Philadelphia Art Book Fair welcomes thousands who still love print

Do you really love the arts on paper? You’re in luck, because the annual Philadelphia Art Book Fair, coming up this year on May 5 and 6, just keeps getting bigger.

Happening on 4th Street just north of Girard, the two-day Art Book Fair is co-presented by the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (PPAC) and the Print Center and produced by Little Giant Creative. The event draws local, national, and international exhibitors, including art-book publishers, zine-makers, artists, and institutions. Attendees can chat with authors and artists, catch signings, and generally steep themselves in an oasis of beautiful, beautiful 21st-century print -- because there’s always room for more on the shelves at home.

Print Center executive director Elizabeth Spungen calls print “an incredibly powerful medium” whose scope in photo and fine-art books continues to grow.

PPAC executive director Sarah Stolfa says that the Fair “proves that in a society saturated with online media, our community still values the intimacy of paging through a book of visual literature.”

Last year, attendance at the Fair increased almost 200 percent over the previous year, with more than 3,300 visitors. The 2016 event drew exhibitors from 18 states and the UK, including the Aperture Foundation in New York, Brooklyn’s BOMB Magazine and Kayrock Editions, London’s MACK Books, and major locals like the Institute for Contemporary Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Keep an eye on the website for the full list of exhibitors and programming, which will be announced April 21.

The Philadelphia Art Book Fair 2017 is coming to Twelve 27, at 1227 N. 4th Street, Philadelphia, on Friday, May 5, from noon to 8pm, and Saturday, May 6, from 10am to 6pm. It’s free, open to the public, and fully accessible.

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