„Marktplatz Druckgrafik“ (Marketplace for Artistic Printing) is a new and unique venue for all printmaker artists and bookartists at Leipzig Bookfair. It is a special area within „buch + art“ (book + art) in hall 3 put up for the first time in 2012.
The „buch + art“ area traditionally housed stalls from artists, artistic or bibliophile publishers, universities and schools of arts and design plus stalls of museums and institutions related to printmaking and bookbinding. The whole area is set up nicely with flower arrangements and places where people can sit down and rest.
Various printmaking museums, such as the Museum für Druckkunst in Leipzig and the Gutenberg-Museum in Mainz, bring in some of their machinery and visitors can watch or even have a go at printing be it letterpress or lithography.
Within „Marktplatz Druckgrafik“ artist have more choices as for stall sizes. Apart from the standard stall sizes (starting from 4 square meters) artists can opt for a special artists stall with is smaller in size and costs. It is 2 square meters, a triangular shape and offers two walls that can be decorated according to the individual artist’s needs and preferences. Tables or shelves can be put up as well.
In 2011 members of Leipzig based artists group AUGEN:FALTER met up with the team of Leipzig bookfair to discuss the possibilities of a special scheme for artists to exhibit at the fair with lower costs. They came up with those specifically designed wedge shaped stalls. The scheme works out well as the steadily growing number of exhibitors in this area shows.
With the multitude of artistic stalls and styles, with prints and books of all sorts a very unique atmosphere of the printmaking arts is established in this area. There are prints in all sizes – from postcard to poster – and all techniques – from woodcut to intaglio. There are books of all sorts as well, from tiny booklets to large volumes.
But there is even more to „Marktplatz Druckgrafik“ than those specific stalls and the stunning artistic flair they create. In 2013 there was for the first time the call for entries for an award for young printmaking artists. Every year four young artists will be awarded. This years winners were: Anna Andropova, Jeong Hwa Min, Hyewon Jang and Karla Neumeyer Orlando. With the award winners are given a stall of their own to put their art work on show at the current bookfair. There is also an extra brochure with small portfolios of artists exhibiting at „Marktplatz Druckgrafik“.
A well established and important part of Leipzig Bookfair is an event called „Leipzig liest“ (Leipzig is reading). A great number of readings are being held in the fair during fair times and all around the city of Leipzig in the evenings. Just round the corner of „Marktplatz Druckgrafik“ is the special area for readings by „buch + art“ exhibitors from hall 3. So every exhibitor is given opportunity to read to the public from his own books.
And once the fair closes for the evening there is the humming city of Leipzig with his pubs and restaurants, with readings in all sorts of places – with a cultural life rich as can be.