CODEX FINDS: On view in the gallery March 25 - April 25, 2015

If you have ever been to Codex, you'll know what an amazing, all-encompassing, engrossing, whirlwind experience Peter Koch and his crew have created. Nearly 200 exhibitors showcasing artist books and fine press works, over 3,500 attendees, plus stellar symposium talks over five days in sunny San Francisco, all tend to leave everyone exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. It's a phenomenal event that has gotten better and better in the 10 years since it started.

Codex was a completely different experience for me this year. 23 Sandy Gallery was a tabled exhibitor for my first three trips to Codex. This year I tried something new: I went as a "talent scout."

You see, as an exhibitor I was always so busy at my table that I never had time to go visit with the artists exhibiting. Plus, when I sat down to sign up for a table I noticed that 19 of the talented artists that I represent were already on the exhibitor list. Seemed like a great opportunity to let them have the glory and for me to try Codex wearing a different hat. That of a curator.

I spent my time wandering the exhibit hall, talking with artists, and pawing over gorgeous new artist books. Many of the artists I already represent had new work, so I loved seeing their hot-off-the-press releases. It was great to catch up, but even more fun was meeting new artists who had work that was fresh and strong.

One surprise: I came away from my Codex experience with a whole new respect for librarians and the job they do. As an exhibitor I always felt that four days was just too long and exhausting, but as a curator four days was not nearly enough. There is just too much to see, and too many people to talk to! You just can't fit it all in. I could have talked to the artists for another two days and still missed saying hello to folks that I've known for nearly 20 years.

The result of my talent scout gig is a fresh new crop of books for gallery inventory and this new show, titled CODEX FINDS 2015, which features 29 new works found at Codex. If you missed the fair, here is a chance to see it through my eyes.

Or, stop by the gallery before April 25th to see this show in person.

See you soon!

Above image credit, left to right: Jody Alexander, Rhiannon Alpers and Islam Aly.