Back in Los Angeles after ten years, the College Art Association 97th Annual Conference (CAA) took place at the LA convention center. It was also our return to the CAA Book and Trade Fair as a vendor in 10 years! The CAA annual conference is the “world’s largest international forum for professionals in the visual arts”. Taking place in our own hometown meant that we were able to bring more supplies and allow every staff member to join in and experience the conference. So, we took turns exhibiting in pairs each of the 3 days met many new faces, as well as some old acquaintances that attended. Not only did we meet people at the conference, but many attendants also made their way to our store in Santa Monica, so thank you to those who dropped by!
On Wednesday, February 25th, Hiromi, Frank, and I (Yona) headed off to downtown in the morning with supplies, display boards, and products for the setup. The LA Convention center is quite large, but it was not so difficult to find our way around. We registered and made our way to our booth when we realized in horror that we did not have any tables or chairs! Turns out they came as “extras”, so we ordered them right away and waited until they were delivered to our station so that we could setup.
Thursday, Felicia and Jennifer started off the opening day and manned the booth from 9am-6pm!
People were happy to see us exhibiting at CAA this year along with the
publishers of fine art books and other suppliers of art making materials.
Hiromi occupies a unique place on the West Coast as a primary import agent
of Washi and often people who have recently visited Japan say they had not
seen a business such as hers. -Felicia
Then, on Friday, Sachi and I took our place. Closing day on Saturday, Hiromi and Frank took their turn at the booth.
It was a wonderful experience! – Frank
Sachi at the HPI booth
This time, we brought newly printed samples on our inkjet paper from Japan and Kristina Simonsen. We also made a display of recommended art paper along with our Gampi collection. Samples of our latest paper creation “Toyo” came in just in time, so we passed them along in hopes of getting feedback for our store. We also got in some Asuka samples to pass out, along with selected paper (like paperwood and Yucatan), sample books, and catalogues to sell. As with our usual conference policy, catalogues are discounted at $2.00 and attendants enjoy free shipping if ordered at the booth!
From my experience at CAA, we met a wide range of people at the fair. From teachers and professors, to printmakers, to art students, and even some people I had met at Codex! Like Hiromi’s good friend Harry Reese of Turkey Press in Santa Barbara, who is a CAA committee member, and Archana Horsting, co-founder and executive director of Kala Art Institute.
Now, we are preparing for the SGC in Chicago next week, we are on a roll!