The Portland Art Museum commissioned me to choose 3 lithograph prints from the Associated American Artist print show and create writing prompts to be printed on the backs. The event was held July 13, 2019.
There are so many things I admire about this Prints for the People show: its reliance on the postal service for its mail-order campaign (anything that combines affordable art with the postal system is a win in my book), the artists’ incredibly keen eye for detail and close observation documenting the daily life, work and concerns during the 1930s-40s. It’s also worth noting that in 1946, the Association of American Artists established a department to promote cultural exchange between the U.S., Mexico & South America. North American artists traveled south to recruit artists and this collaboration made it possible for people in the United States to have access to the artists depicting the experiences of indigenous people, of poverty, hard work and fortitude. This access to one another’s stories through art reminds us that art has always contained the capacity to connect and sustain people across any border. It cannot be crushed by rhetoric or constrained by walls, tariffs or laws. It is for the people.