Chroma collaborators are industry-leading creative visionaries, prolific polymaths—and amazing humans. Meet the San Francisco Art Book Fair co-founders and friends creating innovative work and inclusive spaces for the arts.

Jamie Alexander

Co-founder and gallery director, Park Life Store and Gallery

Co-founder, San Francisco Art Book Fair


Park Life is an independent retail store and art gallery with a simple goal: to showcase art and design that represents the diversity of the San Francisco community. The retail space features hard-to-find, limited edition, and unique items—from books, design objects, artist multiples, original art, prints, and editions to paper goods, apparel, home wares, jewelry, and more—while the gallery aims to show the most engaging contemporary art being created today. 


What’s the Park Life curatorial vision?

Park Life is a reflection of my interests and personal aesthetics as an art and design lover as well as a consumer of culture. I’m interested in maintaining accessibility while not sacrificing for the sake of commerce. Everything at Park Life, from our artist-designed T-shirts to our selection of books to artworks hanging in the gallery space, shares a common thread, inviting the consumer to engage in a shared interest in art and design. 

Man in yellow sweater standing at retail desk surrounded by black and white US flag, graphic posters, and books
Jamie Alexander at the Park Life store in San Francisco. Photo: Avery Wilcox

Favorite artist’s book, past or present?

One of my favorite artist’s books has to be Tauba Auerbach’s pop-up book, produced with Printed Matter in 2011. It’s impossibly ambitious and I’m surprised it even exists. It’s the perfect marriage of art and book object, highlighting the artist’s command of form, color, scale, and concept—all beautifully produced.


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Pop-up book with complex honeycomb-like 3D globe shape
Tauba Auerbach, [2,3], 2011, Printed Matter, New York

Luca Antonucci and David Kasprzak
Co-founders, Colpa Press
Co-founders, San Francisco Art Book Fair


Colpa Press is the collaborative art practice of Luca Antonucci and David Kasprzak, spanning publishing, design, printing, and curation. Colpa has exhibited at prestigious fairs and venues and grown to include international events and exhibitions, with publications held in the collections of globally renowned museums.

How has the San Francisco Art Book Fair evolved? 

This year we were really excited to add the zine tent. It came out of necessity, because we had lost the use of one of the galleries upstairs, knocking down our available space inside, but I think it was actually for the best. It’s been important to us for a while to be able to offer an even lower price point to be able to participate in the fair because that, in turn, allows for other forms of publishing to be seen. I think that is the biggest challenge with running the book fair: How do we keep it fresh and interesting while representing the Bay Area and small publishing here and around the world at every level? 

The Colpa Press table at the SF Art Book Fair, July 2022. Photo: Jenna Garrett
The Colpa Press table at the SF Art Book Fair, July 2022. Photo: Jenna Garrett
Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, Ditto, Colpa Press, 2021 (a collaboration with the legendary artist, designer, landscape architect, and “supergraphics” pioneer of Sea Ranch fame and beyond)

What sustains your collaborative art practice? 

A lot of our collaborative art practice manifests through our publishing. We think of our publishing projects, whether it is an edition with an artist or a book about a local music scene, like conceptual art projects. Meaning we aren’t tied to any material, process, or strategy. We talk a lot about being professional amateurs. Working on things that you care about and love so much that you just want to make them the right way or what you think is the right way for that particular thing. When we work with an artist, we usually ask them what they want to make and then we kick around ideas and the result is usually somewhere in between. Publishing forces you to consider the object above all else. 

How do you define the Colpa Press aesthetic? 

I don’t think we have one. I think we fall in love with an aesthetic, like, for example, the rave flyer books that we publish, which is something from our past that we didn’t really appreciate fully until we had the perspective to realize that they were this perfect confluence of the emergence of design software and the design of necessity. In the same way punk rock flyers were defined by cut-and-paste and xeroxing, rave flyers came about from desktop publishing and there is always that link there. So I think a lot of our aesthetic comes from the machines that we use and the subjects we investigate. We try to speak in their language. 

Spread from a zine with vibrant red and orange optical graphics, the word “OCULTAS” in caps, facing a black and white photo of a man with torn paper coming out of his eyes
Luca Antonucci and David Kasprzak, Ocultas, 2020, Risograph printed on construction paper

What themes or ideas unite your body of work? 

Well, first off, the idea that a book can be an artwork and not a representation of art. Secondly, the idea that a person should be able to take something home that is special and for a reasonable cost. We are very interested in the side projects of artists, or things that they make but don’t consider their primary practice. We also think about how culture is driven by subculture and try to point to ideas and groups of people that we admire as a way of figuring out the present. 

 

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Onomatopee Projects table at the SF Art Book Fair, July 2022. Photo: Jenna Garrett
Onomatopee Projects table at the SF Art Book Fair, July 2022. Photo: Jenna Garrett

Lindsay Albert

Director of programming and public engagement, Minnesota Street Project

 

Located in San Francisco’s historic Dogpatch district, the Minnesota Street Project offers economically sustainable spaces for art galleries, artists and related nonprofits. A dynamic, self-sustaining enterprise that shares its economic success with arts businesses and professionals, the Project seeks to retain and strengthen the city’s contemporary art community, while developing an internationally recognized arts destination. 


Most poignant Minnesota Street Project program?

That’s difficult to answer! I have so many favorites. Obviously, one must be the San Francisco Art Book Fair. The program draws a local, national, and international audience united around a mutual love of publishing. That passion, camaraderie, and community feels even stronger after being on hiatus for the last two years.

A crowded lecture room with canvas curtains and large image projection of a stack of TVs in the 1960s
Chip Lord (member of avant-garde architecture, graphic arts, and environmental design practice Ant Farm) and media curator Steve Seid discuss Media Burn, Ant Farm’s legendary 1975 performance involving a radically customized Cadillac driven through a wall of burning television sets, SF Art Book Fair Lounge, July 2022. Photo: Jenna Garrett

The Book Fair also provides exposure and tangible opportunities for small publishers who rarely receive it. For example, the 2022 SFABF Publication Grant awarded LA-based The Fulcrum Press $5,000 for a project that had been on hold for years due to lack of funds. So, while the program itself is rewarding, the individual impact for publishers and artists is equally fulfilling.

Another affecting program was Leila Weefur’s PLAY†PREY: A Performance. The artist held a service in St. Joseph’s Arts Society, a cultural center in a historic former church. The program tied into Weefur’s exhibition PLAY†PREY: A Gospel, part of the Minnesota Street Project Foundation’s California Black Voices Grant. The program and exhibition focused on the artist’s childhood growing up Black and queer in religion. Weefur’s performance in that unique space was intimate and utterly transcendent.


Best part of the San Francisco arts community?

The radical energy and support folks have for one another. From my small, dedicated team to our community partners to our stellar volunteers—everyone values the arts and is passionate about carving out a space for creators to thrive.

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Artist Leila Weefur holding a microphone and standing at a pulpit lit by pink light
Leila Weefur, PLAY†PREY: A Gospel, Minnesota Street Project, 2021. Photo: Jenna Garrett
The studio of artist, Jesse Schlesinger, at 1240 Minnesota Street. Photo: Jensen Architects
The studio of artist, Jesse Schlesinger, at 1240 Minnesota Street. Photo: Jensen Architects. Header image: Visible Publications and Colpa Press tables at the San Francisco Art Book Fair, July 2022. Photo: Jenna Garrett
Radical
Thought