Nexus Press, operated by the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, was one of the country's few independent experimental offset presses dedicated to the production of artist books. The Contemporary's executive director Rob Smulian attributed the move to the bad economy and weakened support for the arts.
When the announcement was made, Smulian expressed hope that the Atlanta arts community would find a means of resuscitating the press. An effort to do just that has been spearheaded by the volunteer group, Friends of Nexus Press. Composed of former directors of the press, collectors, artists and others, the Friends of Nexus Press has set out to protect what advocates see as a unique Atlanta resource.
"I think all of us in the Friends group felt that this was something too valuable, too unique, too special, something that made Atlanta different from other cities in that we had this amazing resource and creative hub of artists books in our city," says spokeswoman Moira Steven, head librarian at the Atlanta College of Art. "We just didn't want to let it go."
The group has created a website to handle book sales and has submitted a business plan to the board of directors of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center that could result in new book projects and workshops.
Since the press' suspension, the organization co-sponsored the production of Ruth Laxson's book A Hundred Years of: Lex Flex last spring and has organized a bookmaking workshop.