Abq Zine Fest 9 is just around the corner and coming to Barelas! For those of you who don’t know what a “zine” is, it is a homemade publication devoted to social and cultural subject matters. It draws from the DIY philosophy as an alternative to conventional publishing and professional design. The woman behind the creation of Abq Zine Fest is Marya Errin Jones. Marya is a force in the Albuquerque creative community and also runs the Tannex, a DIY art space in Barelas. The Tannex is an inclusive live music venue, community-gathering space, and Zine library all rolled into one. I met up with Marya and co-producer of Abq Zine Fest, Liza Bley, at the Tannex for Staples & Sips, a zine making hangout. We talked about Abq Zine Fest 9 and the Tannex.
When was the Tannex started and why?
Marya: The Tannex was started in 2012. I think it was January or February. It started from the Tan Gallery next door, which was previously Graft Gallery, the Donkey Gallery, and now Fourteen Fifteen Gallery. Andy Lyman was curator and founder of the Tan. One day he called me and said this space was opening for rent. I thought about it and said okay. Andy, Joe Cardillo, and I were the first group of curators of the Tannex. We worked for a month to open it.
To those that are not familiar with the Tannex, how would you describe it?
Marya: The Tannex is a multi-verse performance space, hangout room, experimental space, zine library, and nest. What I hear from folks is that they feel comfortable here, they can relax and feel at home. It’s a safe space and there’s a growing awareness of that and it’s affected people who come to shows here.
Tell me about the history of Abq Zine fest.
Liza: I was introduced to Zine fest when I moved here. In 2011, I went to a zine reading at the Cellar Door and that’s where I met Marya. I found out she was going to be running the first zine fest. I applied as an exhibitor. It was at the Harwood and that first year it was 3 days long, which was a lot of time and energy. In 2015 when I started volunteering at zine fest was when I understood all the work that went into it. I didn’t come on as a co-producer of the event until 2016.
Marya: For the first four years, it took 6-9 months to organize it. I think that’s why it’s remained sustainable. Now with Liza, I can do a lot more. We bring organizational skills from our day jobs.
Liza: It takes a ton of time and dedication and is a labor of love for the pure enjoyment of wanting a zine fest.
What’s new at Abq Zine Fest 9?
Marya: This year it will be at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, which is AMAZING! I reached out to them earlier this year and they wanted to partner with us.
Liza: Sponsorship this year has been incredible.
Marya: Zine fest will be October 5th. We’ve partnered with the Tamarind Institute and artist and zinester, Bijou Karman will be doing a talk on October 4th at the Tamarind Institute. We’re also bringing in Breena Nuñez. She’s a comic book illustrator based out of Oakland and she’ll be doing a talk and a zine reading at the festival. She teaches a class on comics for people of color and resistance.
Liza: Also the fanny pack zine fest art! This year the art is by zinester Samantha Andrews and there’s going to be cool merch!
Abq Zine Fest is a free event! Last year was my first year attending, and I will definitely be back this year. If you are not familiar with zines, check out the Tannex’s extensive zine collection during their library hours and see what the hype is all about. For a full list of exhibitors and to check out any of the other events leading up to Abq Zine Fest, visit their website at www.abqzf.com or their Facebook page. To find out zine library hours or to see what shows or events are happening at the Tannex, visit their Facebook page and Instagram page: @thetannex