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Visual Art Readings

Artist Brings Zine Collection to SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Bar

noticing a lack of zines in the area, Sam Peskie offered new addition to local shop

Megan Pettys |

ZINE SCENE. SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Bar offers a small zine library showcasing local artists. (Photos via Facebook)
ZINE SCENE. SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Bar offers a small zine library showcasing local artists. (Photos via Facebook)

Operating as both a coffee and bicycle repair shop, SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Bar truly offers patrons a variety of services to aid their experience – whether it’s bike- or brew-related. In an effort to spread counterculture and creativity in a medium that is accessible to more people, the Eau Claire shop now has a selection of zines – colorful publications made by independent artists – available for browsing.

After a “zine workshop” residency at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, former Eau Claire artist Sam Peskie fell in love with the concept of zines – like magazines, but more personalized – and noticed a lack of them in the community. “So many people didn’t know what zines were or were good for,” Peskie said. “In my own self, I had been thinking a lot about being a rural creative versus being a creative in a city. … I wanted to give something to creative people looking for a community.”

As soon as her library residency ended in November, Peskie began collecting donated zines from friends and other artists who wanted to spread their messages and art. The zines at SHIFT range in content from comics, social topics, issues, and commentary, to fun horror stories about roommates, and more. But the most important thing to know about zines, according to Peskie, is that they are a “labor of love.” “Anyone who is making a zine loves something about the topic, because it is personal and labor-intensive,” Peskie said.

Zine library's description (via Instagram)
Zine library's description (via SHIFT's Instagram).

The zines could have found a home anywhere, but at SHIFT, they just made sense, Peskie said. “They’re meant to be accessible and for everyone. There’s something really beautiful and important and human about sharing something that you think, but not with a screen. … Art and culture aside, here’s an idea that you get to hold in your hands.”

Because they are handmade and self-produced, zines were a natural addition to SHIFT where one can relax with a cup of coffee and reading material meant to inform and entertain.

Find out more about the local library of zines and check them out at SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Bar (615 Graham Ave., Eau Claire).