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Travis Shaffer
Department of Design
785-864-5607

Exhibition, panel to explore photographers' indie publishing movement

Tue, 01/22/2013

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.



Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See http://bit.ly/1xjjwJj). For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See http://bit.ly/1BoL9jv) The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (http://bit.ly/14fiBPl), associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.


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