At the Center for Book Arts, we believe that the book arts are a medium of expression and a tool for disseminating information. As makers, arts workers, educators, and New York City Residents, we encounter the book arts on a daily basis, whether we’re sheltering in place or riding the subway. Print and material culture is woven into this city, and we rely on it to navigate, from signage, to pamphlets, to transit maps. Book arts are also an everyday tool for political engagement, whether it’s a poster you’ve made for a protest, a zine you’ve printed with your friends, or putting words on a page. Book arts are and can be anything involving text and image, and the relationships between hand and object, a way of citing forms, techniques, and traditions that extend beyond our present time and place.
For us at the Center, it is constant work: the way we define community, the way we show up and hold each other accountable, and the ways we aim to leverage book arts as a tool for action. We’ve witnessed the systemic injustice against Black people in this city, and across the country, and we cannot operate neutrally. Through our residency programs, literary programs, and exhibitions, we hope to provide a space where Black artists can feel safe and empowered to make, learn, curate, and produce. We are committing to providing resources for Black artists and the work made toward liberation, where book arts are a source of possibility for political change.
For the rest of our community, we invite you to join us as we stand in solidarity, aim to cultivate active and sustainable networks of care and allyship, and broaden our collective understanding of the current and historical contributions of Black artists in the book arts and beyond.
Black Lives Matter . Rest in power George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, Yassin Mohamed, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and all of those who have been lost at the hands of police brutality and white supremacy.