We were pleased to be interviewed by the Heard Museum for their members’ magazine, Earth Song. We enjoyed talking about our collaboration, the importance of Native American art, what inspires us, and book design. See an excerpt below from the article and click the links below to read more. Leon Polk Smith: Hiding in Plain Sight is on view at the Heard Museum through May 31, 2021.
Publishing a fully illustrated catalogue for a Heard Museum original exhibition is a massive undertaking months in the making that is a true team project to write, design and produce. Each publication can be different in how the final product comes together, but for two exhibitions, Larger Than Memory: Contemporary Art From Indigenous North America and Leon Polk Smith: Hiding in Plain Sight, the Heard Museum partnered with the team at local creative agency ps:studios to fully design and coordinate the production of these world-class publications. The Heard Museum interviews Peter Shikany, the owner of ps:studios.
Heard Museum: Do you prefer print books or e-books for art museum publications? And why?
Peter Shikany: I always prefer the printed book— art books are beautiful objects and offer an ongoing availability to spend time with the artist. Currently it seems that publishers are seeing the same trend with book sales as well, as art and photography books have seen an increase in sales in the last few years. The printed art book is far superior when it comes to images. Many e-readers just render black and white, and the size and interface is rarely an intuitive or satisfying experience. There is nothing quite like spending time with a welldesigned book—the feel of the paper, the weight and size of the book, and the detail rendered by ink on paper.
HM: What have been the biggest changes in the industry?
PS: The biggest change within the publishing industry has been the introduction of e-books and audiobooks. The demand continues to increase, and it makes sense for many types of books. I think the trend has actually increased the interest in printed art books, as they have taken on a more “treasured object” status. Of course, the biggest challenge today is COVID-19. It has severely impacted independent bookstores, interrupted supply chains and slowed production. Not to mention the impact on cultural institutions and exhibitions that are often the catalyst for many books.