In January of 2018, Karen and I braved the bitter cold and winds of Philadelphia to attend the CBAA National Conference in Philly, hosted by the University of the Arts. The temperature actually went down below zero degrees several nights and we Tucsonans are not used to that kind of cold weather. We lucked out by arriving on Wednesday since there was a snow storm on Thursday and many flights were cancelled that day. We squeaked in, just in the nick of time, but some friends did not make it to the conference.
For about two weeks before the conference I was working on a very large 40"x60" wall map of the location and connections between many members of the book art community. The idea was to get membership of CBAA excited about a new institutional project that will not only have a digital family tree and oral and video interviews and histories of all of the members of the book art community.
Although at this small scale the connections just look like spaghetti, but at a large wall piece size, it was fun watching people gather around and follow the links and influences with their fingers.
The conference was fun, mainly in seeing old friends. Visiting some of the incredible Philadelphia cultural and book-related institutions really made the trip worth while. Highlights included the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Library Company, started by Benjamin Franklin. We were also fortunate to spend most of the Sunday after the conference at the Barnes Foundation. In addition to the incredible collection put together by Dr. Barnes, there was also an additional temporary show of recent work by Anselm Keifer, with some enormous books that he had painted. Coincidentally, Collette Fu was in the atrium showing off her huge photographic pop-up books.