The College Art Book Association rang in 2014 with their annual conference January 2-4 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Approximately 300 book and paper aficionados from academic programs and community centers across the country gathered to celebrate the theme Print, Produce, Publish. With twenty-one sessions, two keynote speakers (Leslie Dill and Craig Dworkin), a number of demonstrations, meetings, and social hours, the conference co-hosts Marnie Powers-Torrey and Emily Tipps make conference attendees more than welcome in their beautiful facilities.
Among the attendees and participants were several students, alumni, staff, and faculty members from the CBPA community.
Alumni participation was strong, including Kerri Cushman and Jessica Spring in the panel discussion Gathering, Linking, Impressing, When Less is More; Daniel Mellis speaking about his new visual translation project, Tango with Cows, the 1914 Russian Futurist book; and Jenna Rodriguez, one of this year’s travel grant recipients, presenting her 2013 thesis project Running Thoughts. Jessica Spring also gave a demonstration called Daredevil Letterpress Printing, which provided information about non-conventional typesetting.
InterArts Department Chair Clifton Meador was in attendance at many panels and events, as well as having his books featured in at least 3 panels. And second-year Book and Paper MFA student Levi Sherman (who is also one of the 2013-2014 Print Production Fellows at CBPA) was part of the Member’s Showcase.
CBPA staff participating included April Sheridan, moderating the panel on The Artist’s Book as Historical Narrative; and Director Steve Woodall at the Hybrid Book Arts Publications panel speaking about the Center’s Expanded Artists’ Books Initiative.
CBPA staff member Brad Freeman was working triple-duty: as speaker on the Dissemination: Contemporary Publishing and Publicity panel; shooting action photos of the Shift-lab inaugural project [incode]; and representing the Journal of Artists’ Books, which is published at CBPA. The upcoming JAB35 is scheduled for release in March 2014, and will be a special issue featuring artists’ books by Isabel Baraona, Marlene MacCallum, Elham Shafaei, Jennifer Kornder, and the JAB Print Production Fellows Levi Sherman and Heather Buechler.
Overall the works presented over the weekend were provocative, and the CBPA community was an important part of the ongoing conversation.