Cooperative Release Limited Edition Fine Art Print Portfolio Addressing Immigration Issues-Portraying Stories of Human Struggle
By Mel Fabrikant Thursday, January 24, 2013, 03:18 PM EST
Portfolio includes 37 original limited edition prints by contemporary artists from North America, including many of today’s most exciting street artists, poster makers and graphic designers
Two national arts groups, CultureStrike and Justseeds Artists' Cooperative, have joined forces to release a limited edition portfolio of handmade screen and letterpress prints addressing migrant issues. A year in the making, the portfolio consists of thirty-seven original prints by thirty-eight different artists. The artists featured in the portfolio want to re-imagine migration as something that is inevitable, a natural process that evolves out of social relationships.
“When people move, they are either going toward their families and communities, or more often, away from them. The artists in this project believe that migration is about our fundamental right to move freely in search of our fullest and best selves. Migration is a central crisis of our time, and we as artists believe that we can help shape the dialogue about this, promoting compassion and humanity,” explains project organizers Favianna Rodriguez and Roger Peet.
Limited quantities of the portfolio are available for sale, and all proceeds will benefit the ongoing work of both groups via artist projects. Participating artists include: former Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, Emory Douglas, Undocumented DREAM Act agitators Julio Salgado and Felipe Baeza, Chinese American visual artist and designer Imin Yeh, author and printmaker Josh MacPhee, and renowned street artist, El Mac.
Half of the images were made by members of international political print cooperative Justseeds, while others involved include political cartoonists, labor organizers, street art provocateurs, and culture workers from across North America. Many of the artists are students of the great traditions of political printmaking, such as Mexico's Taller de Grafica Popular and the inflammatory street graphics of revolutionary France in 1968.
A number of these prints were recently featured in the documentary web series “Voice of Art” which airs on Pharrell William’s I am OTHER Youtube Channel in the episode “Migration is Beautiful” – highlighting the activism and art of Favianna Rodriguez within the immigration movement. As President Obama’s second term begins and his inauguration quickly approaches, immigration reform will continue to be top of mind for many Americans.
Arts and culture occupy the realm of ideas, images, and stories; it is where people make sense of the world, where they find meaning and forge community. History shows that when culture changes, politics follows. Art has a crucial role to play in transforming, redefining, and reimagining the global phenomenon of migration. By sharing their work in this portfolio, these artists are driving these ideas home in a way whose power is unmatched by other media.