This month zine fans from Utah and around the country (seriously, around the country) will come to Salt Lake for the second annual Grid Zine Fest. Never heard of zines before? Self-published, self-produced and self-distributed publications, zines, says Grid organizer Sarah Morton Taggart, “are unmediated, and have no outside editor, so they often contain points of view not found in mainstream publications, and are a powerful mode of self-expression.”
Originally started by Bonnie Cooper and Juli Huddleston, the Grid Zine Fest has grow quickly (and now enlists the help of organizers Molly Barnewitz, Patrick Weeks and Sarah Taggart). Zines (pronounced ‘zeen’ and derived from the word magazine) can be about anything. They are also pretty much the definition of DIY, usually photocopied booklets but also letter-pressed, silk screened, risographed, handwritten or drawn out on fold-out maps.
“Zines usually fly under the radar,” says Sarah. [Zine makers usually don’t] have online shops to sell their work, so festivals like this can be one of the major ways to get the word out [and make some sales].”
This year, 71 exhibitors from across Utah and a few other states will be at the fest. Sarah recommends checking out Razorcake (from Los Angeles) and Pillars of Salt (an LGBTQIA zine out of Provo). She also wants local creatives to know that if you’d like to share something to go into a communal zine, this is the place to do it!
The festival weekend will kick off on April 13, 7-9p at Watchtower Cafe (1588 State St) with a reading and panel discussion featuring Nopalera Artist Collective, the Halophyte Collective, and the BYU Zine Club. The official festival will be on April 14 @ Publik Space (975 S W Temple) 11a-5p. Free and open to the public.
Check out the Grid Zine Fest website for more information.