Nomadic Bookshelf is proposed by Caitie Moore
How did you come up with the idea for your project?
Nomadic Bookshelf was founded two years ago after a dinner conversation with Greer Muldowney and Paula Tognarelli. I had just stepped down from a role in a publishing companyand needed a new project. With the renewed interest and dialogue around the book, I started to wonder why we as a creative community weren’t also discussing the antiquated bookstore format. (Gotta have someplace to sell your books once you make em!) Nomadic Bookshelf is my response to the changing market. Rather than waiting for customers to come into a fixed location, Nomadic Bookshelf is more nimble and can seek out new customers. In general it’s challenging to sell artwork by an unknown artist to a new crowd. Knowing that it was easier to sell books in person, I chose to make the store nomadic. The thought was to bring books to new communities and encourage folks to interact and flip through them. I could then talk to my customers about the book, or artist, or process and project, and effectively sell more books simply by connecting my customers to the products. The shop instantly makes collectors out of folks who may have never considered collected art before.
What is the most engaging art event/collecting event you’ve been to?
I’m a big fan of trading artwork. I went to an interesting exhibition earlier this year that was called Insider Trading. All of the artists were hand selected for this exhibition and commissioned to make one piece of artwork to donate to the show. At the end of the evening, all of the work was raffled to the other artists in the show — each artist came and left with a different piece of art work.
What do you think is the greatest struggle/weakness facing artists and the art community right now? What is the greatest opportunity/strength?
Why do you think many people find art intimidating, and how can we lower the perceptual barriers to entry for collecting art (and specifically photography)?
I think a lot of people do not have a literacy or extensive understanding of art or art history, and the thought of feeling dumb in public is really intimidating. When I go to book fairs, I tend to watch the way that people interact with the books. Books are great, unlike a museum, they are not very judgmental. You can flip through a book and no one will judge you. Often at a museum there’s this unspoken understanding that you have some kind of understanding or background knowledge about the art to begin with. It’s a very intimidating thing. I try to explain my products to people in a very personal way. For me, there’s nothing more exciting than taking the time to talk to someone about one of our books, to later watch them come with friends, as new experts on the subject. Instilling that excitement about art and giving folks the tools to share with others is so incredibly satisfying.