The third annual St. Louis Small Press Expo kicks off with an opening event at the Pulitzer that celebrates independent publishing and the art of the book. Demonstrations, performances, and appearances by innovators in the small press community will be featured throughout the Pulitzer galleries, inviting connections between architecture, the art on view, and the book as form.
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Marnie Galloway is a Chicago-based comic artist and illustrator who will begin and end the evening with a performative reading of her comic Burrow—a book that poetically intertwines stories of motherhood, care work, and bodily transformation. Those who attend the debut of this new work will receive a free copy of Galloway’s Nest, a zine companion to Burrow.
Taller Leñateros is a collective operated by contemporary Maya artists in Chiapas, Mexico, who focus on Amerindian cultural values and the ancient Mesoamerican tradition of printed books. Javier Balderas Castillo will represent the collective to host a participatory papermaking station based on a practice that uses recycled fibers to create papers infused with local plants.
Sean Shearer, head of BOAAT Press, will showcase handmade books that celebrate the anachronistic arts of decorative bindings and handmade paper, in addition to demonstrating the ancient Japanese style of the Asa-no-ha-Toji stitch binding. Stephanie Ellis Schlaifer will read from her debut collection, Cleavemark, which was recently published by BOAAT Press.
The Pulitzer will host a dramatic reading of selections from La Petite Maison (The Little House, 1763) by Jean-François de Bastide—an erotic novella suffused with architectural criticism. Bastide awakens the senses as his protagonists play a flirtatious game of cat-and-mouse through elaborately staged domestic spaces featuring many objects like those on view in the current exhibition Exquisite Everyday: Eighteenth-Century Decorative Arts Objects from the J. Paul Getty Museum.
New York-based artist Chloë Bass recently concluded a residency at The Luminary in St. Louis to develop Chapter Five: Protect & Preserve, part of her larger project The Book of Everyday Instruction. For this event at the Pulitzer, Bass will debut a book of postcards and stage a lecture performance about safe spaces based on her personal experiences and interviews with St. Louis residents.
Artist and critical writer Buzz Spector will give a talk about Claes Oldenburg’s drawing, The Airflow – Top and Bottom, Front, Back and Sides, to be Folded into a Box (Study for Cover of Art News). This work—on view in The Ordinary Must Not Be Dull: Claes Oldenburg’s Soft Sculptures—was created for the cover of a 1965 issue of ARTNews magazine, which allowed readers to cut out and fold the image into a three-dimensional form.
A small vendor fair will feature publications from Brainfreeze Comics in Nashville, TN; neither/nor zine distro in Kansas City, MO; and St. Louis Zine Club, and The Moon Zine will host an interactive zine-making station.