A People's Art History of the United States excerpt: Combat Paper Project

Posted October 31, 2014 by nicolas_lampert in Art & Politics | Comments (0)

Another excerpt from A People's Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements that was published by The New Press last November. This except focuses on the Combat Paper Project - a group that Justseeds has some personal history with. In 2013 Justseeds collaborated with Drew Cameron during the Southern Graphics conference in Milwaukee where Drew and Robert from Black Hawk Paper set up shop for a week and created a new body of work. This past week, Drew Matott and Margaret Mahan have been at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee doing workshops in the Printmaking Department. Drew was a co-founder of Combat Paper and now he and Margaret co-run Peace Paper. It is great to see both Combat Paper and Peace Paper doing such important work in workshops across the country and the world.

PAH excerpt:

From Uniform to Pulp, Battlefield to Workshop, Warrior to Artist

“We all have the ability to do something. We can push back.” —Drew Cameron

Creative resistance as personal and political action is also at the center of the Combat Paper Project by IVAW member Drew Cameron and artist Drew Matott. Cameron was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and served in the 75th artillery. In 2007, three years removed from active duty, Cameron put on his uniform outside his home in Burlington, Vermont, and asked a friend to take photographs of him cutting it off with a pair of scissors. He recalls, “My heart started beating fast. It felt both wrong and liberating. I started ripping it off. The purpose was to make a complete transformation.” His action provided the impetus for the Combat Paper Project. Cameron teamed up with Matott at the Green Door Studio in Burlington and learned the art of papermaking, and then they shared this process with the veteran community.

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Article on the People's Climate March 30-City Wheatpasting Action: Upper Peninsula Report Back

Posted October 29, 2014 by nicolas_lampert in Art & Politics | Comments (0)


Readers of the Justseeds blog likely recall the 30-city wheatpasting campaign of images that were put up in August and September to promote the People's Climate March in NYC and climate crisis issues in general. One of the stellar hosts was Lisa Johnson who is currently teaching in Houghton/Hancock region of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. She made the project truly collaborative and engaged students to make the project their own and to find unique places to situate the work. Here is an article by Michele Bourdieu about their work in the U.P.


Posted October 29, 2014 by shaun in DIYDPW | Comments (0)


Burgettstown, PA, USA - story here. (Thanks, Becca!)

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But what does it have to do with Art?

Posted October 28, 2014 by pete in Street Art & Graffiti | Comments (0)

Friends of the Orphan Signs from Michael Lopez on Vimeo.

I recently came across this video made by Michael Lopez, a collaborator with Friends of the Orphan Signs in Albuquerque.

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New Impeach Freights/Graf 18

Posted October 28, 2014 by jmacphee in Street Art & Graffiti | Comments (0)

I recently got sent a nice cache of new photos from middle America's graffiti troubadour, IMPEACH. I'll be posting a new photo each Tuesday morning for awhile, enjoy!


JBbTC 198: stage1

Posted October 27, 2014 by jmacphee in Judging Books by Their Covers | Comments (0)

Pesquet_SovietsAtSaclay_stage1.jpgIn honor of my upcoming trip to London, I thought I'd do a feature on a little known lefty publisher from the UK. For awhile now I've been running into some handsomely designed lefty books from England in the 1970s. It took picking up a couple to make the connection that they were all put out by by stage 1, a small London-based publisher which apparently ran for about a decade from the late 1960s until 1979 (the lowercase name appears to be intentional). In this internet age it often feels that information about just about anything is always at our fingertips, but stage 1 is a ghost online. I can find almost nothing about them. Politically they appear to fellow travelers of US independent socialist publishers Monthly Review. Like MR, their catalog is heavy with both Third World revolution and dense political economy. Rather than being particularly Trotskyist, Maoist, or Stalinist, they seem more ecumenical. They also have similarities to two other UK leftist publishers, Pluto and Zed, but appear to pre-date both.

While their design aesthetic is in someways as ecumenical as their politics, the core of their output does follow a simple convention, which is wrap-around covers which are largely graphic or photographic, with all of the titling bound within a small square box which sits top center on both the front and back. The Pesquet cover to the right is one of my favorites, with the May 68 factory repeated over and over to create wallpaper, nicely broken up by the boxed titling convention. One of the nice things about this format is that their are no limitations on font usage, so this cover features an ultra-thin Helvetica in all capitals, while other covers use wildly different type faces.

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New Global Uprisings film- After Gezi: Erdoğan And Political Struggle In Turkey

Posted October 24, 2014 by k_c_ in Film & Video | Comments (0)

The latest Global Uprisings film chronicles a year of resistance and repression in Turkey in the wake of last year's Gezi uprising. It looks at the continuing protests against urban redevelopment projects, police repression, and the increasingly authoritarian rule of President Erdoğan, as well as the Kurdish struggle for democratic autonomy.

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A People's Art History of the United States excerpt: The IWW and the Paterson Pageant

Posted October 24, 2014 by nicolas_lampert in Art & Politics | Comments (0)

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, photo courtesy of the Joseph A. Labadie Collection, University of Michigan

Here is another excerpt from A People's Art History of the United States. This excerpt starts at the beginning of the chapter and discusses the Paterson Pageant in 1913 and the alliance of IWW strike organizers, silk workers, and Greenwich Village avant-garde artists.

Blurring the Boundaries Between Art and Life

On June 7, 1913, an event occurred that completely blurred the boundaries between performance and protest. Journalist and poet John Reed led a procession of more than a thousand striking workers through the streets of Paterson, New Jersey, to board a special thirteen-car train destined for New York City. When they arrived in the city, they gathered for a rally at Union Square, followed by a march up Fifth Avenue toward Madison Square Garden, while the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) band played “La Marseillaise” and “The Internationale.” On top of Madison Square Garden’s tower, the IWW initials glowed in red lights. Inside, the venue was transformed into a Wobbly hall, with red IWW banners, sashes, and ribbons throughout the building.

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Posted October 22, 2014 by shaun in DIYDPW | Comments (0)


Pittsburgh, PA, USA These are known as "sharrows", a type of lane-sharing marking that cities often use on streets where bike lanes won't fit (or for other mysterious municipal reasons). Usually sans rider, or featuring a male-gendered icon riding, local folks put a woman on these bikes!

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Traps, Flows, Echoes prep

Posted October 21, 2014 by roger_peet in Justseeds Member Projects | Comments (0)

I’m deep in preparation for my upcoming solo show at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland. The show is called “Traps, Flows, Echoes” and it opens Nov 6th, running until Nov 28th. There’s an opening reception Thursday Nov. 6 in Gallery 214 in the PNCA main campus, 1241 NW Johnson St. in Portland. Here’s the text I wrote for the flyer-

Portland artist Roger Peet will open a show of new installation, video and print work in Gallery 214 at PNCA on the 6th November. The show, entitled “Traps, Flows, Echoes” focuses on the idea of the trap, in both the physical and cultural realms. Much of the show will focus on Peet’s relationship to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he has worked for several seasons to promote community conservation through art. Some of the work addresses Peet’s complex relationship with his father, who faked his death to go AWOL from the British Air Force and to fly helicopters for the CIA’s interventions in Congo in the 1960’s, an event which Peet recreates in a video collaboration with Portland director Jodi Darby. In his travels and work in Congo, Peet experienced first hand the disastrous consequences of the history his father had helped to shape, and this show will contain vivid and evocative print, installation, and sound pieces that evoke the trauma and brutality of that trap of history, as well as the ways that he and the friends that he made in Congo are trying to get out of it. The work also features sound collages and poetry by Portland MC Mic Crenshaw.

For more information about my work in Congo, see this blog. You can read interviews and an article about that work here on Mongabay, and here at the Oregonian.

38th Annual Raza Day at UC Berkeley

Posted October 21, 2014 by Melanie_Cervantes in Events | Comments (0)


This year marks the 38th annual Raza Day at UC Berkeley. It is a day of workshops and activities intended to encourage middle school, high school and community college students to pursue higher education.

I will be speaking at this year's event at 9:30 am on Nov 1st in Wheeler Hall.

It is free and open to the public so bring your kids, nieces, nephews, neighbors etc.

This is the poster I designed that will be give out to all the youth in attendance.

People's Art History of the US book review from Cultural Organizing.org

Posted October 20, 2014 by nicolas_lampert in Books & Zines | Comments (0)

culturalorganizing.org recently posted a review of my book A People's Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements. Here is the full text:

Review: A People’s Art History of the United States
Posted on October 18, 2014

By Nicolas Lampert
New York: The New Press, 2013. 345 pp. $35.00 (hardcover).

The newest in a long line of people’s histories inspired by the work of Howard Zinn, A People’s Art History of the United States by Nicolas Lampert uncovers the many ways that the visual arts have served as a space for political action and resistance throughout US history. With hundreds of images of political art from across the past five centuries, this book makes a compelling argument that art and politics — often seen as separate realms — have always been intimately and inextricably intertwined.

Despite the cover image, which brings to mind a framed work of art, this is not a story about political paintings hanging in museums. Instead, it is a story about how popular and public forms of art — from posters and photographs to cartoons and statues — have always been a part of civic and political life. When professional gallery artists do show up, they are likely to be organizing a union or protesting against the gallery system.

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JBbTC 197: New Century Publishers pt.3

Posted October 20, 2014 by jmacphee in Judging Books by Their Covers | Comments (0)

Aptheker_JohnBrown_NCP60.jpgBack in 2011 I published a couple posts looking at the covers of New Century Publishers, a Communist Party-run press that published from the 1940s into the 1960s, and appears to have been the progenitor of the more recent and still existent New World Paperbacks. While much of their output is standard Stalinist muck, there are some gems in the pile (check out my earlier looks at NCP HERE and HERE). The well-known labor historian Herbert Aptheker wrote a number of pamphlets for the press, I've found three of them. The nicest cover is on John Brown: American Martyr, a pamphlet published on the hundredth anniversary of John Brown's death. The unattributed image is taken from the cover of a 1959 edition of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, which in turn was based on an 1859 daguerreotype attributed to Martin M. Lawrence. The designer smartly uses red, white, and blue, as well as a border of small stars, to conjure the American flag, and thus paint Brown as both a patriot and deeply American. This publication is from 1960, showing just how long the Communist Party-USA kept promoting the idea that Communism and the Left were fundamentally centrist and patriotic positions.

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Support Monkeywrench Books in Austin!

Posted October 17, 2014 by k_c_ in Inspiration | Comments (0)

Our comrades at Monkeywrench Books in Austin, Texas have been operating for 12 years and they're looking to renovate their space. Help spread their Indiegogo campaign and kick down some dough for a great radical bookstore!

Indiegogo campaign

Support an all-volunteer collectively-run radical bookstore in Austin!

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Prints Gone Wild 2014

Posted October 16, 2014 by k_c_ in Events | Comments (0)

Justseeds will be participating in this years Prints Gone Wild! in Brooklyn!

Mark your calendars.

New Book on Chicago Community Organizing

Posted October 15, 2014 by jmacphee in Books & Zines | Comments (0)

Billy Keniston (aka Taylor Sparrow), who wrote the introduction to Justseeds' Firebrands book, has a new writing/editing project in the works about radical community organizing in Chicago in the 1970s. Like everything Billy writes, it'll be good, and he needs support now to make it happen. Click the link, check out the video, and pre-order a book!


Posted October 15, 2014 by shaun in DIYDPW | Comments (0)


Campbell Hall, NY (Thanks to Kevin, who says this sign was "Installed on a newly tar and chipped road upstate. Super dangerous conditions for motorcycle riding, I was thankful someone put a sign up.")

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New! W.A.G.E. Certification Program: Guidelines and Standards for Artistic Labor

Posted October 14, 2014 by shaun in In the News | Comments (0)

W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) is proud to announce the launch of W.A.G.E. Certification, a paradigm-shifting model for the remuneration of artistic labor.

Initiated and operated by W.A.G.E., Certification is a program that publicly recognizes non-profit arts organizations that demonstrate a history of, and commitment to, voluntarily paying artist fees—it is also the first of its kind in the U.S. that establishes a sector-wide minimum standard for compensation, as well as a clear set of guidelines and standards for the conditions under which artistic labor is contracted.

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Art Opening: SUBSTRATE: Printed Matter from the Rust Belt

Posted October 13, 2014 by meredith_stern in Art & Politics | Comments (0)


Check out the event on their website here.

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Free Essays in Celebration of Indigenous Peoples' Day

Posted October 13, 2014 by dylanminer in Art & Politics | Comments (0)


As many followers of Justseeds know, today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day. In the United States, today is a federally-recognized, national holiday known as Columbus Day. In much of Latin America, today is celebrated from a slightly different perspective and called Día de la Raza. While the latter is less problematic than celebrating the violence of Columbus and settler-colonial regimes put in place by those who came in his wake, Día de la Raza is also linked to colonial logics of de-indigenization and, particularly, the anti-Indian logic of people like José Vasconcelos, who in 1925 published La Raza Cósmica.

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JBbTC 196: Ghana Publishing House

Posted October 13, 2014 by jmacphee in Judging Books by Their Covers | Comments (0)

Johnevi_ValleyOfTheDead_GPH.jpgFor the past decade I've slowly been collecting all kinds of paperbacks published about and within Africa. Last year at the Haunted Bookshop in Iowa City I ran across a selection of books by a small publisher in Tema (just east of Accra), Ghana—Ghana Publishing House (GPH). GPH barely exists online, there is almost no information about them, but I suspect they were founded in the 1960s, post-Independence, like many similar sub-Saharan publishing projects such as East African Publishing House in Nairobi, Mbari in Ibadan, or Tanzania Publishing House in Dar es Salaam. Like much of the output of African publishers, part of what attracts me to these books is how much they do with limited means. The covers are rarely full color, but complex constructions in duotone or tritone; the registration is often done by hand, and thus imperfect; the type is limited by creatively deployed; and photographs are rare, with unique illustrations far more common. All these things add up to unique, strange, and powerful covers.

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Rafael Moreno on Indigenous People's Day

Posted October 9, 2014 by Melanie_Cervantes in Art & Politics | Comments (0)


From Left to Right: Winona Laduke [Anishnaabe], Wicahpiluta Candelaria [Rumsen Ohlone], and Comandante Ramona [Tzotzil Maya]. Art by Rafael Moreno.

I am really pleased to share some beautiful pieces made by my friend Rafael Moreno. He has been screen printing for several years now and it is wonderful to see his cultural projects blossoming. Indigenous People's Day (NOT columbus day) is next week and he has some wonderful suggestions for thoughful ways to spend the day.

"Columbus day is coming up soon, a day where folks honor the “discovery” of the Americas. However, I choose not honor this holiday in the name of a man who brought forth genocide, rape, colonization, displacement etc; this list can keep getting bigger. As oppose to viewing the history of Indigenous people solely through hardships and heartaches, I like to view these histories through resistance. Indigenous peoples have always resisted, and through resilience they have won tremendous victories to continue to claim lands and traditions which belong to them." Read more here: http://rafaelmorenosf.com/2014/10/07/indigenous-peoples-day/

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TONIGHT! “Prison is a form of violence against women.”

Posted October 9, 2014 by jmacphee in Events | Comments (0)

joanlittle_we-will-defend-ourselves-against-sexual-violence-817-1975_fr16-312x460.jpg“Prison is a form of violence against women.”
Thursday, October 9
CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Ave., NYC

Part of Self-Determination Inside/Out, Interference Archive and the CUNYGC Center for the Study of Women and Society present “Prison is a form of violence against women.”, a video program and discussion about the motivations for and processes of organizing against prisons as gender violence. With Victoria Law, Cecily McMillan, Amy Meacham, and Sharon Richardson.

[image from a rally to free Joan Little, 1978 via At the Dark End of the Street photo gallery: http://atthedarkendofthestreet.com/photo-gallery/joan-little-gallery/]

Penny Smasher: Phase One

Posted October 8, 2014 by shaun in Justseeds Member Projects | Comments (0)


This fall, I've been working with long time cohort Stuart O. Anderson to develop a customized souvenir penny smashing machine (also known as a penny crusher, penny press, or "elongator"). It's invigorating to finally see this project develop into something tangible, as we've had many fits and starts since originally developing the concept back in 2008. Back then, Josh encouraged me that we should really make this penny press soon, "before someone else does it and theirs sucks"...

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Point and Shoot at Milwaukee Film Festival

Posted October 7, 2014 by colin_matthes in Events | Comments (0)

Check out Point and Shoot at the Milwaukee Film Festival tonight and Thursday. It is an enthralling story of one young American’s grappling with notions of masculinity and self-definition that happens to take place amidst one of the most tumultuous time periods in the modern history of the Middle East. More info here


JBbTC 195: ESP

Posted October 6, 2014 by jmacphee in Judging Books by Their Covers | Comments (0)

Smith_ESP_Pyramid.jpgA brief break from the longer entries, I wanted to share this amazing cover from Susy Smith's ESP (Pyramid Books, 1962). I can mostly let it speak for itself, but there is just something so infinitely creepy about the single eye through the hair on the back of the head of a crudely drawn naked woman, as if we are supposed to be allured in by the sexiness and then shocked by the eye. Blech. I love this cover because it must have been so weird and fun to design (by T. H. Chibbaro, by the way). Enjoy!

Book: In Our Power

Posted September 30, 2014 by Melanie_Cervantes in Books & Zines | Comments (0)

I recently completed the art and cover design for an exciting new book by Nora Barrows-Friedman on the U.S. student movement for Palestine Solidarity including the rich history of Palestinian-American activism for justice and equality for nearly a century in this country.

In the years following Israel’s 2008–9 “Operation Cast Lead” assault on the Palestinians of Gaza, a new kind of student movement emerged on US campuses, in support of the idea that Palestinians should gain the full exercise of their human and political rights within their historic homeland. This new movement of students for justice in Palestine has helped to put “BDS,” the worldwide campaign supporting the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israel until it abides by international law, firmly onto the national map.

In 2013 and early 2014, journalist Nora Barrows-Friedman crisscrossed the United States interviewing the young activists who form the core of this movement, and their voices ring out strongly from every page of her new book. In Our Power reveals the rich political legacy these students are building. This new student movement in support of Palestinian rights faces many challenges from on and off-campus opponents. But the strength and intelligence of the voices revealed in the pages of In Our Power show us that truth, justice, and “people power” are capable of withstanding such attacks and continuing forward to victory.

Pre-order the book here http://justworldbooks.com/in-our-power/

JBbTC 194: Ramparts Press

Posted September 29, 2014 by jmacphee in Judging Books by Their Covers | Comments (0)

Heins_StrictlyGhetto_Ramparts.jpgI'm going to try to be a little less complete-ist than I've been in the past, hopefully making these posts a bit easier to compile. To that end, this is hardly the complete output of Ramparts Press, but a dozen covers I've found over the years. They published at least double this amount, likely even more. While a fair amount of information about the Ramparts magazine is available (see HERE), I've found very little about the book publishing wing, and I have little knowledge about who the editors were, who decided on design, etc, etc.

Before I was noticing publishers much, I stumbled upon a copy of Majorie Heins' Strictly Ghetto Property, which is a great, and possibly the only, history of Los Siete de la Raza. Los Siete were a group of seven Chicano youth, mostly activist college students, framed for the shooting of a police officer in San Francisco. As far as I can tell, the book has long been out of print, and although you can find copies online, the only one I've ever seen in a used bookstore is the one I bought a decade ago in SF (at Dog Eared I believe, back when they were cheap!). I've always loved the cover, designed by someone using the pseudonym MEAT (!), which falls right into the visual trajectory of Chicano printmaking. I have no idea who MEAT is, but the graphic could sit comfortably next to early work by Rubert Garcia, Malaquias Montoya, Juan Fuentes, or any of the Bay Area printmakers of that era.

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Reflections of Healing

Posted September 28, 2014 by Melanie_Cervantes

Join me at the Oakland Museum of California for the public unveiling of Reflections of Healing, a large-scale art installation created by artist and educator Brett Cook with participation from the community. The installation, which will be visible from across Lake Merritt, features portraits of notable Oakland healers, who through practice or legacy demonstrate healing in their work. I am honored to be one of the people selected whose teen portrait will be included in this project. Join the celebration on 12th Street/Lake Merritt Boulevard in the parklet between the Museum and the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, and enjoy food trucks, music, wellness activities, art making, and more during Friday Nights @ OMCA. The celebration is Free to the public.

Why Do We Protest?

Posted September 27, 2014 by roger_peet in Inspiration | Comments (0)


I wrote this article for Bitch Magazine in the leadup to the recent People's Climate March, thinking about futility and frustration and the reasons we do the work we do.

If I were making a list of things that felt absolutely futile to protest, I'd put climate change at the top. And if I were making a list of organizations that have failed in their efforts to get the world to care about climate change, I'd put the UN near the top, too.
But this weekend, I’ll be part of the People's Climate March, America’s largest ever climate-related protest. The gigantic rally on Sunday rally in New York City is targeting the international bigwigs in town for the UN's Climate Summit. I’ve spent the week in a warehouse in Brooklyn, along with many, many other people, making arty props and propaganda for the event. Sometimes, this work doesn't seem to make much sense.

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Pittsburgh: Zine Fair Sunday!

Posted September 26, 2014 by bec_young in Events | Comments (0)


We'll be there! More information here...

Ferguson: Chronicle of an Insurrection from SubMedia

Posted September 24, 2014 by k_c_ in Film & Video | Comments (0)

An in depth look at the events that unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri following the police murder of Michael Brown, a black teenager. Also features an exclusive interview with former Black Panther, Ashanti Alston, about the state of black “America”, abolishing penile power and taking care of your peeps in the muthafuckin resistance.

JBbTC 193: Scanlan's

Posted September 22, 2014 by jmacphee in Judging Books by Their Covers | Comments (0)

scanlans1.jpgScanlan's Monthly was a New Left political/counter-cultural magazine that ran for eight issues and less than a year, March 1970 to January 1971. It was co-founded and co-edited by Warren Hinckle III and Sidney Zion. Hinckle had been an editor at Ramparts, an extremely influential New Left monthly that grew out of the Catholic left in the early 60s, and went on to become the Time or Newsweek of the 60s and 70s social movements. I'll be discussing Ramparts more next week, when I start looking at the covers for their publishing imprint.

Like Ramparts, Scanlan's was intended to be a relatively slick and cleanly designed magazine, as opposed to the much scrappier underground press that was dominant at the time. There is not a lot of info online, and the old issues are difficult to track down at any affordable price. The focus was on muck-raking journalism rather than the music and drugs that were at the core of many other publications. Supposedly the title comes from a pig farmer, and Scanlan's was one of the first places to publish Hunter S. Thompson's more "gonzo" stories.

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Howard Zinn Bookfair

Posted September 21, 2014 by Melanie_Cervantes in Events | Comments (0)


I recently completed the poster to promote the first ever Howard Zinn Bookfair that will be held at San Francisco’s Mission High School on November 15th 2014. It is a celebration of the books that make us rethink our roles in the world and connect people with hidden histories...

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Posters for Gaza

Posted September 19, 2014 by jmacphee in Posters & Prints | Comments (0)

MacPhee_HumanitePage.jpgA number of venues have been collecting the posters and graphics produced in solidarity with Gaza over the past couple months, and I thought it would be cool to share some of the links. All of these include posters created by Justseeds artists and friends:

The French newspaper l'Humanité has been publishing them in the paper, and collecting them online HERE.

Print Magazine published a collection online HERE.

Handala Has a Posse is a more DIY affair, a great tumblr of Gaza images, HERE.

(the image to the right is my poster "Toward Freedom" published in l'Humanité)

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