Jeffrey Bennington Grindley on Low Key Zine and the LV Zine Library
Low Key Zine releases their 2nd issue on September 13 at the Low Key Photo Zine Release Party at Hop Nuts. The zine features photography and music from Las Vegas locals and neighbors from Phoenix and LA. Low Key Zine is a quarterly photo zine founded by Jeffrey Bennington Grindley that shares often overlooked images from the places we live.
VIM: Hello! How is it going Jeff. We've known each other for over a decade and it's great to see you pursuing this new venture, Low Key Zine. What was the inspiration for it?
JEFFREY BENNINGTON GRINDLEY: A few years ago I started actively taking more pictures of the city and places I visited. I love laying in the gutter or contorting myself a bit to get an angle I like, seeing stuff form a new perspective. I sat on this for over a year because I was so concerned with making it just right, holding myself to some high standard of presentation and on and on went my list of excuses. My mom died at the beginning of the year and it was a huge shift of perspective for me. I was fortunate to have the support of my wife to help me stay true and focused on what was important. It really made me reflect on how much we leave undone in life. This was the most present project and representation of stuff I was putting off. So one day I just sat down and assembled what would be the heart of the first issue. The name came from just being the low key version of Las Vegas. Our public perception is this blown up neon crazy wonderland, which it is! But the Las Vegas I know is beautiful and tragic and has so much more life than that image portrays. So the focus is to show that side of Las Vegas through images and also now, music.
VIM: You are the founder of the Lv Zine Library. How did it get started?
JEFFREY BENNINGTON GRINDLEY: Well I'm the Co-founder. Stevie was the big motivating factor behind that finally getting legs and traction! I had this idea I kept talking about and she got tired of hearing it. Finally she said DO IT! The gears were set in motion and it's been 7 years strong. We've almost completed our search for a new home, but I can't say anything official yet. It's very exciting. Either way the goal has always been to expose people to zines and empower those people to make zines!
VIM: You've done some Zine workshops and events in the past. Any new events you are currently working on?
JEFFREY BENNINGTON GRINDLEY: Yes! We are in the first phase of planning the Las Vegas Zine Fest in late 2018. Anyone with inquiries can email us at Lvzinelibrary@gmx.com.
We are focused on getting into our new space and in Spring 2018 and there will be a monthly series of workshops set for the new space!
VIM: You've successfully launched two cultural Vegas icons in the past, first with Human Experience with Miss Joy and the Zine Library. What has been a highlight from these past projects.
JEFFREY BENNINGTON GRINDLEY: I'm so fortunate to have been welcomed into the beginning of Human Experience! One thing that always sticks out to me about hosting open mics is seeing people progress. I've known at least two people who, through open mics conquered serious speech impediments. So inspiring! With the zine library, doing workshops and seeing young people pour their hearts out on paper! Zines are all about empowerment, and watching young people get that and seeing the fire and excitement in them is a definite highlight.