What is an Art Book Fair?


What is an art book fair?

Who, what, and why? 

An art book fair brings small publishers and presses, individual artists, artist collectives, and zine makers together to exhibit and sell their work. Much like an art fair, an art book fair is comprised of exhibitors that bring their individual art objects to sell under one roof. However, unlike an art fair where exhibiting galleries often have brick-and-mortar spaces, many exhibitors at an art book fair may not have a physical storefront where they sell their work. This is the beauty of the art book fair: it gives the public first-hand access to creators and artists that they might otherwise never come into direct contact with. At an art book fair, not only can you buy book-based art objects, but you can meet the artists and publishers that produced them.

Book-based art objects are diverse. They encompass a range of media, topics, and formats. At an art book fair you might find illustrated comics, antiquarian editioned artists' books, monographs, photo books, photocopied zines, and more.

Additionally, a robust publishing community is a key component of a thriving art community. In the last several years, art book fairs have been popping up around the country. The most ubiquitous event in New York, the New York Art Book Fair, is hosted by artists' book store Printed Matter. A partner event exists in LA, and recently art book fairs have appeared in Chicago, Washington DC, Philadelphia, among other places. 

CURRENT Books will establish a similar but unique platform in central Virginia. Instead of hosting hundreds of exhibitors from around the country, CURRENT Books highlights regional book artists and publishers through a curated set of exhibitors and expanded programming. CURRENT Books is dedicated to showcasing the full spectrum of arts publishing, print media, and other book-based practices to further raise awareness of these often under-examined facets of art production. Stay tuned for close-ups featuring our exhibitors, detailed posts exploring different areas of book arts, and more!