Exhibitors at the 2019 Boston Art Book Fair. Photo courtesy Boston Center for the Arts.
After a two-year COVID hiatus, the Boston Art Book Fair is back and no one could be more excited than the print-loving freaks on the Boston Art Review team. With over 140 exhibitors scheduled to fill the great round hall of the Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama building, we’re like elementary students giddy for the Scholastic Book Fair.
Opening on the evening of Friday, November 4, and running through Sunday, November 6, the fair will give visitors three days to engage with books, prints, art, and zines by makers from Budapest to Boston and everywhere in between.
Beyond the booths, the lineup boasts a range of programming, including community panels, hands-on workshops, interactive installations, film screenings, and DJs all weekend long. To help you navigate the massive lineup of exhibitors and programs, the BAR editors have selected a few highlights we think are not to be missed.
Swing by the Boston Art Review booth to grab fresh copies of our latest edition, Issue 09: Burnout, featuring our largest lineup of contributors and artists to date. We can’t wait to share the works and celebrate with you all! In lieu of a launch party, we’ll be celebrating all weekend long at the Art Book Fair, so be sure to come say hi, grab a BAR tote, and flip through past issues.
The Preview Party
Friday, November 4, 6:00–9:00 PM, BCA Cyclorama
Grab a ticket for Friday night’s Preview Party for a first look at the fair. We can’t wait to get cozy in the inflatable seating installation by Pneuhaus and dance all night to tunes spun by DJ WhySham under projections designed by Lani Asunción. “Leaned Back,” a new documentary short by Chicago- and New York-based photographer Adam Jason Cohen, will be screened at 7 PM, followed by a Q+A with Cohen and BABF cofounder Oliver Mak. Use code BOSABFBAR to get $10 off your ticket (which includes drinks and snacks—this is a 21+ event).
Workshop: Embodied Making As Collective Publishing
Presented by Radical Characters and Body & Forma
Saturday, November 4, 2:30–3:30 PM, BCA Black Box Theater
Graphic designers Mary Y. Yang of Radical Characters and Chen Luo of Body & Forma are presenting a workshop on embodied making that will explore the relationship between the body and Hanzi (Chinese characters) through a series of immersive exercises. Collaborative, wearable posters will be created, and questions around collective exchange and expression will be unraveled. Capacity limited to 24 attendees.
Panel: Power in Youth, Art, + Community
Moderated by Tarik Bartel of Roxbury Youth Programs, with panelists Ayana Mack, Kiki Alexis, Lily Xie, and Mya Bentick Carrington
Saturday, November 4, 5:30–6:30PM, BCA Black Box Theater
Join Boston youth, artists, community organizers, and friends of Boston Art Review as they discuss the importance of centering youth voices in creative community spaces as a powerful means for social change.
Open Mic: Prayers for Queer Salvation
Saturday, November 4, 7:00–9:00 PM, BCA Mills Gallery
Open Mic: Prayers for Queer Salvation is an opportunity to commune and share words and reflections around experiences of queerness and spirituality. This event is presented in conjunction with “A Temple for Timeless Beasts,” the current exhibition at Mills Gallery, curated by Jasper A. Sanchez and featuring work by Anukriti. The first half of this program will feature contributors of The Book of Being, a queer prayer book curated by Anukriti and Sanchez. An open mic hour will follow.
Designer Ben Denzer is questioning the very nature of what a book is. Sometimes it’s packages of American cheese bound together or a flip-book of Mexican lotto tickets. Other times, the books take on hyper-specific fascinations, as in 60,000 Immortal Individuals, featuring data on human cell lines used in scientific research, or 6,000 Dandelions, all grown in Mount Auburn Cemetery. These bespoke, sculptural oddities are treasures to behold. We can’t wait to lay eyes on them.
Based in Budapest, Hungary, Hurrikan is a risograph press and independent publisher with a selection of prints, posters, and books largely created by Hungarian artists. From just a glance at some of their past projects, it’s clear that a sweet sense of humor runs through their work.
We’re so excited that Issue 08 featured artist Mithsuca Berry (aka Mythsooka for those who follow their Instagram) will be tabling at this year’s fair. Don’t miss your chance to take home a piece by Mithsuca, from psychedelic hoodies to vibrant illustrations with empowering phrases and portraits.
I don’t know how many times we can say we love Queer.Archive.Work.! The Providence-based organization operates a non-circulating library and reading room with print works by LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC artists and makers. At the studio (which is shared with Binch Press), a shared space for members to utilize screenprinting, letterpress, and risograph tools yields an ever-growing collection of objects. At previous art book fairs, Q.A.W. has presented readers and zines with art, essays, research, and projects by a diverse cohort of artists, writers, designers, thinkers, and historians.
The community-led group that started in 2020 has successfully launched take-a-zine leave-a-zine locations across Massachusetts. It’s exactly what it sounds like: little rogue libraries for sharing zines and chapbooks. We’re not sure what they’ll be presenting at this year’s fair, but we can’t wait to see!
A collaborative publishing project between Erin Segal (a social worker) and Julie Cho (a designer) has yielded playful and thoughtful books created with a multidisciplinary lens. With books by authors ranging from family therapists to holistic healers, oral histories and storytelling are central to their work. For Issue 09, Erin Segal joined in dialogue with Mark Anthony Hernandez Motaghy about their process creating Rehearsing Solidarity: Learning from Mutual Aid. Check out their booth for print materials that are referenced in their Issue 09 conversation.
The Boston Art Book Fair will run on Friday, November 4 from 6:00–9:00 PM, Saturday, November 5 from 12:00–7:00 PM, and Sunday, November 6 from 12:00–5:00 PM at the Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama Building, 539 Tremont St.