CCAD's art fair to remember

Peter Tonguette
Jo-ey Tang

How often are you able to hold artwork in your hands? Forget paintings or sculptures—the Columbus College of Art & Design's Beeler Gallery aims to miniaturize the art experience through its first-ever art book fair.

“An Art Book Affair” (Feb. 24–25) doesn't feature run-of-the-mill catalogs or collections of an artist's work, but items that ought to be regarded as works of art themselves. “It's like someone really thinking about every single page,” says Beeler Gallery director of exhibitions Jo-ey Tang. “It's not a conventional book.”

To introduce the concept to Central Ohioans, Tang arranged for organizers from other art book fairs to participate. Events in Copenhagen, Detroit and Mexico City will be represented. A workshop and co-publishing venture with students from CCAD will take place. “I do want a sense that you're encountering different art book fairs in the art book fair itself,” Tang says.

Also distinguishing the fair will be its format. Instead of row upon row of tables with books, Tang is presenting the fair in the midst of the gallery's current exhibit:How Well Do You Behave? In the Flat Field.

And, of course, many books will be for sale; most will be priced between a few dollars and about $50, Tang says.

Art books provide fresh outlets for artists—so much so that Tang hopes to host future fairs at the gallery in years to come. “It's a way for artists to think beyond the exhibition model, as a way to think about different kinds of production, different ways of engaging,” Tang says.