Walking into any new event is certain to send butterflies bustling in your belly, especially for writers and comic artists who require the reclusive calm of creation during the inception of any work. Pittsburgh, PA certainly has its share of artistic events, many of which range from one extreme to another. Generally, it seems easier to find either individual author signings or large conventions dedicated to horror or sci-fi than anything in the middle. But sometimes, you can find a rare gem of an event such as The Little Book Fair, which consisted of that fine level of “in between.”
The four hour literary event was held on August 2, 2013 within the Bloomfield Community Center, which is a red brick building on North Pacific Avenue that appeared hidden, since its entryway faced a closed-off street. Outside the red brick venue, was the simultaneous celebration of the Unblurred Gallery Crawl. Here, outdoor tents and tables were sprawled across the road, full of additional local artists and food vendors. But once you left the Unblurred Gallery, stepping inside of the Bloomfield Community Center meant being transported to another world where books alone still reigned.
Inside the Little Book Fair, the setup offered a single room filled with 40+ vendors. Rectangular tables were situated in nearly a dozen rows with couches and tables also framing the wall space. Chap books, novels, comics, artistry and more were for sale as artists mingled with crowds and each other, given the ability to passionately discuss the hard work they spent countless hours, days and years of their life creating. The crowd was a rather decent size with people of all ages that moved in a stream-like manner, with many stopping to see the work at each table and even purchase items. Many visitors were excited about the event and simultaneously surprised because they had not heard of it beforehand. I would oftentimes comment that we need more events like this in Pittsburgh. As a writer, I am certainly one to insist that books are still very much alive and have not become extinct.
Juan Jose Fernandez, who set up the Little Book Fair also did so in a surprising manner. Most events require that table vendors pay a fee to sell their wares. The Little Book Fair did not do this, making it a very unique force in the area. On top of that, its four hour evening slot offered visitors the ability to stop by after work and kept vendors from spending a full work day worth of time in the same place. These characteristics caused the intrigue that brought me to cover the event. Many of the artists also seemed to know one another, creating a literary alliance that was fascinating to view. If you missed out on it, be sure to visit http://www.youtube.com/user/SolsticeNightSky and Episode 8 to see some brief video footage of the event.
If you want to help ensure that books are not extinct or if you know of an artistic event that needs covered for WIP Arts, visit SolsticeNightSky Productions & Radio on Facebook and send a message.