As part of their monthly “Artists in the Library” series, the folks at the Braddock branch of the Carnegie Library in southwest Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh) have put up the Celebrate People’s History/Iraq Veterans Against the War Ten Years of Fighting for Peace and Justice portfolio! It’s on exhibit through the month of March, and can be seen during normal library hours (posted here).
I went to the small opening event Tuesday night, a discussion with Braddock community members and IVAW member Kevin Basl (also a member of both Combat Paper and Warrior Writers). As we sat in a circle in the library, Kevin lead a tough but engaging discussion about how militarism is genuinely a part of all of our lives. We each opened up about friends and family who have served in the US military, and how this effects both the people we love and ourselves.
Walking around the library afterwards, what really struck me was the way in which the portfolio was integrated directly with the library as a facility for daily community use. These prints aren’t given a clean white gallery cube to float within — rather they hang above the community bulletin boards, along the public-use computer area, and throughout the functioning library space. It gives a very down-to-earth voice to the celebrations of resistance found in these prints, and lets the whole project function less as Art (with a capital A) and more as an easily-accessible form of media, voices which can be related to as part of our daily lives.
Maybe you’re part of a library or other community-driven space that would benefit from exhibiting a Justseeds portfolio? Get in touch! We have exhibition copies of all of our portfolios that we lend for events just like this one in Braddock! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more!