I am 72 years old. My father forbade me to major in art when I was 17, so I taught JHS English and did community social work. At 65, I matriculated at Brooklyn College for a BFA in art. I studied everything - sculpture, drawing, painting, printmaking, digital art, photography, and art history. The thread that ran through all my work was that I portrayed the struggling people with whom I’d worked. I won fellowships and grants to research and publish books of political/ social text-and-art, produced cheaply and in multiple copies, all, essentially, community art projects.
I am thus a community artist, following decades of such artists who have come before me. We make art whose message is for the good of the citizenry, which is accessible to them, and which is often made with their participation. My artwork follows in the footsteps of the WPA artists of the US Depression Era, the Mexican Taller de Gráfica muralists and printers, and the poster- makers of the Spanish Republic.
My community art projects involve gathering the artwork and stories of my peers and of NYC’s poor people in posters and booklets that are distributed free all over the city. They include Tax Posters marketing a tax credit for poor people, Food Money Shelter: NYC Resources, an illustrated book of information on NYC’s government services for that population,
The Wall, a performance piece spoofing the Mexican wall proposed by President Trump, How We Got Here, Streetcorners & Foodbanks, UK & US, with my own artwork and quotes from food charity workers and customers, NYC: Struggles and Survival Strategies, a narrative illustrated with my prints, about struggling New Yorkers. Covid-19, NYC: Resources & Reflections, 5,000 copies of this illustrated resource guide to this era, printed and distributed in NYC, Fall 2020
The mannequin project fits perfectly within my artistic genre, i.e., an absolutely perfect community art project.