This may or may not be the last Detroit Art Book Fair, but it will be the last one co-founder, Maia Asshaq, will be working on. Which is a pity. Because after five years, it’s become something of a Detroit art holiday.
CVh: Detroit Art Book Fair. Tell us about it.
MA: The Detroit Art Book Fair is an annual event that features independent publishers, artists, writers, and art book distributors and collectors mainly from the Great Lakes region. The fair typically takes place the second weekend of October at Trinosophes in Eastern Market.
This is the sixth year I’ve organized the event, and the fifth year it’s been held at Trinosophes.
CVh: Origin & Evolution?
MA: I started the Detroit Art Book Fair in 2013 with Megan Major. Megan accompanied me to Philadelphia earlier that year for another art book fair and we both left feeling really inspired to expand our publishing projects. Megan urged me to begin a similar fair in Detroit. We tried to reach out to larger institutions for support, those attempts were unsuccessful, so we just started it ourselves. The fair is similar to that first one we attended in Philadelphia in that we wanted to keep it relatively small, that way visitors have an opportunity to interact with all of the vendors and the vendors can connect with one another.
The location changed after the first year to Trinosophes so vendors and guests would have easier access to coffee and snacks which we hoped would mean that they would stick around longer and be more comfortable throughout the weekend. In recent years I’ve also worked to expand the fair’s programming. This year I reached out to local businesses for additional support and received help from places like City Bird, Orleans & Winder, the Work Department, and Meta Physica Wellness Center. I also received incredible help and support from Ruth Ann Brown and a number of volunteers.
This year is the biggest yet, in terms of the number of vendors. I’m excited to partner with Room Project, Simone DeSousa Gallery, SMPLFD Clothing, and the DIA’s library for this year’s programs.
CVh: What’s not to miss?
MA: What Pipeline is launching a new publication this year featuring the work of local artist Bailey Scieszka, who will be on hand to sign copies of the book and take photos with guests.
CVh: Question I should be asking?
MA: I always think the vendors have more interesting things to say about the fair than I do! I can say that this is the last Detroit Art Book Fair that I’ll be organizing, and I hope I can find someone that is willing to take it over. I can also say that this is probably the most well received event I’ve ever organized and that the energy in the space is always really positive and so much fun!
This year’s fair takes place on Saturday, October 13th from 12-6 and Sunday, October 14th from 12-4. The event is free and open to the public.