A visit from the Book Arts Bunch

The Book Arts Bunch (BAB) is an Indianapolis based group of book artists and enthusiasts organized by Jack Cooney for the last 10 years. This group is just one more way to stay in contact with professionals in the field and to discover the great resources that we are for one another. I first met Jack around the time the group began assembling and was instantly charmed by his enthusiasm for all things books and history. I love joining the group any chance I can get up to Indianapolis for their meetings. So it was with great enthusiasm that I suggested the BAB make a trip down to Bloomington.

An obvious stop was to the Lilly Library to see the exhibit now on display: Spiritualists, Sorcerers, and Stage Magicians – Magic and the Supernatural. (On display June 2 – August 30, 2014) We met in the exhibitions area and admired the fascinating items on display while we caught up with one another. We even had the chance to glimpse some newly acquired bindings before heading to lunch which provided even more time to continue catching up and share the latest news.

Image from Spiritualists, Sorcerers, and Stage Magicians: Magic and the Supernatural at the Lilly Library (property of the Lilly Library)

After appetites were satiated, we all visited Carmel Montoya’s studio to see the treasures she crafts in her street side workspace. Working under the name BABA (Bloomington Atelier for Book Arts), Carmel creates colorful artist books that invite the viewer to play and respond. She inspired many of us to see familiar structures in a new way!

Carmel showing an artist book piece
Carmel showing an artist book piece
another of Carmel's pieces aptly having to do with magic
Another of Carmel’s pieces having to do with magic fitting the theme of the day

With the day getting on, a few of us continued to my studio where I had a chance to share some of my latest work. It is always helpful to have someone in the studio as it is a great chance to see your own work through the eyes of someone else. New insights to an object you know so well are invaluable. For me, there is always some inspiration to work towards another aspect of my work during these interactions.

A huge thank you to the Book Arts Bunch and to Jack for organizing yet another lovely day!