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Spaces Corners bookshop opens in Lawrenceville, showcases small press photo books

Spaces Corners, a bookshop, gallery, and project space, opened last week in Lawrenceville’s Ice House studios.  The 425-square-foot shop is focused primarily on photography, with an emphasis on photo books published by independent presses.  An opening celebration will be held on November 4th.

Melissa Catanese, who owns and operates the shop, moved back to Pittsburgh this past spring after spending several years in New York City.  She had only lived in Pittsburgh for one year previously, but the city made an impression on her as a place supportive of experimentation.  This type of support isn’t widely available in other cities, she says.

“There’s a lot of opportunity, lots of grants for artists, lots of available space.  Everything about it right now” is supportive, notes Catanese.  “You have room to breathe and to be able to realize the dream that you have.”

Catanese says she wanted to share the phenomena of photography through the photo book with Pittsburgh because there wasn’t anything like Spaces Corners.  The shop is sponsored in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The books featured at Space Corners are published in small numbers, usually between 500 and 1,000 copies in an edition.  And many of the books aren’t available through online retailers like Amazon, Catanese says.  In addition to photography, the shop also features artists’ books, zines, and monographs.

The open house celebration on November 4th will feature refreshments, and an exhibition of work by local photographer Ed Panar.  Panar’s photo book, Animals That Saw Me, will be published in November by The Ice Plant, a small press in Los Angeles, followed by a book signing at Spaces Corners.


Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Melissa Catanese
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