Featured artist: Zola (MTL)

In 2019, I happened to meet Kevin Yuen Kit Lo, a graphic designer, educator, and community organizer, who was working at the annual Montreal Anarchist Book Fair. He had a bunch of stickers for sale by him and by another artist, Zola, also from Montreal. He gave me Zola’s contact info for an interview via email, which is featured in this post. Zola is a new member of Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, and her bio from the Justseeds website is listed below: “Zola is an anarchist, queer, settler of french-canadian descent based in so-called Montréal, occupied Kanien’kehá:ka and Anishinabe territories. She…

My Father’s MLK Cassette Tapes

Several years ago, my stepmother gave me my father’s papers after he died in 2008, documenting his involvement in the US civil rights and anti-Vietnam war movements in the 1960s and ’70s. In 2019, she sent me another box, and this one included three cassette tapes. Two are marked “Martin Luther King, Washington 1967” (though the 7 in each date is crossed over with a 6). The third tape is marked “William Sloane Coffin, Carl McIntyre 2/5/66, Clergy & Laymen Concerned About Vietnam March – Washington, D.C.” This past month, I started to transcribe one of the tapes, and here…

Featured artist/collector: Morgan Jesse Lappin

I’m pretty sure that Marisa Zarczynski ’ 06 was the first student at St. Lawrence University to help me with my budding sticker research project back in the early 2000s. We reconnected again lately, and she introduced me to an artist friend of hers from Brooklyn who collects stickers, Morgan Jesse Lappin. Here is his sticker story. “My sticker collection started in the early 80s in Rockland County, NY. My mother would take me to the supermarket, and I’d get a bunch of random stickers and the newest MAD Magazine. One day my mother gave me an empty photo album…

Adding images of I.W.W. ”stickerettes” to Wikipedia pages

Today is Wikipedia’s 20th anniversary, so it’s a good time to share some of my recent Wikipedia activities. For the past couple of years, I’ve been adding images of I.W.W. “stickerettes” to various Wikipedia pages. The stickerettes, which were published before 1925, are in the public domain, so copyright is not an issue. 23 Feb 2019 – added two digital image files of Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) stickerettes or “silent agitators” to Silent agitators. 1 Jan 2020 – added images file of stickerettes to Anarchist symbolism (black cat), Strikebreaker (“scabs”), and Sabotage (French sabot). 10 Jan 2020 –…

“Takin’ it to the Street and Stickin’ it to the Man: Cultural and Political Resistance in Contemporary Sticker Art” – Part I

[Note: This blog post is based on the first national paper I gave on street art stickers for the annual College Art Association conference in February 2008 as part of a panel on “The Vernacular Print in Contemporary Art” chaired by Beauvais Lyons. I have updated some of the links and images to reflect more current resources.] In this paper, I examine contemporary sticker art as a form of cultural and political resistance, using primary examples collected since 2003 from the United States, Germany, and Canada. In the first half of the paper, I provide an overview of the “how,…

Confirmed date for early I.W.W. “stickerettes”

Some time ago, I learned about I.W.W. “stickerettes” that are in the University of Arizona’s Special Collections as part of the Bisbee Deportation Legal Papers and Exhibits AZ 114. I had taken screen shots of them to do additional research, but the website they were found on is now no longer active. What is useful, however, is that I can now identify the original 15 designs that were the earliest I.W.W political stickers in the United States (women’s suffrage stickers and stamps were also produced at this time). I’m pretty sure I.W.W leader and commercial artist Ralph Chaplin designed most…

The Government Has Blood on Its Hands

An article in The Washington Post this past week entitled A Death Every 30 Seconds revealed this sobering statistic regarding the COVID-19 crisis, which is currently at its highest rate of infection in the United States since the pandemic began. The article states that “every time you listen to Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas,’ about five people have died of the virus between the beginning and the end of the song…. On Sept. 12, the number of new cases began to increase, rising from about 34,000 new cases a day to, at this point, more than 219,000. The number of deaths…

“Slap Me Baby” interview

Folks from the Slap Me Baby sticker collective in Switzerland contacted me in the spring of 2020 to submit an essay on I.W.W. “stickerettes” and to respond to some interview questions for their next zine. They also sent me some great artists’ and political stickers, which are in the queue to be scanned and catalogued into the Street Art Graphics digital archive. Zine #3 can be purchased on the Slap Me Baby website here. I read the interview again today and decided to publish it on Stickerkitty, too. Can you describe in short words how your interest in stickers began…

Female artists featured in “Street Art Graphics” digital archive

In 2017, after receiving a faculty research grant from the German Academic Exchange Service to continue cataloguing stickers for the Street Art Graphics digital archive, I spent four weeks in Berlin collecting political stickers and learning about the issues they communicated. My collaborator, Oliver Baudach, founder and director of the Hatch Kingdom Sticker Museum, also identified 954 original, unused stickers from his collection of street art stickers for me to scan while I was there, of which 322 were done by female artists. In 2019, with a second grant from the U.S. Council of Independent Colleges’ Consortium on Digital Resources…