"Ballot BOX" by Bonnie Thompson Norman. "It may come as a surprise to learn the right to vote is not explicitly stated nor provided for in the United States Constitution. Rather, this right has been shaped by Amendments, Congressional legislation, judicial review, and requirements and restrictions enacted by the States. For me, voting is a fundamental and cherished expression of patriotism and democracy. By casting my vote, I am connected to the principals of Government of the People, by the People and for the People. However, laws and regulations regarding voting rights are becoming more restrictive and onerous. Ballot BOX is both a literal and symbolic representation of a right that should be available to all Americans but which is being increasingly threatened and eroded. It contains a riddle and quotes from historical and literary figures on the subject of voting. Most importantly, it includes general information on voter eligibility and registering to vote. I hope Ballot BOX will both inform and inspire people to do just that."
"Keep the Change" by Chandler O'Leary and Jessica Spring. "We created our 16th Dead Feminist broadside in honor of the 2012 election (which also marked the 4th anniversary of our series) and the right and responsibility to vote. We used bright, period colors as an homage to Shirley Chisholm’s 1972 Presidential campaign, as well as her own impeccable style and substance. The edition of 152 prints represents the number of electoral delegates Shirley gathered during her campaign. Besides being the first serious female presidential candidate, Shirley Chisholm was also the first African-American woman elected to Congress. She represented New York’s 12th Congressional District, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy. So, to help continue Shirley’s long-term service to her home city, we donated a portion of our proceeds to Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration, in recognition of the importance of serving a community long after the disaster relief efforts have ended."
"Memo (how to speak without words)" by Lisa Onstad. "Over 5 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. The difficulty of communicating with those suffering from dementia can be a frustrating and painful experience. Memo (how to speak without words) shares a daughter’s observations of her mother’s gradual loss of language and memory through poetic text and hand-painted imagery. An accompanying appendix offers instructions on non-verbal communication and includes a touching example of making a connection through physical contact and reminiscence."
"Apartheid" by Nancy Orr. "I made this book to raise awareness of the conditions in Occupied Palestine beyond the information I’ve shared with my family, neighbors and social media friends. I was shocked when I heard a Palestinian Christian priest speak in 2013 about the conditions in which Palestinians live under Israeli military rule. How did I not know about this? I had read of the controversial Israeli Jewish settlements in the West Bank. I was unaware this was only one section of Israel’s long record violating international laws and human rights standards in their treatment of the Palestinian people. I am stunned that after demanding the end of Apartheid in South Africa, the United States has supported establishing a similarly cruel, racist system of Apartheid in Occupied Palestine with billions of U.S. citizens’ tax dollars. I am appalled to be financially contributing to the forcible removal, segregation and daily harassment of Palestinian families in Jerusalem and the West Bank."
"Are You Having Trouble With My Gender" by Florian Palucci and Alex Barnawell. "This book was written by Alex Barnawell and Florian Palucci, who both use singular they/them pronouns. As nonbinary (we don’t identify as male or female) transgender (we don’t identify with the gender we were assigned at birth) individuals, we find ourselves battling gender conventions in language on a daily basis. Language is one of a myriad of arenas in which trans people have to fight for recognition and respect of our identities. This book was born out of many, many misgenderings. It was created with the intention of being a primer on gender neutral pronouns and why care must be taken when using gendered language."
"A sun that rises" by Bettina Pauly. "The text I used for A sun that rises is taken from the documentary A Candle for Shabandar Cafe, filmed and directed by Emad Ali, Baghdad Film School, in 2007. Abdul Satar (Abu Ali) is shown in the documentary standing in front of the Shabandar Cafe while holding vigil for all the people who died in the car bombing. He is talking about destruction throughout the centuries, continuing cruel violence and ends with the words “there is still a sun that rises and there is hope despite all the destruction.” This after the bombing had taken toll on his family, his business, his livelihood. With the choice of colors—the etching pulled in a grey/black, the letterpress printed text in a dark red/brown, the stitching a dark red, the silk ribbon a vibrant red, the box covered in a smoky black—I am trying to give this piece the feeling of destruction, smoke, flames, blood, the scars left behind. The vibrant color of the ribbon is the color of the sunrise seen through air thick with smoke. Created for the Al Mutanabbi Street Book Arts Coalition Project."
"Southern Girls" by Meryl Perloff. "Growing up in the Deep South in the 1930s, African Americans, then called Negroes, were considered to be lower in status than their Caucasian counterparts. Discrimination in its mildest form embodied a sense of superiority, and limitations for Negroes were customary in all facets of life. The term “women” was reserved for black adult females, while white adult females were termed “ladies” —a subtle distinction, but limiting nonetheless. As a young child, these realities were not yet established, allowing a reasonable amount of interaction without prejudice. The creation of this childhood reverie is meant to illuminate the fact that discrimination is learned and practiced to varying degrees. It celebrates the joy that can be present in the lives of those who haven’t yet learned the lessons of assigning negative values to those we are taught to consider inferior."
"Unbound" byJessica Peterson. "Unbound recounts the little known, but unprecedented, civil rights history of Prince Edward County, Virginia. In 1959, rather than integrate as mandated by the US Supreme Court, Prince Edward County closed the public school system, leaving 4,000 children with no access to public education. The schools stayed closed for four years, until the Kennedy Administration opened a federally sponsored school system in 1963. Unbound tells the story of these events with timelines, archival evidence and collected narratives from the veterans of the closings. Gold stars flow through each page, one star for each person whose life was permanently altered by the school closings. This book was produced in collaboration with Short Twig Press, Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia."
"Displaced" by Linda Piacentini-Yaple. "The Holocaust. It is a subject I have visited in my bookmaking many times. As the decades move on, our memories fade. The witnesses are no longer alive to speak. It is even more crucial to remind ourselves that these events took place. We need to teach young people that the integrity of our humanity towards others is always at risk and that the sepia images of the past are the reminders of our own failings."
"Precipitous" by Nicole Pietrantoni. "Precipitous is collection of five hand bound accordion books that expand to create a life-sized panoramic image of a rising sea. As books, the works gesture to the authority of the encyclopedic and the cataloging of natural specimens. As an installation, they dismantle sublime images through cuts, folds and halftone dots. The overlaid poems by Devon Wootten are appropriations from a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change titled, “Climate Change and Water.” With a specific interest in printmaking’s historic relationship to representation, in this work I gesture to humans’ role in constructing and idealizing landscape. Referencing 19th-century panoramas as well as Romantic painting, the work nods to a particularly fraught period in our relationship to nature. Similarly, today’s changing landscape demands an examination of the tension between the enjoyment of beautiful, idealized landscapes and an awareness of their ecological complexity."
"Are You a Boy or a Girl? by Amy Ryken. "This book reveals conversations I’ve had with elementary students inquiring about my gender. By making these conversations visible I question the binary framing of gender, consider how to foster dialogue about gender expression, and explore how gender is framed in elementary classrooms and society. My hope is that the book will sponsor conversations about gender and how adults might engage young children in dialogue about sameness and difference."