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Everyone Welcome

The adjustable crescent wrench is one of my favorite tools to have at hand. It’s also one of the first tools folks pick up when they begin working on bicycles. I worked for 3+ years at the Free Ride! community bike shop in Pittsburgh, starting as a volunteer and eventually ending up as the treasurer/financial wrangler. For years, we had a sign (that I painted) hanging over the entrance to our shop that read “Everyone Welcome”. The intention was certainly genuine – ideologically, everyone was welcome – but in practice it was always much more complicated to put those words into consistent action. There’s a lot of privilege and assumption in this phrase, and sometimes I’m embarrassed to remember how inclusive we (or I) thought we were being back then. Upon reflection years later, however, I still believe that it’s a goal worth working towards.

So, this is a print for everyone working in a community bike shop, everyone sharing their skills, everyone riding their bike, and everyone who just picked up a wrench for the first time. Most importantly, it’s for everyone who believes that challenging privilege in yourself (and your surroundings) is a long, deep process.

Printed on a press at Artists Image Resource in Pittsburgh, with the generous help of Bec Young.

 I actually cut this block back in 2008, while working the summer at the RUST youth printshop program with Heather White and Justseeds’ Mary Tremonte. I headed up a linoleum-printing workshop starring Justseeds’ Pete Railand, who taught two-color registered lino printing. I never actually finished and printed my own design but for all the other work – found in a drawer in a recent move, here it is now.

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