s tunnel book as our top piece.

I next met her, in person, at Codex and had the joy of seeing many more of her exquisite artists’ books. There is something about the angularity, the dense blackness and the vibrant colors that make her tunnel books particularly successful.

At the CBAA conference we had the opportunity to meet again and, this time, to discuss her techniques. In the tunnel books that I come back to over and over again, the black is printed on a press and the color is hand-painted. In some cases a thin layer of beeswax is also applied. She generously talked me through the entire process and gave me tips to use beeswax successfully. At the close of our conversation I was pleased to hear that Luz Marina Ruiz has joined the faculty at Mills College. I hope to have the opportunity to take a class with her soon!

Next: Laura Russell



College Book Arts Association Conference: Inspiration, Technique, and More

I spent Friday and Saturday at the College Book Arts Association (CBAA) Conference and, wow, what a lot of amazing people, ideas and art!

It was great to reconnect with friends and colleagues that I haven’t seen in a while and to meet many new ones. It was also fun to meet people in person that I recognize from their participation in the Book Arts ListServ.

I spent the two days going to seminars on topics ranging from “Electronic Innovations in the Artist’s Book” to “Cross Purposes: Merging Book Art with Other Genres and Media” and going to demonstrations on techniques such as the Secret Belgian Binding and the Linked Baseball Stitch.

You do not have to be in, or associated with, a college to be a member and attend the conferences. And, even though it’s over now, you might want to peruse the Conference Program to see if this is something you’d like to go to in the future.  In 2014, the conference will be in Salt Lake City.

I’ve got a stack of inspiring ideas, techniques and people to learn more about and I thought I’d share these with you. I’ve got at least a month’s worth of blog material! Tomorrow I’ll start with some of the artists whose artists’ books I found most inspiring.

Did you go to the CBAA Conference? What inspired you?

Next: Luz Marina Ruiz