Last night, a fantastic new kind of bookstore announced itself. X Y Z Gallery, located at 3rd and Washington in Pioneer Square, is a collaboration between art gallery Specialist and local publishers Mount Analogue, Gramma Poetry, and Cold Cube Press. (You can read more about them here.) It was a young, fashionable, and appropriately arty affair, with lots of costumes and glitter and fabulousness. Wait staff dressed in silver wandered the room, offering free Cold Cube zines, beer cozies, and packets of hot sauce to attendees. In the Mount Analogue space, artist Mary Anne Carter presented her new show, Women in the Style of Taco Bell, a collection of gaily colored mannequin hands holding tacos, giant stuffed hot sauce packets, and other pastel-and-geometric delights arranged throughout the large room. It felt appropriately glamorous, a celebration and skewering of femininity.
Publisher and risograph printer Cold Cube displayed copies of their books in a hallway just outside their new print shop space, along with several artist prints. Seen in one place like that, the Cold Cube aesthetic really comes through: every one of their books — each individual copy — is a work of art.
Gramma Poetry's book covers are works of art, literally — they're crafted, carefully, out of photographs. For the launch party, Gramma displayed the original photographs alongside the books, perfectly demonstrating X Y Z Gallery's twin commitments to literature and visual art.
And of course, the space is a working bookstore. Mount Analogue founder Colleen Louise Barry has selected a small assortment of beautiful independent books to display in the space — along with assorted tchotchke including pipes shaped like female body parts. If you fondly recall Pilot Books, the independent bookstore on Capitol Hill that burned brightly and briefly, you'll want to visit X Y Z as soon as possible. There's a new home for independent press in Seattle, and it exploded onto the scene last night.