Last week I went to Chicago for two days, to see what there was to see. I had lunch with Maia Wright, a now-even-more-cherished visitor to this blog, and spent an afternoon tooling around with Sheila Ryan, whom I also originally met in the comments here and who led me over to my blog-away-from-home, Clusterflock. In between these two planned and much anticipated treats, a friend hooked me up with an impromptu personal tour of the Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts, led by Clifton Meador, who—in addition to making his own gorgeous books—directs the MFA program there.
Clif showed me around to all the many workshops—the papermaking rooms, the letterpress shop, the bindery, . . . It’s a huge space, full of delicious things, and I felt extremely jealous of the handful of students who get to share it for three years—especially when I compared it with my own graduate program‘s one-room schoolhouse, which is crammed with more than two hundred bodies, most thankfully there for only two years’ time. (Sorry, I know I’m supposed to be excited about school starting up again in two weeks, but I’m so. not.)
I got to rant briefly about such matters to Clif and a few of his colleagues, and at the end of the tour, he gave me two issues of the Journal of Artists’ Books (JAB). I then spent some time poring over the exhibit Dismantling the Corporate State and Other Amusements by Anne Elizabeth Moore, the very deserving three-time winner of the Anne Elizabeth Moore Award for Excellence in Awesomeness. (The show closed on Saturday, but here’s Moore’s Flickr set thereof.) The show was thought-provoking, moving, fun, and inspiring—so inspiring that just the other day, I tore up some paper and started making a little hand-drawn book in the spirit of the ones I made in elementary school.
I had a fab and very bookish time in Chicago, and I strongly recommend that you check out the Center if you happen to be there, too. Perhaps a box full of Futura is in your future?
Photos: IMG_8976 by leepus / Jason Ernst; some rights reserved. Type Kitchen, Vandercook Love, and Book and Paper Arts Center by Melody Joy Kramer; some rights reserved. July 31: A Box Full of Futura by Sarah Best; some rights reserved.