2023 LA Art Book Fair FAQ
What is Printed Matter?
Founded by artists and artworkers in 1976, Printed Matter fosters the distribution, understanding and appreciation of artists' books and related publications. Printed Matter is one of the world's largest non-profit distributors of artists' books and offers many free programs and services to artists and the public, including our longrunning NY and LA Art Book Fairs. Printed Matter has two locations in NYC: our flagship location in Chelsea and our St Marks location in the East Village. Visit our website and browse our catalog! www.printedmatter.org.
What is the LA Art Book Fair?
Initiated in 2013, the LA Art Book Fair is a celebration and international gathering for artists’ book publishers to distribute their work, connect with broad audiences, and nurture new and longstanding relationships. Following the momentous return of the 2022 NY Art Book Fair this past Fall, we are excited to reunite once again around artists’ books on the West Coast—the first time back since LAABF 2019. LAABF hosts exhibitors from around the world, including a broad range of artists and collectives, activists, small presses, institutions, galleries, antiquarian booksellers, and distributors. The event draws thousands of individuals each year, including students, artists, collectors, and book lovers.
Who is eligible to apply?
Printed Matter’s Fairs strive to showcase a wide range and scope of artists’ books and publishers. Breadth in both the publication format and how you publish (e.g. collective, institutional, DIY, small press), as well as international representation and identity, are taken into consideration during the application review process.
To be eligible to apply:
1. You must publish, sell, and/or distribute art books or artists’ books.
2. Your books must be available for sale, although you may include some free items (i.e. digital works, zines, stickers, etc.).
3. You must have a publishing practice, whether large or small in scope. We are looking for demonstrated dedication to bookmaking and an engaging catalog of published works. This Fair is generally not suitable for showcasing a single title or single book project.
How do I apply to the LA Art Book Fair?
Our application is on Submittable. ︎ There is no fee to apply. You must create a free account to submit. Please make sure your account is connected to an active email address. The application deadline is Monday, March 13, 2023 at 11:59pm EST.
What makes a good application?
Your application should include:
1. A clear and concise description of your practice or project. Please tell us what kind of work you make, what communities you’re a part of (if relevant to your practice), what past fairs or exhibitions you’ve participated in, and what makes your publication practice unique or special.
We encourage applicants to emphasize new work and/or inventory, and share with us generous responses relating to their interest in participating. If you’re an exhibitor who has participated in many past Fairs, please be sure to share why you’d like to be a part of this one. In reviewing applications a variety of factors are considered in order to expand representation with a focus on identity, geography, scale of publishing operations, and through the welcoming of first-time exhibitors. In some cases, the review process will prioritize applications from the West Coast, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific, as well as applicants who didn’t participate in NYABF 2022.
2. Strong images or videos of your publications. You can upload up to 5 files. This can include images of groupings of books, individual books, spreads, detail shots, and photos of past art book fair presentations. Recommended JPG file size: 72ppi and no less than 1000px on the long side. Recommended MP4 length: 3-5min.
3. Creative ideas for presentation. Give us a sense of how your books will be displayed. If you are applying for an exhibitor table with an accompanying wall, share how you’d like to use the space. You can also share details or anecdotes from past experiences tabling at book fairs and how this may shape your presentation for LAABF 2023.
4. Feature artists' books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, zines, or related printed material. Again, LAABF 2023 is book focused. You are welcome to include other related media such as limited art editions, prints, apparel, performance, original artwork, etc., but these should not be foregrounded in your presentation.
When will I find out whether I’ve been accepted into the Fair?
We encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible, as participation is confirmed on a rolling basis, beginning in late April. We appreciate your patience. Notifications will be sent via Submittable so be sure to double check your account settings.
What happens if I’m not accepted into the Fair?
We recognize that Printed Matter’s Art Book Fairs are a vital platform and anticipate receiving far more applications of merit than we will be able to accept. Printed Matter has an open submission policy to stock publications in our two stores. Please visit our website—we encourage you to still submit your publications for review ︎ With further questions about your application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the fee structure for exhibiting at LAABF 2023?
Fees are determined by the size and location of your presentation space, your exhibitor category, and the scale of your publishing operation.
LAABF 2023 Exhibitor Fees
Zine (4ft / 1.21m table) — $150
Zine with wall (4ft / 1.21m table) — $350
Single table (6ft / 1.82m table) — $800
Single table with wall (6ft / 1.82m table) — $1,200–$2,700
Two to three tables with wall (6ft / 1.82m tables) —$2,700–$4,500
Project Space — $4,500–$6,500
How are exhibitor fees determined?
Printed Matter is a non-profit organization. As is the case for all Printed Matter Art Book Fairs, fees will go directly toward the hard costs of this non-profit production. These include space rental, operations and staffing costs, and programming expenses—including honoraria for artists, speakers, and publishers.
Price ranges noted in the application are approximate. An exhibitor’s fee is determined by the size and location of presentation space, exhibitor category, and the scale of operation. The exhibitor fee does not include associated travel and lodging costs.
Are there opportunities for financial support?
1. The Shannon Michael Cane Award grants four emerging first-time exhibitors (artists, artists' book publishers, or collectives in the early stages of their career) complimentary Fair participation, including an exhibitor table and modest stipend that may be applied towards travel, publication production costs, or other related expenses. To apply, please see details in the application.
2. The Volume Grant is a new funding opportunity for BIPOC artists and publishers, launched at NYABF 2022 and continuing for LAABF 2023. Applications are reviewed by the Fair team and a jury. Recipients will receive a complimentary table at the Fair, as well as an unrestricted stipend. We recognize the importance of redistribution as a crucial step towards meaningful representation and access. This grant supports the ongoing creative work happening in these communities through assistance with production, travel, and other necessary expenses.
This opportunity is for publishers in all stages and experience in publishing, and we hope to prioritize those who haven’t participated in our Fairs before. Applicants will be reviewed based on demonstrated need and merit. Details on how to apply can be found in the application.
3. If there are funding resources available through your government, universities, or other channels, we are happy to provide an official invitation letter from Printed Matter as well as discuss helping with other related paperwork.
What is the current COVID-19 protocol?
Guests, exhibitors, and staff will adhere to any and all guidelines set forth for gatherings by Federal, State, and local officials and pursuant to applicable law. Masks will be optional and encouraged at LAABF 2023. We will provide free masks at central locations throughout the Fair venue. Visitor crowdflow will be regulated through ticketing, timed entry, and security.
The Fair will designate pre-registered hours for disabled and immunocompromised people to visit. During this time, masks will be required and enforced for all staff, security, exhibitors, and visitors.
Is the The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA accessible?
Printed Matter and MOCA are committed to ensuring the Fair is accessible.
Service animals, as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act, are welcome at MOCA. Please note that pets and emotional support animals are not permitted.
The museum, including its restrooms, is ADA-compliant. Visitors are welcome to use whichever restroom best aligns with their gender identity.
Wheelchairs are available for check-out at the reception or lobby desk. You can inquire with a MOCA gallery attendant when you arrive; they will hold your ID while you borrow it. Wheelchairs will be wiped down with sanitizing supplies between uses.
Please write to email@example.com for more specific access-related questions.
How do we submit proposals for programming?
LAABF 2023 invites a wide range of programming, ranging from lectures, readings, screenings, and music performances, to more site-specific interventions such as workshops, partnerships with community organizations, and more. We will continue our long standing series, The Classroom, which highlights new releases at the Fair and fosters dialogue around important themes in contemporary art publishing and the broader community; curated by David Senior (Director of Library & Archives at SFMOMA).
Please submit detailed programming proposals in your application. Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to respond to each proposal.
If you are interested in partnering with the Fair and proposing a more involved offsite or online program series, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are Project Spaces?
The 2023 LA Art Book Fair is pleased to host select publication‑focused projects and exhibitions. These featured projects by Fair exhibitors can range from historical surveys and archival presentations to interactive environments with workshops and performances. Past project spaces include interventions by Anteism Books, Gagosian, Arthur Fournier, and Werkplaats Typografie. ︎
In addition to small exhibitions inside the Fair venue, we are always exploring other ways to reach new communities, uplift mutual aid groups, and include more hands-on experimentation with artists’ books. These projects have emphasized political and social engagement with publishing and have taken the form of installations, workshops, and guided tours. If you have a proposal for a project space, please contact email@example.com to learn more.
Are there opportunities to work or volunteer for the Fair?
We assemble an incredible team to help support exhibitors and visitors during the Fair weekend. When we are ready to hire for these positions closer to the Fair dates, we will make an announcement online, via social media and on our website. Please check back for an update.
How do I learn about sponsoring or partnering with the Fair?
Printed Matter’s Art Book Fairs are community-driven non-profit events. We love creating dynamic partnerships with brands and cultural organizations that share our values and vision to help bring our common goals to life. If you’re interested in learning more about how to get involved and partner with us, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I support the Fair with a financial or in-kind donation?
Our non-profit gathering is made possible in part through the generosity of our many supporters. To connect with us about the various ways you can participate, including through our new LA Art Book Fair Committee or through an in-kind contribution, please email email@example.com. We’re deeply grateful to our previous partners and donors for their inspiring generosity.