AES: A New World of Artbooks - Self & Indie Publishing

Today’s technology makes it possible for anyone to publish high quality art and photo books– whatever an individual artist wants to see in print. It is disrupting traditional publishing roles and rules.

Keynote Speaker Eileen Gittens, Founder and Chairman of Blurb, Inc., a pioneer in the self-publishing industry, will explain how the traditional book publishing and distribution industry is being disrupted by the intersection of advanced digital printing, the internet, and social media.  

Alder Yarrow, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of will make a Spotlight Presentation explaining how he combined his own creative vision and passion with online fund-raising site Kickstarter and print-on-demand site Blurb to self-publish “The Essence of Wine,” named one of the best wine books of 2014 by the New York Times.  

Our panels will focus on how this publishing revolution applies to the world of art books. We will present case studies in individual and independent self-publishing success stories. Panelists will discuss the entrepreneurial potential for new startups and business models, as well as new opportunities for building unique collections, and creating and distributing your own art books. If you have any interest in creating a publication of your own, or in collecting one of the most exciting art niches in contemporary art today, don’t miss this chance to meet many of the leading movers and shakers in this field. A variety of self and independently published books will be available for perusal and purchase.


Eileen Gittins, Founder and Executive Chairman, created Blurb to offer an elegant, flexible publishing platform that enables everyone—not just the select few, but the talented many—to create, produce, share, distribute, market, and sell beautiful print and ebooks.

Eileen has made a career of leveraging technology to enable individuals to create things that were previously “beyond reach.” As a lifelong reader who typically has 3 or 4 books going at once, Eileen is a passionate advocate for the power of books, both physical and digital, as well as what books can and should afford in the age of everything, all the time.

Since starting the company in 2006, Eileen has led Blurb from a startup to a high-growth company, with over 2 million authors creating 4.5million unique book titles, and a global footprint that extends to more than 70 countries. At peak volumes, Blurb sees a new title uploaded every 7 seconds.

Previous to Blurb, Eileen was CEO of two other Silicon Valley VC backed start-ups (Personify and Verb) in addition to her earlier career as VP and GM at Wall Data, a pre- IPO software company plus various marketing roles at Eastman Kodak Company in New York, London, San Francisco, and Seattle.

A frequent speaker on the future of books at the EG Conference, the Business Innovation Factory, the London Author Fair, and a passionate lecturer on storytelling and the art of leadership at Insead, San Francisco State University and California College of the Arts, Eileen has also been much celebrated in the media (Inc. named Blurb the 47th fastest growing company in the US in 2010) and lauded as an entrepreneur (regional semi-finalist in the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year award and Best CEO in the Tech Innovations Awards.)  Eileen has also been featured in the New York Times, Fortune Magazine, Fast Company, the London Sunday Telegraph, the Guardian, and is a frequent guest on various BBC television and radio programs.

Eileen received her BA, Magna cum Laude from San Francisco State University, with additional undergraduate and post graduate courseware at University of California Berkeley, and Stanford University.

Alder Yarrow, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Vinography.Com

San Francisco Magazine has called Alder “The Wine World’s Brightest Cyberstar” and he is widely accepted as a pioneer of wine blogging. His blog has been published daily since 2004, and was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2013.

Alder regularly speaks at events such as the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, Flavor! Napa Valley, and the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. He writes occasionally for publications such as The World of Fine Wine and Fine Cooking magazine, and is the author of The Essence of Wine, a unique coffee table book about wine's flavors and aromas that was named one of the best wine books of 2014 by The New York Times and won the coveted Chairman's Prize at the 2015 Louis Roederer International Wine Writers Awards. He is also the author of the Sonoma and Marin County chapter of DK Publishing’s Opus Vino.

Since November of 2011, Alder has been a columnist for Jancis Robinson on her Web site His “Alder on America” column focuses on current events, trends, and happenings in the world of American wine.  In 2013 Alder was inducted into the Wine Media Guild of New York’s Wine Writers Hall of Fame, an honor he shares with only 22 other living wine writers.

Alder lives in San Francisco, where he spends his daylight hours as the Chief Experience Officer of Cibo, a brand experience agency. With clients including Tesla Motors, Salesforce, Google, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and George Zimmer’s new company Generation Tux, Cibo helps create winning brands by applying design thinking to business.


Steven Albahari, is the Founder and Publisher for 21st Editions, a niche and unique press that combines classic design, classic printing and classic photographic processes with the word, image and artisan binding. 21st Editions are purveyors of unprecedented handmade and very limited edition book and print. Inspired by the likes of William Morris, Edward Curtis, Alfred Stieglitz and Alvin Langdon Coburn, the press is virtually unique and is more akin to early 20th century livre des artistes of Europe than anything being produced today. Mr. Albahari earned a Master of Science Visual Studies degree from M.I.T. and a B.A. from Bennington.

Antonio de Luca is a New York based art director, designer and publisher originally from Toronto, Canada. Before moving to Berlin, Germany in 2008 he worked for The Walrus magazine and Wieden + Kennedy. After 2008, he began extensively designing photography books. In 2010 de Luca joined Self Publish, Be Happy an organization that supports and promotes the work of emerging photographers. Since 2012 Self Publish, Be Happy has also published photography books as SPBH Editions. It has published books by Broomberg & Chanarin, Cristina de Middel, Mariah Robertson, Lorenzo Vitturi, Matthew Connors and others.

De Luca’s work is part of numerous museum permanent book collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, Tate Britain, C/O Berlin and Kunsthal Charlottenborg. Martin Parr and Gerry Badger included Self Publish, Be Naughty (2011) in the third volume of their photobook history. In November 2015 Self Publish, Be Happy: A DIY Photobook Manual and Manifesto was published by Aperture.

De Luca has been a jury member of American Illustration & Photography; a visiting lecturer at the University of Arts, London; and guest professor at the Geneva University of Art and Design and the Academy of Fine Arts, Nuremberg. He is currently the lead product designer and art director at The New York Times.

Robert Dunn is a writer, photographer, and teacher. He has published widely, including work in The New Yorker and the O. Henry Prize Story collection. His novels include Pink Cadillac, Cutting Time, Soul Cavalcade, Meet the Annas, Look at Flower, Stations of the Cross, and forthcoming in 2016, Savage Joy.
Dunn is the publisher of Coral Press and Coral Press Arts. He has also worked for The New Yorker magazine and for Sports Illustrated, and is an Associate Professor of writing at The New School in New York City. For the last years of the novelist Bernard Malamud’s life Dunn was his personal assistant.
In 2012 Dunn’s first photobooks were released: OWS, the ongoing Angel Parade series, and Meeting Robert Frank. His photography has been exhibited in an ICP show and at the Cleveland Museum. His work can be seen at Dunn is married to a film art director and lives in New York City and Woodstock, N.Y.

Kris Graves, Director of Kris Graves Projects, is based in New York City and deals mainly in contemporary photography and works on paper, creating limited edition art books. The press started making artist monographs in 2015 and has been invited to art book fairs in Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and London. +KGP is focused on book projects that are dealing with American issues at home and abroad. Kris obtained his BFA in Visual Arts from the School of Art + Design, Purchase College, New York.

RITA is a Brooklyn based independent publisher that focuses on photography, art, and writing that reflect on contemporary culture and advance the dialogue of the book form.  

Colin Stearns is a photographer who understands this world better through the study and production of images.  His primary focus is the personal landscape and photobooks.  Stearns exhibits internationally while showing in New York City, and throughout the United States.  He has recently published a photobook, Meridian.  His work has also been published in Places Journal, a new nothing, Oranbeg, Oxford American, Supermassive Black Hole and Conveyor.
Stearns has an MFA from Hunter College, and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  He is an assistant professor and the director of the BFA photography program at Parsons School of Design.

Bill Sullivan, Co-Founder of Sun Editions, is a New York based artist, designer, and publisher.  His work is shown internationally, and is in such collections as MOMA the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Toronto’s MOCCA.

Bill graduated in 1988 from Georgetown University with a degree in English and Fine Arts.  He has completed several large bodies of work including 3 Situations - made up of 30,000 photographs taken clandestinely of people, culminating in a major installation at the Pearson International Airport in Toronto in 2012.  Since 2009, Bill has worked on a series of books of his own design,  including "MATTER" from 2013 , "Forest Hills" in 2014 , "Reckless Spring" in 2015 ,  and “The Glass Court III” in 2016.

Bill started a small publishing company called Horses Think Press with Ofer Wolberger and Justin James Reed in 2012 that produced small run artist books.

In 2014 he helped found S U N, an independent publishing company based in New York City.  He has designed and published over 12 books in the last 2 years as its director.  Bill is currently the Creative Director at Forest Hills, a music and tennis venue and club in Queens NY.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Time: 5:30 - 8:30pm
5:45 to 6:10 - Registration and refreshments
6:10 to 6:15 - Welcome and Speaker Introductions
6:15 to 6:30 - Keynote Address
6:30 to 7:10 - Panel #1 with Q&A
7:10 to 7:50 - Panel #2 with Q&A
7:50 to 8:30 - Panel #3 with Q&A

Venue: Conference Center, 130 East 59th Street, NY

$10/Member guest (limit one)
$15/Non-member alumni
Please note that no refunds will be issued.

Organizers: John O’Donnell ’77, Ken Shoji ‘92

Date & Location

Date: 3/9/2016
Time: 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Location: UJA-Federation of New York

130 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022