Pyramid Atlantic Hosts RADICAL FORMATS the 14th Biennial Book Arts Fair

By Editorial Team on February 26, 2018

Fri, 02 March 2018 - Sun, 04 March 2018

Colette Fu has spent decades researching and documenting the lives of China’s ethnic minorities, publishing in the form of beautiful, intricate, hand-cut paper pop-up books. Fu works in her studio in Philadelphia, Pa on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. (photo by Laurence Kesterson)
Opening: Friday, March 2 from 7pm to 10pm

Pyramid Atlantic hosts RADICAL FORMATS, the 14th Book Arts Fair, in Hyattsville to showcase a dynamic array of alternative and traditional book arts. The event welcomes a wide variety of attendees from hard-core book arts lovers to the simply curious. Using its own venue and two additional sites, Pyramid welcomes visitors to a walkable and expansive weekend that includes professional art demonstrations, a marketplace with exhibitors from around the country, two art exhibitions, and more.

PYRAMID ATLANTIC BOOK ARTS FAIR begins Friday, March 2 with a kick-off party and preview of the exhibit hall (FREE) from 7 – 10 pm. The Fair continues March 3-4 with 17 lectures/demonstrations and 40 exhibitors. Weekend tickets range from $10-50 and are free to any Prince George’s County student. For the full schedule of events and advance registration, visit or call 301-608-9101. Door tickets may be purchased at Pyramid Atlantic based on availability.

“People know what books are, and people know what art is, but not a lot of people know what ‘book arts’ are,” remarks Pyramid Artistic Director Gretchen Schermerhorn with a wry smile. “Artist Books offer unique ways of storytelling. They are often works of art that move, that you can put your hands on, that you can turn, flip, or ‘dive into’. Touching, turning pages, allows the viewer to be involved in a deeper, often physical level.”

The unique exhibit hall of artist and makers will offer an array of artist books, zines, specialty tools and equipment, limited edition prints, altered/upcycled books, and handmade papers. In addition to opportunities for shopping and collecting, it showcases new innovations in this niche field and offers inspiration for cross-pollination between artists and art forms, and makers and creatives of all disciplines.

The educational content of this year’s fair riffs on the theme of “radical formats.” Topics include Can a book be temporary?; Pulling from the Past to Reimagine the Future; and Perception of The Traditional Book in a Technological Era.

On exhibit during the Book Arts Fair are two shows by visiting artists. The first is For the Ancestors, which features complex large-scale photographic pop-up books by photographer and pop-up paper engineer Colette Fu. The work depicts myths, customs, and rituals of China’s diverse ethnic minority groups. The second exhibition, Full Circle by Kentucky-based David Mohallatee, exhibits a body of sculptural paper objects that are made from digital prints and upcycled paperback books and maps, many of which were taken from the artist’s own collection. Modest materials and personal artifacts are given new meaning and modality in these re-imaginings of form and function.

The Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts Fair is made possible in part from the Prince George’s County Arts and Humanities Council, The Nora Roberts Foundation, The City of Hyattsville, and many artists and volunteers who believe in the power of the book.

Founded in 1981, Pyramid is a 501(c)(3) non-profit contemporary art center specializing in printmaking, papermaking, and book arts. Its 13,000 square foot facility, located in Hyattsville’s Gateway Arts District, features a papermaking studio, print shop, letterpress studio, bindery, and darkroom that are available to individual artists in a cooperative setting. Pyramid is also home to 18 private art studios and a gallery. Its programs include adult classes for all experience levels, residencies, and off-site demonstrations and classes for schools and other arts organizations.

The fair is located at 4318 Gallatin St., Hyattsville, MD. For the full schedule of events and advance registration, visit or call 301-608-9101.