Publication Studio, Maker and Destroyer of Books, comes to the Henry

In a couple weeks we’ll be welcoming Publication Studio as they temporarily transplant their publishing practice from a Portland storefront to the Henry Art Gallery. As part of the program Shelf Life, the Henry’s summer ode to BOOKS and READING, Publication Studio will be stationed in the lobby space between July 5-10 and will go about their day-to-day work of making ‘fresh books daily’ and doing the things they do as the vanguard of the independent press.

Founded in 2009 by Matthew Stadler and Patricia No, Publication Studio began as a print-on-demand publisher equipped with little more than a small laser printer, a hot glue binding machine, and a desire to make books with writers and artists whose work they love. Two years later they have ‘sibling studios’ in five other cities around the U.S. (started by like-minded individuals who grew to love the Publication Studio philosophy and bought publishing equipment of their own), added designer David Knowles to the team in Portland, and just recently produced their 10,000th book.

Besides the lack of waste that comes with making books only when customers want them, Publication Studio is notable for the attention they give to a book as it moves from idea to object to screen. To Publication Studio, a publication involves the creation of a public, which they actively cultivate as part of the ‘social life’ of a book, both online and off. Most of their titles are uploaded to a digital commons where readers can comment and annotate pages. In addition, Publication Studio hosts dinners, readings, talks, and events that encourage continued conversations about publications and that bring authors into contact with readers.

For a detailed description of a day-in-the-life of Publication Studio, check out this feature at DesignObserver. To learn even more about the Publication Studio philosophy, check out this interview with BookForum (where Michael Miller named Publication Studio “the most innovative and philosophical new independent press”) and this article at Publisher’s Weekly.

THE DETAILS: Publication Studio will be in the Henry lobby from July 5th – 10th and open to the public during regular museum hours on those days (with slightly shorter hours on Tuesday, July 5th). Stop by and check out their books, chat with David and Patricia, or stop by Thursday evening, July 7th, for a talk by co-founder Matthew Stadler titled “What Good are Bookstores?” starting at 7pm. (Admission to the talk is free.) On Sunday, July 10th, Publication Studio will host a REBIND event, where you’re invited to bring in your old, tattered copies of books and for $7 Publication Studio will re-glue them with sturdy new covers.

Publication Studio kicks off Shelf Life, aka the Henry’s summer ode to BOOKS and READING. From July 1 – October 15th, the Henry has invited book lovers from various fields — independent publishers, librarians, poets, writers, designers, and, most importantly, readers — to share with us what they do and why they love to do it. For a complete list of Shelf Life related programming, please visit this page. Join us, won’t you?

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