Tag Archives: College Book Arts Association

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