The Gainesville Zine Fest made its anticipated comeback Friday after being canceled for the past two years.
“This was only possible because there are so many amazing creative groups and organizations in our community,” Fi Stewart-Taylor said.
Zine Fest, which is hosted by the Civic Media Center, is an event for local artists to connect and share their artwork. The infoshop previously hosted Zine Fest in 2019. However, the event was canceled the following two years due to COVID-19.
Stewart-Taylor, a board member at the Civic Media Center, helped organize Zine Fest’s comeback this year.
“The pandemic is not over by any means,” she said, “but we felt like we had a pretty good grip on what it would take to do a pretty safe, pretty respectful in-person event.”
Laura Bittner, a zine creator, attended the last Zine Fest. And, she was thrilled to be at the event once again
“It’s just really nice to connect with people and talk about zines,” she said. “It feels like life is returning to how it used to be.”
A total of 16 artists and organizations participated in the event, including the Ashtray, the Gainesville Print Shop and Sequential Artists Workshop. Besides zines, artists showcased their artwork through a variety of other mediums, including T-shirts, stickers and prints.
Ezra Wright, a student at the University of Florida, attended the event for the first time.
“It’s been an amazing way to meet local artists here in Gainesville and learn about zine making in general because it’s something I’m not very familiar with,” Wright said.
With the ongoing pandemic, Stewart-Taylor is unsure about the future of Zine Fest, but she remains hopeful.
“I’m really hoping that we’ll do it again next year,” Stewart-Taylor said. “Knock on wood, no additional pandemics.”