Read Local: The San Francisco Center for the Book

Categories: Read Local

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Kota Ezawa, San Francisco Center for the Book

New York City might be home to the big houses, but this scrappy city just happens to be the epicenter of publishing on the Best Coast. Join Alexis Coe every Wednesday for Read Local, a series on books produced in the Bay Area.

No publisher in this city speaks to the mission of "Read Local" more than the San Francisco Center for the Book. Local publishing takes myriad forms throughout the 4,000 square-foot facility on Rhode Island Street, where books are made, exhibited, and sold. Ardent readers with artistic leanings can, and should, take one the 300 classes offered throughout the year, on everything from letterpress to tunnel books, but the nonprofit also promotes the craft of the handmade book through their own imprint. Every year, the SFCB sponsors an Artist-in-Residence, who devotes 12 months to producing a trade and deluxe edition of their project. The books are sold alongside the imprint's small plates edition series, four-inch square letterpress-printed books issued in editions of 100 signed and numbered copies.

Here are four beautiful, limited edition books produced by the SFCB:

See also:
McSweeney's Amy Fusselman Hits Hard
UC Press Highlights North Africa's Cultural Acheivements

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Kota Ezawa, San Francisco Center for the Book

Paper Space by Kota Ezawa
2011
Edition size: 40
$1,200
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Kota Ezawa, San Francisco Center for the Book

In 2011, Artist-in-Residence Kota Ezawa produced a four-page pop-up book depicting events that "disrupted and confused America's view of itself." Each diorama is inspired by a still frame widely circulated by the media, as well as Ezawa's own films on the subjects. Of course, O.J. Simpson makes an appearance on the third page. Anyone with access to a television or a grocery store in 1995 can easily recognize Simpson and his legal team, most likely by name, awaiting the reading of his murder trail verdict.

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Emory Douglas, San Francisco Center for the Book

Reparations by Emory Douglas
2010
Edition size: 100
$44
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One continuous illustration by the Emory Douglas, and designed by Michael Bartalos and Lili Ong, dominates all four pages of the book. An original painting by Douglas, best-known for his representations of the Black Panther Party, was translated into a two-color, letterpress graphic, which was then printed on one side of an accordion fold piece.

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Amy Franceshini and Michael Swaine. San Francisco Center for the Book

Erratum: Brief Interruptions in the Waste Stream by Amy Franceshini and Michael Swaine
2010
Edition size: 40
$500
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Amy Franceshini and Michael Swaine. San Francisco Center for the Book

2010 Artist-in-Residence Amy Franceschini enlisted the help of collaborator Michael Swaine to produce an artists book and trade edition. Erratum articulates the perceived conflict between humans and nature, the individual and community, by challenging what most of us cannot fathom living without: indoor plumbing.

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Rigel Stuhmiller, San Francisco Center for the Book

Sideshow by Rigel Sthumiller
2011
Edition size: 100
$44
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Rigel Stuhmiller, San Francisco Center for the Book

Artist Rigel Stuhmiller has created a two-sided accordian-fold book that chronicles the rise-and-fall of a fictional vintage circus. Over the course of 11 double-sided pages, the duplicity of circus life is shown through ephemera, including newspaper clippings, which serve to illuminate the lives of performers.

Readers can purchase these books online or at the SFCB, or sign up for a workshop and make their own.

For events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook. Follow Alexis Coe on twitter @alexis_coe.

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