Second annual Northampton Print and Book Fair houses over 40 booths

By Maclane Walsh

Local artists and writers gathered on Sunday October 2, 2016 in Northampton for the Print and Book Fair. Erica Lowenkron/Daily Collegian)
Local artists and writers gathered on Sunday October 2, 2016 in Northampton for the Print and Book Fair. (Erica Lowenkron/Daily Collegian)

The second annual Northampton Print and Book Fair took place on October 2, at the A.P.E. Gallery on Main Street, Northampton. The gallery housed over 40 booths, each with their own distinct personality.

The booths displayed a wide range of mediums including comic books, photographs, works of poetry and short novels. Visitors of the gallery were given the chance to examine the artist’s work, ask questions and purchase pieces the artists were selling.

The fair featured collaborations from artists like the Loculus Collective from Northampton. The collective is composed of six dancers who have joined together to publish quarterly journals filled with essays, interviews, photographs, and creative writing.

“Our journals are an extension of our choreography and our work as dancers,” explained one member, Olana Flynn, who contributed a journal of photographs.

These journals give audiences a physical piece of their dancing that they can come back to.

Another vendor, Canarium Books from Texas, is an independent press committed to publishing poetry from up-and-coming artists from the United States. Canarium publishes three to four books of poetry a year.

Visitors were given a unique experience at every booth they approached. One artist out of New York City named Elvis Bakaitis writes a comic series called “Homos in Herstory!” This comic series is written by the decade and includes fun historical facts and information about famous gay people in history. They also recently finished a comic book called “Temp Life: A Zine about Office Life at a Hedge Fund!”

Another artist, Sean Sawicki from Holyoke, studied creative writing before moving onto painting. Now he makes art from materials wherever he finds inspiration, like from works of Native American art. His work was showcased at the fair last year as well.

To obtain a booth at the fair, artists must be invited by the organizers or go through a juried application process because organizers want to ensure that the event showcases a diverse pool of artists.

Esther White, one of the organizers of the event, explained that the purpose of the fair was to highlight local and regional talent that might be unknown to the public. The artists are required to pay a table fee, though the Print and Book Fair is also funded by the Northampton Arts Council.

Mary Yates can be reached at [email protected]

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story identified Sean Sawicki as Sam Sawicki.