Sheffield Artist's Book Fair

Deadline: 01/08/2019  |  Published: 13/06/2019  |  City: Sheffield  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  John Clark

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We are inviting applications to participate in an inaugural Artist's Book Fair in Sheffield, to be held in conjunction with Off the Shelf Festival on October 5th 2019. The Fair will be followed by an Open Forum/Discussion to discuss the setting up of an Artist's Book Centre in Sheffield. This application is for the Book Fair only (you can register later for other events).

In conjunction with Off The Shelf Festival and The Sheffield International Artist’s Book Prize we are hosting an Artist’s Book Fair on Saturday 5th October, 2019. The Fair will be part of a wider programme of exhibitions, workshops and events centred around the Sheffield International Artist’s Book Prize Collection, now numbering over 800 books.

We are now inviting applications from artist’s book-makers, small presses, universities and any other individuals or groups interested in participating. We envisage a minimum of 40 exhibitors (exact numbers to be worked out in conjunction with the venue). There will be no charge for stalls but we will ask anyone selected to pay a deposit which will be refundable upon arrival on the day. 

The event will be held in the centre of the city close to theatres, Millennium Galleries etc. with lots of central places to eat and drink within a few hundred metres. It is a few minutes walk from bus and train stations with plenty of parking close by. The event is being held in conjunction with the Off The Shelf Festival, on the Festival’s Opening Day, so we will benefit from the extra publicity and help they can give us.

In addition to hosting the Fair, one of our aims for these events is to create the context for networking, gauging interest, brainstorming, and gathering information about the possibility of setting up of an Artist's Book Centre in Sheffield building upon both the Book Collection and the Artist's Book Prize itself. We have secured a small amount of Arts Council Funding to enable this research project. We will host a stall ourselves as one element of this research and a Forum/Disussion event will be held on the evening of the Book Fair and last a couple of hours. Participation will be by invitation, but also opened out via Eventbrite once we have confirmed numbers so others can come along and 'invite themselves!'.

A little bit about the Sheffield International Artist’s Book Prize

The SIABP began in 2008, more as a way of creating an interesting context to show and display artist's books than as an intent to create a Prize or Competition. Over five editions, between 2008 and 2015, the SIABP grew to become one of the largest events in the world of its kind. Participants were asked, though not obliged, to donate entries to our Collection, and across the five editions this has grown into a unique resource of over 800 contemporary artist's books from dozens of countries.

With a new team of volunteers we have spent many months cataloging and archiving the Book Collection as well as having numerous discussions regarding how to use it etc. We are still at an early stage but we are looking into the possibility of setting up an artist’s book centre in Sheffield with the Collection at the core and possibly resurrecting the Book Prize. We welcome any and all input at this early stage.

For more information see


Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
Anyone involved in Artist's Books: individual artist's book makers, collectives, courses
When is the deadline?
1st August 2019
When is the delivery date?
The event is to be held on October 5th. You should bring your work with you on the day.
How much does it cost?
There is no charge to exhibitors or visitors to the Fair. We are asking stallholders instead for a contribution of 10% of any sales made on the day (to a maximum contribution of £30).
Are there payments to artists?
What are the exhibition opening hours?
10.30am - 4.30pm (to be confirmed)
The event is followed by an Open Forum/Discussion - provisionally 5.30-7.30pm
Does the location have disabled access?
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
Large Scale Brochure Circulation by Off The Shelf. Newspaper Publicity. Print. Social Media
Do I need to be present?
Yes. Although you may apply if you are able to make alternative arrangements with shipping etc. Please ask before you apply in this case.
How do you decide on proposals?
We are looking for a good balance of local participation alongside those from further afield and as diverse a Fair as possible in terms of types of ABs. We will be limited by the size of the venue so the earlier you apply the better as we reserve the right to close this opportunity early if we have sufficient applicants.
What happens if my proposal is chosen?
You will be notified here on Curatorspace.

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