2023 Jersey Art Book Fair FAQs

What is Jersey Art Book Fair?

Dense Magazine is pleased to present the first annual Jersey Art Book Fair, a two-day event that celebrates the broad art form of bookmaking. Set in the state where the offset press was first invented, Jersey Art Book Fair – or JAB Fair for short – believes that print is alive and well, thanks to a movement of artists, writers, designers, publishers, small presses and printers that continues to thrive: from bookbinding, screen printing, paper making and letterpress printing, to zine making, broadsides, graphic novels and pop-up books.

For two days, Jersey Art Book Fair will host over 50 exhibitors and programs that span the full breadth of the art publishing community. JAB Fair is committed to expanding this community by removing barriers to access and elevating underrepresented voices. We hope to draw a wide range of exhibitors and individuals, including students, artists, collectors, and book lovers. Examples of priority audiences include BIPOC, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, underserved geographic and knowledge areas, and non-native English speakers.

We’re deeply grateful to our partner Monira Foundation and our collaborator Mana Contemporary for hosting this event, and for their commitment to our mission. We can't wait to see you all in Jersey City in January 2023!

Who can apply?

Jersey Art Book Fair is accepting applications for Exhibitors and Event Creators. We strive to showcase the widest range and scope of small presses and independent publishers, in the form of exhibitors and events. From the breadth of publication format to how you publish, i.e. collective, institutional, DIY, small press, we take your passion for book arts into consideration during the application review process.

To be eligible to apply as an Exhibitor:

  1. You must publish, sell, and/or distribute artists’ and designers' books, zines, catalogs, monographs, graphic novels, comics, photo books and pamphlets, as well as various print ephemera, i.e. posters, prints, maps, broadsides and stickers.

  2. Your materials must be available for sale.

  3. You must have a publishing practice, whether large or small in scope. We are looking for demonstrated dedication to making artists' books, zine and an engaging catalog of published works.

To be eligible to apply as an Event Creator:

  1. You must prioritize the process of making books, zines, prints, etc.

  2. You must have experience developing, planning and producing an event that engages audiences in unique ways.

  3. While JAB Fair is able to provide basic equipment such as a projector, screen, tables and chairs, you must come equipped with your own materials and any specialized equipment to produce your event. While JAB Fair staff are available for general attendee needs, you must bring your own assistants to help put on your event.

Why should I apply?

Become the first to experience JAB Fair

2023 may be our first year, but we're not cutting corners. Our goal is to showcase you at your best, no matter what size exhibitor space you choose. In addition to amazing exhibitors and events (hosted by you, we hope!), we have incredible programs lining up in partnership with Monira Foundation and Mana Contemporary, making our inaugural event a must-go.

Connect with each other

JAB Fair is setting the bar high for community engagement, with gorgeous gallery spaces, a top-notch cafe, elevator access, gender-neutral bathrooms and an "R&R" room to ensure exhibitors are well supported throughout the day. To make JAB Fair financially accessible, we also have several options available to offset exhibitor fees (go to "Do you offer financial support?" FAQ for more details.)

Enjoy new audiences

As one of America's most diverse populations in the country, New Jersey is also becoming one of the most important markets for the arts. JAB Fair is a perfect opportunity for rising and established publishers to discover new audiences and to explore new talent.

Discover Jersey City's largest arts destination

Mana Contemporary is home to hundreds of artists studios and gallery spaces, with locations in Jersey City, Chicago and Miami. Jersey City's location is the largest by far, and hosts some of the most important contemporary collections in the world. All for free. Mana Contemporary is also easy to access by car (with plenty of free parking) and by public transportation (NJ Transit PATH Station is a 10-min walk).

What is the deadline to submit?

The deadline for the Jersey Art Book Fair 2022 application is November 22, 2022 at 11:59pm EST. However, we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible, since acceptance is confirmed on a rolling basis, starting November 1, 2022.

Notifications will be sent to the email address connected to the application, with final notifications sent on November 28. Full payment is due no later than November 30, 2022.

Any tips for a good exhibitor application?

  1. When introducing us to your practice or project, tell us what kind of work you make, what communities you’re a part of (if relevant to your practice), what past fairs or exhibitions you’ve participated in, and what makes your publication practice unique or special.

  2. When describing the materials you plan on bringing, prioritize artists' books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, zines, or related printed material. Emphasize new work and/or inventory. You are welcome to include other related media such as limited art editions, prints, apparel, performance, original artwork, etc., but they bear less importance in our review.

  3. When explaining your interest in participating, be generous with your responses. If you’re an exhibitor who has participated in other fairs, share why you’d like to be a part of this one.

  4. When including images of your work (up to 5 files), make sure your images are strong and well done. This can include images of groupings of books, individual books, spreads, detail shots, and photos of past art book fair presentations. Recommended JPG file size 72ppi and no less than 1000px on the long side.

  5. When describing the experience you'd like attendees to have at your exhibit space, give us a sense of how your materials will be displayed. If you are applying for an exhibitor table with an accompanying wall, share how you’d like to use the space. You can also share details or anecdotes from past experiences tabling at book fairs and how this may shape your presentation for JAB Fair.

What exhibitor materials will not be accepted?

  1. Single titles or single book projects, but we will accept a group/collective of works under one name.

  2. Promotional information exhibits with no items for sale.

  3. Materials that are blatant pornography, violent, homophobic or racist in nature. This includes “all lives matter” materials.

What sizes are the exhibitor spaces, and how much do they cost?

[Mobile users, view horizontally]

Fees are determined by 1) the size of the exhibit space that you choose, and 2) the number of days you plan to attend. Refer to this chart to compare sizes and associated fees.

Size Description 1 Day 2 Day

S 3' shelf - $75

M 4' table $75 $125

M+ 4' table w/wall $95 $180

L 6' table $115 $195

L+ 6' table w/wall $145 $280

XL 4'+6' L-shaped $175 $325

XL+ 4'+6' L-shaped w/wall $225 $440

Small (S) is in a pop-up store setting and ideal for those who cannot attend in person. Sales are on a 50/50 consignment basis. Exhibitor is responsible for all shipping and handling costs of materials to and from event site. Any unsold materials will be returned to Exhibitor at Exhibitors' expense.

Medium (M), Large (L) and X-Large (XL) include one table and two chairs. The [+] sign indicates the inclusion of wall space.

How are exhibitor fees determined?

All fees generated from Jersey Art Book (JAB) Fair will go directly back into three main activities:

  1. In partnership with Monira Foundation, the costs to develop and implement a one-year residency program starting October 2023, in which two cohorts of artists, researchers, activists and designers will be hosted in the collaborative production of new works for upcoming issues of Dense Magazine, JAB Fair's presenter.

  2. JAB Fair scholarships to support emerging and new exhibitors who have been historically excluded from art book fairs and related events in which representation of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and immigrant visual producers is lacking.

  3. The hard costs of this non-profit production. These include operations and staffing costs, and programming expenses, including honoraria for artists, speakers, and publishers. Costs also include exhibit furniture, table signage, exhibitor badges, and inclusion in printed and online materials. Fees do not include associated travel and lodging costs.

Do you offer financial support?

Jersey Art Book (JAB) Fair is committed to increasing representation for book artists, zine makers, small presses and publishers in all stages and experience in publishing. We recognize the importance of redistribution as a crucial step towards meaningful representation and access. We prioritize BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and immigrant exhibitors who haven’t participated in art book fairs before, including those who have been historically excluded from similar events.

Through the generosity of our sponsors, JAB Fair grants are being established to support exhibitors based on demonstrated need and merit (under a separate grant application). Grant applications are reviewed by the Fair team and an advisory panel. Grant recipients will receive a complimentary or discounted table at the Fair, and possibly a modest stipend for travel (stipend amount TBD).

For other ways to offset exhibitor fees, go to "Do you offer other ways to offset exhibitor fees?" FAQ.

Do you offer other ways to offset exhibitor fees?

We are exploring 3 in-kind programs to help our exhibitors offset their costs while providing mutual benefit to JAB Fair. If you're interested, please indicate your interest in the application and we will be in touch.

  1. New Editions: Donate a new artwork to our fundraising efforts (with rights to print a signed and numbered limited edition series), get 25% off your table.

  2. Last-run Editions: Donate your unblemished, high-quality last-run editions toward a number of raffle bags, to be included in our After-party on Saturday night, get 25% off your table.

  3. Give Saturday, Get Sunday: Volunteer for one 5-hour shift (10a-3p or 2p-7p) on Saturday, get 50% off your table on Sunday (applies to 2-day tables only).

What is your COVID-19 policy?

Due to the recent/ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, there may be restrictions on the JAB Fair to ensure the safety of everyone attending. All procedures are subject to change and will adhere to the requirements set forth by the CDC, Monira Foundation and Mana Contemporary at the time of the event.

  • Tickets for this event will be timed so that we can limit the number of attendees at any one time.

  • Terms for participation will be enforced via exhibitor/ticket/volunteer agreements, including but not limited to the use of face masks, hand sanitizer and taking temperatures.

  • Masks and hand sanitizer will be on site throughout the venue for all to use. We will also ensure that windows are open to bring in fresh air.

What are the dates/hours of the Fair and where does it take place?

Jersey Art Book Fair will be open with the following hours:

Saturday, January 28, 11:00a-6:00p, followed with an after-party

Sunday, January 29, 11:00a-6:00p

Jersey Art Book Fair will take place at:

Monira Foundation, located in Mana Contemporary

888 Newark Ave

Jersey City, NJ

Monira Foundation and Mana Contemporary will be announcing additional programs that coincide with Jersey Art Book Fair. Please stay tuned!

Am I required to be at my space during the Fair's operating hours?

Yes, at least one representative is required to manage your booth on your behalf. You/your representative is also responsible for setting up and deinstalling your space at the start and end of the fair. Exhibitors are required to stay the entire time.

Jersey Art Book Fair is exploring the possibility of an "Buddy Relief System" that allows single exhibitors the opportunity to take brief breaks with JAB Fair staff coverage.

When will I find out if I've been accepted?

The deadline for the Jersey Art Book Fair 2022 application is November 22, 2022 at 11:59pm EST. However, we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible, since acceptance is confirmed on a rolling basis, starting November 1, 2022.

Notifications will be sent to the email address connected to the application, with final notifications sent on November 28. Full payment is due no later than November 30, 2022.

How can I support Jersey Art Book Fair?

This community-driven non-profit event presented by Dense Magazine would not be possible without the support of our sponsors, partners, and donors. Our supporters make it possible to fuel a more equitable and resilient future of storytelling through our JAB Fair Grants and Dense Residency Programs. If you’re interested in learning more about how to get involved and partner with us, please write to sponsor@densemagazine.org.