Archive Page 2

Dates Confirmed for Early I.W.W. Stickerettes

I can finally confirm dates of some of the earliest I.W.W. stickers in my collection. The August 31, 1918, edition of The Literary Digest ran an article called “Branding the I.W.W.” that features three stickers with the caption, “Typical I.W.W. Propaganda—Stickers Circulated in the Northwest.”

1918-Aug-31_LitDigest_001

Unfortunately, the article doesn’t say anything about the stickers themselves, but it describes the conviction of 100 I.W.W. members for treason soon after the beginning of World War I and the subsequent passage of the U.S. Espionage Act. The artist and poet Ralph Chaplin, whom I’ve written about in previous posts and for the People’s History Archive, was one of those union members arrested and convicted, and I imagine he created these early stickers, known at the time as “stickerettes” or “silent agitators.”

stickerette_024

stickerette_025

Other articles in this edition include “Grenades to Suit Everybody,” Germany’s Gigantic War Profits,” and “Why Germany Destroys Art.”

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Vote Yes For Woman Suffrage sticker (1915)

In my search for the earliest U.S. political stickers, I’ve come across overty thirty different “stickerettes” or “silent agitators” produced by the Industrial Workers of the World dating from the mid-1910s to present day. Stickerettes were advertised in I.W.W. pamphlets and newspapers as early as 1917, based on microfilm reels I’ve viewed of the group’s Solidarity newspaper. I don’t have anything else that dates the earliest stickerettes, however. (Search “stickerette” on Stickerkitty to see previous posts on these items.)

However, recently I found this women’s suffrage sticker from 1915 that is dated and affixed to an envelope also dated 1915! (New Jersey voted no in the October 19th referendum, as did New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. New York passed the vote in 1917; Massachusetts in 1920; and Pennsylvania also in 1920. The latter two states passed only after Congress ratified the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote on August 19, 1920.)

US_misc_historical_351 with envelope

The envelope was sent from the “Penna. Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage.” Here is a map published by the league of how the vote was split across the state for and against.

US_misc_historical_351

 

New “People’s History Archive” Website!

Project History

Initiated in 2015 by the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery and the Libraries and Instructional Technology (LIT) division at St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY), the People’s History Archive features selected street art stickers, posters, and ephemera from around the world dating from the 1910s to present day. Contributors include undergraduate students, young alumni, and faculty who create mini-online interpretive exhibits using items from a Street Art Graphics digital archive and/or from items contributors have selected themselves through off-campus research projects. Items can also be viewed on an interactive timeline and map.

timeline

map

The original Street Art Graphics digital archive was created in 2004 in a platform called ContentDM, and it now features over 2,600 stickers with another hundred posters, fliers, city cards, one-of-a-kind drawings by street artists, and other street-based ephemera. In 2015, the U.S. Council of Independent Colleges selected the Street Art Graphics collection as one of 42 projects across the country to be included in Artstor’s Shared Shelf Commons, an international digital library of arts and sciences. St. Lawrence received a four-year grant to migrate and build the collection and to enhance its use in teaching and scholarship.

The People’s History Archive also represents a collaboration between the Street Art Graphics digital archive and the Weave, an independent news media project created in 2006 and headquartered in the Global Studies department. Catherine Tedford, gallery director, and John Collins, professor of Global Studies, received a four-year mini-grant from an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Humanities grant to St. Lawrence University entitled “Crossing Boundaries: Re-envisioning the Humanities in the 21st Century.” One component of the project, Weaving the Streets, offers contributors the opportunity to write investigative blog posts about topics of interest that are under-reported in mainstream news media.

The People’s History Archive was built in Drupal by Eric Williams-Bergen, Director of Digital Initiatives at St. Lawrence University.

For more information, see my previous post Weaving the Streets & People’s History Archive (WSPHA) from last year. It’s been fascinating to see the project unfold and to see how websites are conceptualized and designed. There are still a few tweaks to work through, but with this post I’m now ready to go public with it. A dream come true! The subtitle for the site is “street art stickers, posters, ephemera – documenting the creative and complex ways people make use of public space.” The site will feature scans of physical items (i.e., not born-digital photographs, which are featured on the Weaving the Streets blog).

At this point, the plan is to have four umbrella projects and multiple exhibits within each.

Paper Bullets: My work on political stickers from around the world – under construction. I created one exhibit on U.S. Industrial Workers of the World I.W.W. “Stickerettes” or “Silent Agitators” as a model to show students; additional exhibits will follow.

Pegatinas Políticas: In the summer of 2015, Laurel Hurd ’16 expanded her Weaving the Streets experience with an SLU Student Research Fellowship, in which she added approximately 75 Spanish street art stickers to the People’s History Archive and wrote four exhibits:

laurel

Street Art @ SLU: Work from students in my street art course – under construction. To date, one exhibit by Rebecca Clayman ’17 has been published on the German Feminist Movement (1970s to present day). Another two exhibits will be published soon on indigenous/Native American stickers and on culture jamming.

rebecca

Weaving the Streets: Work by students and young alumni in the Mellon Humanities grant-funded project – under construction. Sean Morrissey ’16 is working on an exhibit on tourism in Thailand. Carolyn Dellinger ’16, the student who catalogued a group of German spuckies in 2014, is also working on an exhibit on environmental issues and animal rights in the UK.

 

 

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2016 Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at SLU

Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Friday, March 4, 2016, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Newell Center for Arts Technology

Noble Center Room 108

St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY)

we can edit

In conjunction with International Women’s Day, St. Lawrence University will be one of 125 locations around the globe to host a 2016 Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. Last year, over 1,500 participants at more than 75 events created nearly 400 new pages and made significant improvements to 500 articles on Wikipedia. Since the group’s founding in 2014, edit-a-thon focus areas include female artists, works of art by women, social reformers, activists, and feminists.  The SLU edit-a-thon also encourages contributions about women across the arts in music, theater performance, and elsewhere.

According to the organizers, “Art+Feminism is a rhizomatic campaign to improve coverage of women and the arts on Wikipedia, and to encourage female editorship. Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of its contributors identify as female. While the reasons for the gender gap are up for debate, the practical effect of this disparity is not. Content is skewed by the lack of female participation. This represents an alarming absence in an increasingly important repository of shared knowledge. We invite people of all gender identities and expressions, particularly transgender, cisgender, and gender nonconforming women, to address this absence by organizing in-person, communal updating of Wikipedia’s entries on art and feminism.”

Participants in the Wikipedia edit-a-thon will learn how to edit existing articles and/or create new pages, as well as gain an understanding of core Wikipedia fundamentals, including “neutrality, notability, and citation.” All members of the North Country community are welcome, and previous experience is not required.  Knowledgeable editors will be on hand to provide support.

Co-organized by Catherine Tedford, Director of the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery, and Leila Walker, Assistant Director of the “Crossing Boundaries” Mellon Humanities Grant, with assistance from Renee McGarry, senior instructional designer for Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Co-sponsored by St. Lawrence University’s Richard F. Brush Art Gallery, “Crossing Boundaries” Mellon Humanities Grant, Newell Center for Arts Technology, and Libraries and Information Technology. Light refreshments will be provided. Seating is limited; to register please contact Catherine at ctedford@stlawu.edu (315 229-5174) or Leila at lwalker@stlawu.edu (315 229-5486).

Additional resources:

Evans, Siân. ACRLog. Why GLAM Wiki: Wikipedia and Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums. December 15, 2015; accessed February 4, 2016.

Hamlin, Amy K. Art History Teaching Resources. Art History, Feminism, and Wikipedia. December 11, 2015; accessed February 4, 2016.

Thom, Alexandra and Saisha Grayson-Knoth. Art History Teaching Resources. Making History: Wikipedia Editing as Pedagogical and Public Intervention. March 7, 2014; accessed February 4, 2016.

SLAPS 2 at Con Artist in NYC

Students in my Street Art Graphics course at SLU made one-of-a-kind stickers to submit to the SLAPS 2 exhibition at Con Artist in NYC that just opened a few days ago. Here are some examples.

Margaret Chandler is a Global Studies major who recently spent a semester in Kathmandu working with a group of street artists.

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Sarah Churbuck, a.k.a. “Miss Phiddler,” is from Florida and has been creating different images related to the ocean, especially mermaids.

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Rebecca Clayman is the queen of D-I-Y, often spending hours making intricate one-of-a-kind handmade envelopes on found papers and boards. This sticker is similar.

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Samiya Haque has become enamored with stickers as a result of this class. Her street name is Squitch. Here is what she wrote about her submissions to the exhibition:

Three of the stickers I am sending to SLAPS 2 are all hand drawn cultural patterns or doodles closely portraying my South Asian roots. The patterns for two of the stickers are inspired by traditional “henna” designs, and the red dragon sticker is inspired by the countless Chinese artifacts that my parents collected during their diplomatic posting to China. I found that by drawing these designs on the US postal blanks, I could make a statement on how the U.S. is a melting pot of various cultures. I intend to continue drawing detailed patterns inspired by other cultures on U.S. postal blanks to eventually make a collection.

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squitch_004 copy

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Kiowere “Distant Thunder” Rourke is a Mohawk artist from the nearby Akwesasne Reservation. He wrote this about his sticker:

The sticker juxtaposes the two-row wampum (a peace treaty between the Iroquois and new settlers) of my culture with the image that defines my generation of the burning twin towers of 9/11. The sticker represents the de-culturalization of my people and other aboriginal cultures around the world and the destruction of treaties and peace in the world.”

2015_distant_thunder_002 copy

And here is the silkscreened sticker I submitted to the exhibition. With a nod to the I.W.W., I appropriated their iconic Sab Cat and also used the I Can Has Cheezburger? Internet meme to say “Stickerkitty Can Has Metadata.” The zeros and ones binary code spell out the same text. This sticker is a tribute to all the digital projects I’ve been working on lately!

2015_stickerkitty_001

 

Summer 2015 Sticker Quadrathlon!

It’s been an incredibly busy summer creating traveling exhibitions and building a new digital archive, a new Web site, and a new Street Art course. Here is the syllabus for the course.

St. Lawrence University Street Art Graphics!

AAH 3014 SYLLABUS – Fall 2015

Course Overview

In this 200-level studio course, students will work individually and in groups to create street art in the form of wheatpastes, stickers, stencils, silkscreens, and a final project that will be placed in a public venue in Potsdam or Canton. A social media component is also included to meet other street artists, see their work online, and become part of the global street art community. The course will examine concepts of character design, appropriation, memes, tropes, and culture jamming, as well as the “do-it-yourself” DIY punk ethic that is the basis of much street art. In addition, the course offers students the opportunity to conduct research and write about street art ephemera for an online digital archive available on three platforms:

The Street Art Graphics digital archive is based primarily on contemporary street art stickers and ephemera related to street culture from countries around the world, including Canada, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Indonesia, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, and the United States. Topics addressed include animal rights, consumer capitalism, the environment, football, gender and sexuality, labor, police brutality, political protests, racism, social justice, and surveillance, among others. The course will enable students to use real world examples of street art culture to understand current global issues. Incorporating critical thinking and visual/media literacies, students will learn how to annotate images, hone their writing skills, and contribute their work to a vibrant and unique digital image archive. A digital geo-mapping project at the end of the semester will further contextualize items in the archive. A new Web site for this purpose, entitled People’s History Archive, will allow students to publish mini-exhibitions about street art ephemera with timelines and maps.

Objectives

  • To learn how to create, analyze, and interpret images and situate them in global socio-historical contexts
  • To learn about different rhetorical strategies artists employ in order to communicate their various messages
  • To improve writing skills
  • To gain a better understanding of digital technologies and their real world applications
  • To contribute materials to an international digital image library of arts and sciences and scholarly Web sites

Ultimately, this course is about creativity, finding your own voice, and figuring out what you want to communicate as an artist. Craftsmanship and careful attention to detail in your work are also very important.

RodchenkoAleksandr Rodchenko, Lengiz. Books on all the branches of knowledge,

advertising poster for the Leningrad Department of Gosizdat

(State Publishing House), 1924

Methodology

Although this is a studio course, there will be a fair amount of reading and writing, which are important skills in your career as an artist. Therefore, even though we will be meeting three hours a week in person, be expected to work outside of class. You are welcome to use the gallery workspace during regular open hours (M-TH from noon to 8:00 p.m. and F/Sat from noon to 5:00 p.m.).

Attendance & Participation

Attendance is mandatory. You are allowed no more than three absences during the semester, but after that, each absence will lower your grade by .50 of your final grade. Late arrivals or early departures will be pro-rated and counted as absences. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to contact a classmate to make up any assignments. Demonstrations and presentations will not be repeated. Cell phones are not allowed in class. Please bring your journal to every class. With advance notice, some classes will meet in the Newell Center for Arts Technology.

Quality of Work

Projects should demonstrate your creativity, idea/source material/research, craftsmanship, attention to details, technical elements and mastery, experimentation, progress, effort, and evidence of time spent on the assignment. Did you go beyond approaching your project as an exercise, and thoroughly investigate your ideas? In what ways?

Evaluative factors of projects will include:

  • Development and Preparation
    • Prepared for class & ready to work
    • Sketchbook, models, or other prep work
    • Other research and development
  • Overall Craft
    • Craftsmanship, care in execution, and attention to details
    • Technique/technical skills
    • Material and process sensitivity
  • Concept and Creativity
    • Full development of initial ideas
    • Creative approach to concept, original design and content
    • Consideration and application of formal knowledge
  • Effort and Final Presentation
    • Final touches/clean-up as necessary
    • Articulation of idea/intent in critique
    • Critique skills and comments for others
    • Ready for critique on time

Grading

The final grade will be evaluated primarily from the quality of your work based on the objectives of the assignments and how successfully these objectives were accomplished. Completion of all work is essential, and attendance and participation are mandatory. While effort will be considered (attitude, progress, improvement), your final grade is based mostly on the overall quality of your work demonstrated in the final portfolio. We will discuss criteria for evaluation as a group, so that everyone is clear about grading.

Work will be discussed in critiques and individual conferences. You will be given grades for assignments in individual meetings at midterm. If you have specific concerns about your grade or would like grade feedback before this time, please schedule a meeting with me. There will also be a final critique and final meeting for feedback at or near the end of the semester.

Point System

4.0 – Phenomenal

3.5 – Excellent

3.0 – Very Good

2.5 – Significantly above average

2.0 – Adequate fulfillment of ALL requirements of class

1.5 – Less than adequate fulfillment of MOST requirements of class

1.0 – Passing but not meeting the requirements of the course

0.0 – Failure to meet the minimum requirements of the course

Note: Completely fulfilling the requirements of the course in a solid way is considered a 2.0 grade. To excel, you must demonstrate additional commitment and effort that will be evident in your work. In order to receive your final grade, you must attend an individual checkout meeting in which your work space area is proven to be cleaned and returned to its original gallery condition.

Required Publications @ SLU Bookstore or Amazon

  • Stickers: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art by D.B. Burkeman with Monica LoCascio (Cathy will hand out in class)
  • Street Art: The Graffiti Revolution by Cedar Lewisohn
  • Street Art Cookbook: A Guide to Techniques and Materials by Benke Carlsson and Hop Louie

Other readings will be handed out in class and/or posted in the course’s Sakai site. Please print them out and bring to class when I assign them. Assigned readings are mandatory. Each reading is designed to enhance your learning outside of class and give you the intellectual tools to make, critique, and discuss art. Critiques and artist statements and evaluations must reference the assigned reading. You may be required to write responses or summaries and/or be quizzed on any readings or lecture materials.

Optional Publication @ SLU Bookstore or Amazon

  • Street Art Book: 60 Artists in their own Words by Ric Blackshaw and Liz Farrelly

Additional Resources

The Owen D. Young Library is starting to build a small collection of resources related to street art. In the meantime, I have brought in several books and journals from my personal library for you to refer to. Please don’t take them from the gallery or lend them to anyone. Some of these resources would be difficult to replace.

Supplies

The gallery will provide most of the tools and equipment you will need for this course (journal binding materials, X-acto knives, cutting mats, silkscreens, ink, etc., but you should plan on buying a large sketchpad (18×24 inches) from the bookstore, as well as drawing pencils of your choice.

Getting started

The first class project involves having you create a text-based street name and a visual “brand” or avatar. The avatar can be image-based or text-based, and it is one that you will use, re-use, and refine throughout the course of the semester in your artworks and on various social media sites. You can draw or paint your avatar or use Photoshop, a Xerox machine, etc. It’s “do-it-yourself” (DIY) and totally up to you. Using these street names, you will create primary (or secondary accounts) in Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram, and/or Twitter. On Flickr and Facebook, sign up for at least five current, active groups related to street art (keywords = street art, stickers, wheatpaste, stencils, etc.). You are encouraged to join many more than five groups in order to give you a better sense of the global street art community. Go to my Facebook page to find suggestions for street artists and collectives.

Sign up for regular mailings from:

Bookmark these Web sites and spend some time with them:

Later in the semester, I will add you as student cataloguers to the Artstor Digital Library, but be sure to go in and change your password as soon as you get an email prompt from me.

Street Art Studio Projects!

During the course of the semester, we will explore and work in a variety of media related to street art and street culture, including wheatpastes, stickers, stencils, silk-screens, and zines. I am also hoping that we will collaborate as a group to create a piece of public street art in downtown Potsdam or Canton. Projects during the semester may be altered, added, or removed according to the progress of the class and as time, facilities, and supplies allow.

Do the right thing!

There will be designated areas in the Griffiths Arts Center and the Noble Center to display your work. We will also try to arrange other public display areas elsewhere on campus. It is very important that you not vandalize personal, public, or private property in relation to anything you create this semester. Doing so would jeopardize the future of the course and get us all in trouble. If you are caught vandalizing property, you will receive a 0 for the course. Chances are that if you ask, you might be able to post things in certain areas with permission. We’ll talk more about this in class.

Stickers by Starchild Stela

In May at the 2015 Montréal Anarchist Book Fair, I picked up some beautifully made stickers that carry a punch called Feminist Sailor Moon Set by Starchild Stela. I tracked down the artist recently to ask if she’d send me an artist’s statement to add to my blog. Check it out!

Artist’s Statement

I’m a queer graffiti artist who does work relating to my personal experiences. My work is aesthetically bound in the super femme realm, I like soft colors, bows and delicate details. I don’t see what I do as extremely political, but I do situate my experiences in a larger framework of interlocking systems of oppression. I love to add captions to my illustrations that reflect my on-going thoughts and conversations I have with friends. For me, art making is one of the way I chose to cope with daily micro-aggressions as a trauma survivor; it’s simply a form of self-care that works for me.

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I mostly do graffiti with spray paint, but I also have been making stickers for years. I love to put them outside on postal boxes… I used to only draw them by hand. I started to print some when people started asking to buy them – it was a period of my life where I had no income, so I tried it out. Printing stickers is great, although I still prefer to make handmade ones for the streets. But I love the process, I still hand draw the illustration that goes on the printed stickers, and still cut them myself to reduce cost.

You asked me about my sailor moon sticker set – basically, last year, I wanted to do a zine about Sailor Moon, one of my greatest inspirations as a kid. I was rediscovering it at the moment, preparing myself to watch the reboot (Sailor Moon Crystal). I did tons of drawings that fit within my queer feminist interpretation of the books (and the show). I think there are incredibly powerful, magic queer and feminist subtexts in this series. I titled my zine “Destroy Rape Culture”, and all the slogans in the zine and sticker set are related to this mission. It’s about fighting and surviving oppression the best we can by supporting each other. My Sailor Moon zine is really centered around my process of recovery and was made with survivors in mind. Some of the subjects I touch in this project are healing, reclaiming our strength and power, consent, rape culture, street harassment, friendships and talking back. It was overall a very positive experience for me to create these pieces, and I received really great feedback.

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I used some of the illustrations to create a sticker set; I love to put them outside. I also did larger paste-ups of some of my favorite illustrations. People are really receptive – I think it’s because the Sailor Moon fandom is filled with awesome, critical thinking folks, and because there is a need for artwork that reflects our experiences dealing with patriarchal oppression.

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You can find images through my Fb page (Starchild Stela), tumblr (femme-crimes) and instagram (@littlestarchild).


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