LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas Department of Design, with support from the Hallmark Corporate Foundation, is exhibiting a curated selection of independently published photography books, journals and magazines from across the globe. This exhibition, titled "A Fair," provides an inside look at the impact of emerging methods of independent publishing and distribution on contemporary art photography.
In conjunction with the exhibition, which opens Tuesday, Jan. 22, the design department and the Photo Forum at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will co-host a panel discussion on “Photography and the Book” during the exhibition’s reception at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 1. It will take place at the gallery on the third floor of the Art & Design Building. The exhibition will remain open through Feb. 15.
April Watson, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s associate curator of photography, will moderate the discussion. Other panelists will include Elijah Gowin, publisher and University of Missouri-Kansas City professor of photography; Larissa Leclair, the founder of the Indie Photobook Library, and Travis Shaffer, visiting assistant professor of photo media.
Shaffer is also the curator of "A Fair." He explains that an increasing number of photographers are self-publishing their own photography and art books, zines and newspapers. “Photographers and artists are abandoning traditional models of publication, in which commercial publishers have a great deal of control,” he said. “They are funding, curating and publishing their own work, which makes it much more immune to the pressures of the art-book market.
“I chose to model the exhibition after the art book fair,” Shaffer said. “Thousands attend these annual fairs in art centers such as New York, London, Tokyo and Paris. These events bring together photographers, publishers and book lovers from distant locales. My hope is to bring this experience to KU and the greater public.”
The exhibit will feature more than 200 publications, including works published by Little Brown Mushroom, the imprint of photographer Alec Soth; more than 150 books from the Indie Photobook Library; and works by members of ABC, an international cooperative of book artists.
Gallery hours are 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday; 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m Thursday and 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Friday. The gallery is closed Saturday.
For more information on the exhibition, the artists, and panel discussion participants, please visit the exhibition website.