Vancouver Art/Book Fair: Interview with Tracy Stefannuci

logo-2013Do you get excited about art you can hold in your hands? Vancouver Art/Book (VA/BF) fair organizer Tracy Stefannuci does.  We asked her about second annual Fair, coming to the Vancouver Art Gallery on October 5 and 6th.

Sarah Davidson: Describe the Art/Book Fair in one sentence.

Tracy Stefanucci: The Vancouver Art/Book Fair is a weekend-long festival of artist publishing—from books and magazines to zines and more experimental forms of publication—that simultaneously puts the work of Vancouver publishers on a global stage and brings the work of international publishers to visitors in Vancouver. 

SD: What else you would say to people who might be interested?

TS: VA/BF is a free event for those who are passionate or curious about artist publishing, offering opportunities to delve deep into the concerns of contemporary artist publishers or simply browse. The diversity of our programs make them appealing to those interested in artist publishing as it relates to individual artistic practice, literary or performance work, photography, graphic design, multimedia, social practice and more. VA/BF is also an opportunity to connect with a community of like-minded artists, curators, publishers and organizations that incorporate artist publishing in their work.

Photo - Hikaru Hayashi 1   

SD: What can people expect to find at the fair?  

TS: This year’s programs include a performance by award-winning Vancouver writer Amber Dawn, a talk by graphic designers and zine publishers Jon Hannan and Sarah Stapleton of OWT Creative (Manchester), a photobook workshop by Deniz Merdano of +90 (Montreal/Istanbul), a panel discussion led by Andrew Bernardini of The Art Book Review (Los Angeles), an artist talk by Jesse Hlebo of Swill Children (Brooklyn), an introduction to Colombian artist publishing by Juan Pablo Fajardo of la silueta ediciones (Bogotá), a discussion of Publication Studio by Antonia Pinter and Patricia No (Portland) and more. 

We’ll also have a projection installation by Asli Serbest and Mona Mahall of artist magazine Junk Jet (Stuttgart/Istanbul), library installations by Heidi Nagtegaal of The Hammock Residency and three rooms of exhibiting publishers from such places as Vancouver, Victoria, Mayne Island, Calgary, Saskatoon, Toronto, Montreal, Portland, San Francisco, Boston, Mexico City, Düsseldorf and Stockholm.

SD:Are you doing anything differently this time around?

TS:Yes, the fair has expanded from one day to two days. Last year we did an event series as a “second day” of the fair, but this year we are doing a two-day fair with a parallel event called Artists’ Books Weekend, which is an event series that runs from October 3 to 6 and is programmed by the community—any organizations, curators, publishers, artists, ARCS, etc. can choose to host an event in celebration of artist publishing during this time and post it to the ABW webpage. 

We have also added an additional room of exhibitors, more than doubled the programming, launched a VA/BF blog series that posted twice a week for the nine weeks leading up to the fair and released a special fundraising edition by Toronto artist Jp King of Paper Pusher available for only $25 at And, this year we are releasing a book at the VA/BF Reception at Project Space on October 4 at 8pm, Hammock Thoughts: With Love from the Hammock Residency, 2006–13, by Heidi Nagtegaal, co-published by Project Space Press and the Hammock Residency. 

Photo - Hikaru Hayashi

SD: What are you most excited for?

TS: I am excited for all of the programs for this year’s fair, but I can’t help but particularly look forward to the launch of my latest project, OCW Magazine #21: Feminisms, which will begin with a performance by award-winning writer Amber Dawn on Saturday, October 5 at 4pm in Room 403. Though this is the 21st issue of the publication since 2006, it is the first issue since November 2011 (we had been too busy working on Project Space to publish since then) and the first issue I’m producing on my own—so I am very excited about it! The “publication” will be an intermittent series of five in-person engagements in which local artists/writers explore women’s representation in the fields of art, writing and publishing. Future artists featured in the project include leannej, Heidi Nagtegaal, Alex Leslie and listen chen.  

That being said, I am most excited to see how people engage with the various components of the fair, what discussions are sparked, what collaborations might follow, what seeds might be planted for next year (or the months preceding the 2014 fair), what community the fair may manifest in Vancouver (and more broadly), etc. I am also excited to encounter publications I have never seen before and to meet some of the faces behind these endeavours; I definitely think there is something special about hearing the story of a book or a press from the people who helped to create it.  


Interested? Satellite Gallery will be participating this year and we can’t wait to see you there! Here is some more info:

Hours and Location

The Vancouver Art/Book Fair is free and open to the public.

Saturday and Sunday October 5 and 6, 2013 12pm to 5pm

Vancouver Art Gallery  750 Hornby Street Vancouver BC V6Z 2H7  

Opening Reception

Friday, October 4, 2013 8pm to 11pm

Project Space 222 E Georgia Street Vancouver BC V6A 1Z7

Contact Facebook Twitter #VABF2013″



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