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Sunday, March 28

Buffalo Small Press Book Fair

I do love this little show. It reminds me why I chose the book arts, even though I have had to learn to be pragmatic about my designs in order to make a living at it. Rubbing elbows with young artists who make charming little books out of cereal boxes makes me smile, makes me proud in a funny way.

We are allotted 1/2 a table. Yes. 4 feet of space, 2 chairs, another table backed up against yours so that "oops, sorry, excuse me, coming through, look out" are the order of the day. Nobody complained. I resisted the urge to bring everything I had and focused on what I thought was most appropriate for the fair.

I think it worked.

The fair is in the Karpeles Manuscript Museum which used to be a church, so we were surrounded by history and Spring sun through stained glass. Behind a row of tables, enormous organ pipes reached to the ceiling,

But the most inspiration came from the other lovers of books and words and paper that sat behind the tables, row by row, up and down the steeply slanted floor.

A woman with short blond hair and a little girl voice explained her books to me. "This isn't for sale or anything and it's not like really a book because the inside is just things I like" Something like that. She had chap books of her own poetry, the covers were tissue and the pages were a pamphlet and the poems were touching and ethereal. I so wanted to buy one but in the rush of things I never got back to her.

There was an "office journal" which had signatures made of ledgers and business forms sewn into a calico cover.

Beautiful, professional leather journals, books with latches and clasps, with pressed copper cutouts.

I was in heaven.

There were small publishing houses, too. Mostly with books of poetry or literary fiction. A little bit of everything book.

Dashing about, announcing workshops, soothing sellers, answering questions, assigning spaces, collecting fees..Chris Fritton, unflappable book fair organizer

Organizers for some of the "big" shows we do could take a lesson. Just sayin'

I sold some things, schmoozed with friends, got inspired. And then the buyer for a museum shop that sells some of my things came by, liked the new photo journals and we talked about me doing a line of them specifically for the shop!

I think it was a good day.

1 comment:

Louisa said...

So have you ever applied to the Art Fair at Cain Park in Cleveland? Pretty good show in July each year.