First Biennial Artists’ Book Fair Coming to Miami

Welcome Events

Shuttle Tours, 10am-2pm
Join Tropic Bound for a glimpse into the literary art hot spots of Miami, as we tour the Little Haiti and Coral Gables areas with visitors and exclusive access to special collections, galleries, independent book shops, printmaking studios and more.

Symposium, 4 – 6pm
Keynote Speaker: Tia Blassingame, Book artist, Founder of Book/Print Artist/Scholar of Color Collective and Proprietor of Primrose Press
Panel: Beyond Florida Man: the surprising depth of Miami’s literary arts landscape with John Cutrone, Director of Jaffe Center for Book Arts; P. Scott Cunningham, O, Miami Founder and Executive Director; Amy Galpin, Frost Museum of Art Chief Curator; Stephanie M. Garcia, Head of Special Collections & Archives for Miami Dade-Public Library System, and Steve Saiz, founder of Dalé Zine.

Welcome Party, 6-8pm
Join us in the beautiful Paradise Plaza space to meet and greet with exhibitors, artists, collectors, enthusiasts, and publishers while enjoying the Miami sunset from our rooftop garden terrace.

The fair continues Friday – Sunday, February 17-19, as Tropic Bound Artists’ Book Fair brings together over 60 exhibitors from across the US, Mexico, South American, Caribbean, Europe and Egypt. The fair is free and open to the public.

Artist and publisher talks will take place during the fair, in intimate break out sessions that will further illuminate the nuance of the genre and bring together artists’ book creators, collectors and the public. Exhibitors from around the globe will be participating, with a spotlight on the works of South Florida, Caribbean, and Central American artists. Tropic Bound will celebrate both the time-honored book arts tradition of the countries represented as well as their spirit of innovation and unique perspectives. Programming schedule and updates at tropicboundfair.org.

Tropic Bound will also highlight local treasures. South Florida is home to several world-class collections and institutions dedicated to artists’ books – the University of Miami Special Collections in Coral Gables, the Jaffe Center for Book Arts in Boca Raton, The Vasari Project and permanent art collection at the Miami Dade Public Library System (containing many artists’ books from Miami and South Florida’s history) and the Girls’ Club Collection in Fort Lauderdale.

“Knight Art Challenge winners find new and interesting ways to inform, engage, and connect people through art,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight’s arts program vice president. “We’re excited to provide support for Tropic Bound, Miami’s first artists’ book fair focusing on handmade, fine art, books and book works by contemporary artists from the southeastern U.S. and around the
world.”

As a biennial event, Tropic Bound will further establish South Florida’s role as a hub for a varied, open, and diverse cultural discourse. “At a time where digital formats are increasingly overshadowing printed culture as the default mediums of communication, Tropic Bound secures a place for the appreciation, celebration and dissemination of the book as art.” says one of Tropic Bound’s founding directors, Sarah Michelle Rupert.

“Studio visitors often ask what I will do as a book artist when books are no longer around” says Tropic Bound cofounder Ingrid Schindall, “and I say ‘what we are experiencing now is more of a rebirth than a death.’ With mass communication going more and more digital, physical books are then free to be a more intentional method of conveying ideas. The tactility of the object
becomes a part of the meaning, rather than just the default format. In this way, artists and those of us who continue to produce physical books get to determine the future of the medium and the ways in which books will continue to contribute to the evolution of communication.”

Tropic Bound came together over several years of conversations between UM Special Collections Director Cristina Favretto, artist and Girls’ Club Collection director Sarah Michelle Rupert and artist and owner of IS Projects Ingrid Schindall. The trio lamented the lack of artists’ books as a focus in the many cultural events, fairs and institutions that have grown exponentially in South Florida and appealed to the Knight Foundation to bring change.

“There is nothing quite like this on the whole East Coast” says Schindall. “Miami and its communities were missing out, and we wanted to change that. Tropic Bound will not only provide an international meeting point for folks in the field, but will show off the incredible collections, the diligent artists and the ambitious institutions that have nurtured artists’ books as a medium.”


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