Read on to find out how a new generation of designers and printers have taken concert posters from the promotional realm into the world of collectible fine art.
Last September, I traveled to the annual Bumbershoot Music Festival in Seattle to attend Flatstock 5 and meet some of the artists and printers who create all of this great work. Sixty booths featured nearly 100 API artists from across the USA, Canada, and from as far away as Australia (Figure 4). The original Flatstock took place in San Francisco and has been growing in popularity and attendance ever since. Brian Taylor, the head printer at Seattle, WA-based Patent Pending Inc., who along with partner Jeff Kleinsmith, art director at Sub Pop Records, hosted a reception for the exhibiting artists and guests at their Seattle print shop, explained how the name Flatstock came about.
"[Frank] Kozik was helping with a show in San Francisco. He brought it up on gigposters.com and there was a ot of interest, so he decided to make it a little bigger. It ended up being held at the Cell Space in San Francisco. That was the start of something much bigger and much better. He posted a thread on gigposters.com asking for names for the show. Had I known that my selection of 'Flatstock' would become this big, semi-annual poster convention, I might have asked for more than the right to be smug, which is what Kozik said the winner would get."
Geoff Peveto, an Austin, TX-based graphic designer and current API president, expands further on the show's development. "Kozik is responsible for both Flatstock and API. One day in 2002 he just said, 'If I throw a poster show in San Francisco, how many of you will show up?' About 30 of us made the trip. Frank and I were talking about what to do next, and I suggested approaching South By Southwest (SXSW, a large music-industry conference held in Austin, TX). Frank started up the API right before I knocked on their door, and SXSW was more inclined to entertain the idea of a poster show with an organization like the API sponsoring it. Since then, the API has grown to more than 300 members, and we've caught the eye of Bumbershoot and have been lucky enough to move the show between SXSW and Bumbershoot."
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