Arts & Culture, Interview

5 QUESTIONS with Trevor Powers


ZINE FEST is coming THIS WEEKEND! We’re nearly crawling out of our skin in anticipation.

Here is a sneak peak into some of this weekend’s featured vendors, artists and publishers. We’re starting with TREVOR POWERS. I met Trevor (b. 1985, Burlington, VT) two years ago at his event ALL VISUAL BOSTON hosted at Spectacle in JP. AVB was a digital slideshow featuring work by local and recent graduate photography students. He has since moved on to create even more interesting curatorial and zine projects that highlight work by emerging and well-known artists.

Trevor Powers, Bill and Omar

Trevor Powers, Bill and Omar

Trevor studied photography at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where he graduated in 2008. He currently lives in Western MA. Recent projects include an exhibition at Flying Object in Hadley, MA which focused on how artists and small presses are handling and experimenting with the zine format. Powers also edits a number of publications such as Memory Full, and is the co-founder and editor of Papersafe, a publication dedicated to contemporary analog photography.

Trevor’s own photographs and books have been displayed in numerous group exhibitions throughout the United States, and he’s been featured in publications around the globe. His work is influenced by the coincidences and routines of everyday life, and he’s interested in documenting time and space in a visual, tangible manner.

What first inspired you to make books?

TP: I guess it started in school. I was interested in one of a kind artist books, wanting to put them out in the world. Then I started making limited edition books and zines. I wanted to collaborate with others to make books. Books are a great way to share, own, store artwork.You can’t always afford to buy a print or have people over to look at your work. Zines are a great way to share your work affordably to a wider audience. And I really appreciate that.

Can you talk a little bit about the inspiration behind Papersafe?

TP: Well Papersafe is foremost a project of Catlabs, a JP based photo darkroom resource that supports analog film photography and sells photographic equipment. Omer, the brains behind Catlabs, and I got together because we wanted to support the community of analog photographers from around the world. Our hope was to bring together a community of artists still working in film.

You just released your second issue of Papersafe, can you talk to us a bit about the inspiration behind this issue?

TP: Catlabs works a lot with studio artists, Omar’s clients tend to be academics and those who work in the universities. We wanted to dedicate this issue to lab techs and photographers who work “behind the scenes.” We had a few people in mind when we started this issue and encouraged others to submit. We thought that these artists who spend more of their time working on other people’s stuff deserve an outlet for their own work. This issue is a homage to them.

 Issue 2 features photographers: Stephanie Goode, Nicole White, Aaron Canipe, Allison Barnes, Nicole Coté, Brittany Marcoux,Carter Seddon, Gabriella Sturchio, Nathan Bajar, Shirin Adhami

Where do you see the future of Papersafe?

TP: When I start a project I like to have a clear timeline, a start and finish. It’s easy to repeat yourself, so it’s a constant struggle for me to be more critical and push myself and my projects to new limits. So for Papersafe, Omar and I haven’t really discussed the future of the project, but there will be a definitive ending one day. Ya know- how long does it take to say what you want to say? I want the medium to stay fresh and continue to add to a greater conversation. I’d say at least a year, if we can afford to make it. I’d like to start to break out into new formats like newsprint and postcards. What is one resonating thought you’ve taken away from these projects?

“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

To be honest, not everything belongs in book form. I think it’s great that a lot more people are making books and zines than we’ve seen before, but perhaps people aren’t being so critical on themselves as they should be. I try to add to the larger conversation with my work, conversations about contemporary photography and printed matter. I admire the people that are making high quality work and are bringing something new to the genre that hasn’t been seen before— whether it be a multi-media project or a new and intriguing thought. I think there’s something to say about having refined tastes and being able to see quality. I think artists should think more about the final object.


Trevor’s recent projects also include a collaboration with Esther White and HQ Press on Memory Full 4., a zine created to share cell-phone photography off screen.

You can find Papersafe and Memory Full this weekend. Also, keep your eyes peeled for Papersafe 3, coming this October, and a collaborative exhibition this December @555 Gallery focused around printed matter as well as a solo exhibition this March.

New England Zine Fest

Saturday August 16 // 12-6pm // @Cambridge YMCA (Central Sq)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License(unless otherwise indicated) © 2019