Small Press Explo: PPAC Book Fair


Earlier this month, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (PPAC) hosted the 3rd annual Book Fair. With over 30 publishers, three book signings and two book launches (full roster with links after the jump), this event was the largest in the short history of this fair. The one day event was a wildly successful small press fair of any age. PPAC, founded in 2009, has established itself as an important community hub for the photographic community in Philadelphia. And with events like the Book Fair, they are clearly reaching out to audiences interested in points of intersection between photography, print, and publishing.

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Ron Jude Signing copies of Lick Creek Line (MACK)

Christopher Gianunzio, one of the event organizers, took some time from his busy schedule to talk about the Book Fair with me. You’ll find portions of our conversation below, I hope it may inspire other people and organizations to organize their own event locally, or maybe book a table at this well attended event.

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Christina Labey and Jason Burstein of Conveyor Arts

Printeresting: PPA seems to have positioned itself as an art center/learning community/exhibition space/hub for the Philadelphia’s digital photo arts community, how did the Book Fair evolve out of that mission?

Christopher Gianunzio: The book fair came about from the need to facilitate publishing projects within the Philadelphia community and extending regions. I think many people involved with photography feel the book and publication forms are the most suitable for image based projects. Books (in some ways) are cheaper to produce than exhibitions, and often times reach far broader audiences.

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Ed Panar of Spaces Corners

P: How as the event evolved in the past three years?

CG: The event has grown over the last three years in some interesting ways. The amount of participants, locally, nationally and internationally has increased since the first book fair. We have hosted a curated table of books that would otherwise be hard to find in Philadelphia, mostly from international publishers. We have also experimented with informal lectures and have invited projects such as the Indie Photo Book Library, who do not sell books to participate in the fair. The intention behind all the auxiliary programming is to create a total experience that encompasses all aspects of publishing, from purchasing books to hearing more about the process of producing books and experiencing forms in which books are publicly collected and distributed.

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Tate Shaw of the Visual Studies Workshop (left) and Chad States (right)

P: What’s in store for the future of the event?

CG: This year’s fair had the highest turnout and the strongest group of participants. We have already begun planning next year’s fair, which will include more participants and an evening dedicated to presentations relating to publishing in all its forms.

We can’t wait till 2013!
For detailed information about the books launched and the participating publishers, please follow this post after the jump.


Two books were launched at the event.

Concept by Justin James Reed / 2013 (Horses Think)

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Christopher Guianunzio’s latest book by in collaboration with Jenny Tondera, Speaking of Names was also launched at the event.

And here is a full list of participants with links to their various presses and projects.

Gottlund Verlag
Sun System Press
A-Jump Books
Schematic Quarterly
Chad States
Debutante Hair
Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University
Vox Populi
Bodega Press
Visual Studies Workshop/ Preacher’s Biscuit Books
Spaces Corners
Miniature Garden
Empty Stretch
Conveyor Arts
Indie Photobook Library
Lay Flat
Swill Children
Chad Muthard
Christopher Gianunzio & Jenny Tondera
Light Work
ICA Philadelphia
Photo Book Arts
Reference Room Distribution
The Photo Review

Curated Table:
Roma Publications
Little Brown Mushrooms
Paula McCartney
Lex Thompson
Loosestrife Editions
Hamburger Eyes

Book Signings:
Ron Jude/ Lick Creek Line (MACK)
Benjamin Lowy/ Iraq | Perspectives (CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography)
Ed Panar/ Salad Days Volumes I &II (Gottlund Verlag)
Animals That Saw Me: Volume 1 (Ice Plant)

All photographs and images were courtesy of PPAC.

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Categories: Current Events, DIY, Print-related

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