My Thing of the Week feature intends to focus on unconventional art, the artists who make it, and those who support and promote it. In our mass-production society, very few things are more unconventional than independently published art books. This week we look at Larissa Leclair, independent photography writer, curator, collector, and founder of the indie Photobook Library (iPL).

The iPL is an archive for preserving and showcasing self-published, and independently published and distributed artist books of all types and styles. The iPL archive is online, but the collection can also be seen in person. Traveling exhibitions have included showings in Toronto, New York, Washington DC, and Philadelphia. The iPL has been showcased at major photographic events such as Photolucida (Portland, Oregon) and Review Santa Fe (Santa Fe, New Mexico). Selections from the iPL collection will be exhibited at the Photographic Resource Center, Boston University, September-November, 2011. Check out iPL to search for indie-published works, or to submit your own indie book for consideration.

Leclair’s writings on photography have been published in the photo-eye Booklist, Photography Quarterly, Fraction Magazine and ArtVoices. She has photographed for the Chicago Field Museum and the U.S. State Department and has worked for Arena Editions, Outside Magazine, and the Santa Fe Workshops.

Leclair has curated multiple exhibitions, the most recent being, “100 Portraits – 100 Photographers,” for Washington DC’s FotoWeek DC (Corcoran Gallery of Art, November 6-13, 2010). She is an Advisory Board Member for FotoWeek DC, and a regular reviewer for Critical Mass. Leclair holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Masters from Yale University.

Learn more at Thank you, Larissa, for starting the iPL and for agreeing to be the subject of Thing of the Week!