An Interview with CBAA Conference Co-Chair Julie Chen

26 Apr 2011 7:30 PM | Anonymous
Conference Blogger Michelle Wilson interviews Julie Chen

Julie Chen, and her imprint Flying Fish Press, is known internationally for her movable book structures.
In addition, she is on the faculty of Mills College, and Co-Chair of the 2012 CBAA Conference. Ms Chen
took the time to answer some questions about teaching book art and the attending book art conferences.

BLOG: How has being an educator influenced your art practice and vice versa?

(Julie Chen – JC):My teaching practice and my art practice are very closely related in a number of ways.
Because I am a maker, the issues that I am focused on in the classroom tend to be centered on issues of
both technique and content development from a makers point of view. Thinking about these issues in such
an abstract and analytical way often crosses over into my art practice, which might otherwise be a bit more intuitive and a bit less analytical. But it works both ways, as I am always trying to find ways for students to find their own inspiration and to trust their intuition as I do in my studio.

BLOG: What is the potential for CBAA to advance book art education?

JC:I think one of the main ways that CBAA is advancing book art education at the moment is by giving
book art educators chance to talk to one another, and listen to one another's presentations at the meetings
and conferences. The exchange of ideas on pedagogy and studio practice is both exciting and extremely
informative. Individual educators will always have differences in approach, expertise, and opinion, but
being able to be part of an active exchange with people in the larger book art education community is
bound to have an uplifting effect on the field in general.

BLOG: What is your overall vision for the conference?

JC: My vision for this conference is for it to have both a serious academic side as well as an uproarious
fun social side. We are committed to creating opportunities for both of these things. True to CBAA's
mission, the heart of the conference will be the panel sessions and studio demonstrations, as well as our
juried members exhibition. We also have two excellent speakers, Buzz Spector and Brewster Kahle, to
share their thought provoking ideas at the beginning and the end of the conference. On the lighter side, we
have plans in the works for some optional tours of the bay area book arts scene, which is very vibrant and
varied, and have ample time built into the schedule for socializing and shopping at our vendors fair. We are
also planning to hold what promises to be a very exciting live auction at the banquet to help raise money
for conference support for students. And last but not least, we are taking full advantage of our location
near California wine country and have already lined up donations of some really fabulous wines for our
receptions and banquet. Truly this conference will have something for everyone.
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