By Maya Olson, PZ ‘25
Students, artists, and independent bookmakers gathered at Edmund’s Ballroom at Pomona College for the second annual Print Pomona Art Book Fair. From March 2-5, 2023, independent booksellers and publishers from across the Inland Empire and the Claremont Colleges gathered to celebrate, exhibit and sell their work.
Across Edmunds Ballroom, the sellers set up tables with prints, notebooks, zines, posters, and of course, books. The event was free and open to the public. Two days of programming accompanied the book fair, with artists giving speeches and lectures prior to the opening of the 2023 event. The event additionally featured work designed and made in 5C art classes.
Although many artists were local to nearby communities, there was work from all over the globe. There was lively conversation, immense enthusiasm for the different art, and live music. The room was covered in bright colors and elaborate displays across genres. Many of the conversations and artists were focused on political action and artistic voice.
Mila Stribling PZ ‘25, a student in the course “Self-Publishing for Artists” at Pomona College, had her work from the course on display at the book fair.
“Being there was amazing,” Stribling recounted. “There were so many super cool vendors. I had some really amazing conversations with the different booths and gained a lot of helpful insight into what it’s like to self-publish as a small artist.”
The students had their work displayed alongside the other artists’ booths, and for Stribling, it was her first time considering having her work admired and bought by those who weren’t friends or family.
“I think it’s a great experience for the few booths that were students, and for everyone to come together and look at each other’s work,” said Stribling. “It was a super fun experience… [there was] fun music and everyone was just enjoying themselves.”
The setup was also a learning experience because she had to consider layout, presentation, and engaging with the physicality of the books and not wanting people to consider them too precious to enjoy. For Stribling and other students, it was also a rare opportunity to publish and sell work and to engage with the larger community of local art as a whole.
The Print Pomona Art Book Fair happens annually and invites artists from all over the world to exhibit their work, and the local community to enjoy it.