Raise Your Voice

This project spanned over two years from the first run of prints to the installation of the work. A quarantine on one end bracketed by a hurricane on the other, notwithstanding, the opening talk with Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. was well attended at IPC Art Space, hosted by Carl Juste. Our gallery opening two days later presented by Marie Vickles, Little Haiti Cultural Center exhibition curator also brought out print lovers, friends, family, and those who were willing to brave the weather.

Truly this project brought everyone together: From volunteer installers, community sourced quotes and aphorisms, professors and students and translators. Each group of community members finally arriving to ruminate upon the words floating on top of thousands of prints on chip board. The layers beneath that letterpress printed wood type black revealed the evolution of a simple community project to a documentation a world that locked down and changed forever.

In the beginning the King owned the press.

He used the people to spread his law through

printing and proclamations. Before long, the people

got their hands on those presses…

Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.

December 2019
Raise Your Voice morphed through at least
three grant proposals before it was finally funded by an Oolite
Arts Ellies Creator Award in 2019. Essentially it was a project
that allowed me to print 2500 prints and give them away
to new friends in Little Haiti. It almost worked, just like that.

January-February 2020
 I printed a few hundred postcards and
distributed them around the neighborhood, to friends, artists,
students, and neighbors. People were asked to fill the postcards
out with a favorite quote, aphorism, or saying (or something
like that), and bring them/send them to Extra Virgin Press.
Ultimately over seventy sayings were gathered and printed.
The printing started in earnest when a pallet of chip board was
delivered to Beach High. 2500 sheets is a lot of paper, it took a
few trips just to bring it to the shop and stack it up. The first layers
on each sheet filled up with shapes, numbers, pictures and letters
that began to tell the story about my neighborhood. I even had
helpers for two weeks almost every afternoon, Max and Bailey.

March 2020
The first of four or five layers on each print,
were generic references to neighborhoods around the shop, and
where I live… Zip codes, area codes, names of cities, names of
neighborhoods, Liberty City, Overtown, Little Haiti, Lemon
City, Opa Locka, West Grove, Brownsville, Carol City, Model
City, 313, 786, 305, 33125, 33147, 33136, 33127, 33137, 33054,
33133, 33142, 33055, 33150, languages too, Spanish, Haitian
Creole, English, French, plus Big Foot, circles, squares, triangles,
wood grain, cartoon characters, family roles, Mom, Grandma,
Abuela, Tia, Manman, native plants, words that filled up
the space on the bottom layers, and identified the glue that held
the neighborhood together. Go, go, go. Super,
super, super, got printed on the run up to the
Super Bowl. The Statue of Liberty showed
up. A lot of sheets and a lot of under-story…

Summer 2016
Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. This
story would never be complete without Amos.
I met Amos on the recommendation of Lynne
Avadenka of Signal Return, who gave me his
phone number and address, which was a short
drive from her shop. Having driven from Miami
to Detroit already, that seemed to be reasonable.
I knew his work from John Cutrone
Director of the Jaffe Center for Book Arts
in Boca Raton who had shown a number of
his prints. Amos welcomed me to his studio,
gave me a brief history of printing, along with:
Posters, ink, and a long list of vendors, museums,
and presses that would enhance my education
in printing. That generous stream of information
became a river of support that runs
between us and many other printers to this day.

Summer 2017
Since I was going to be in
Minnesota for a residency, and Amos was
printing at Minnesota Center for Book Arts
in July, I volunteered to give him a hand.
Amos walked me to a small room in the basement,
to a pallet of chip board four feet tall,
holding 6500 sheets. He and I, (and over a
dozen Minnesota printers I had met during
several earlier trips), filled a room of tables,
three tables wide, a couple feet high. Those
posters ultimately wallpapered the inside
of MCBA, floor to ceiling for their MCBA
Book Biennial. Amos was the keynote speaker.

March 2020
As Amos Kennedy
prepared to give a talk at Little Haiti
Cultural Center, Covid 19 shut down
schools, institutions, and flights. Layers
of type in the prints that I printed ultimately
recorded events and voices out of
that time in our world. I printed alone
in my studio until June 2020. Raise
Your Voice has lived in several boxes
at Extra Virgin Press since that time.

September 2022
Little Haiti Cultural Center will exhibit Raise Your
Voice. Printers print.

Creative Vizcaya

Vizcaya

MDCPS High School students. Using technology that was in use when Vizcaya was built in 1916, we will finish this big pile of prints and send them out with students. Look for more next week when we post Vizcaya photos from the event.

ArtistsStand4 UKRAINE

Extra Virgin Press is participating in ArtistsStand4 UKRAINE.

This fundraiser, organized by Julie Davidow, will be raising money for Ukraine during the Fountainhead Artists Open. Tom Virgin has three hand colored, letterpress prints featuring South Florida on the fundraiser’s website. The fundraiser runs through June 30th, 2022.

https://www.artistsstand4.org/

https://www.artistsstand4.org/shop/p/tom-virgin

ArtistsStand4 is pleased to present South Florida Artists for Ukraine featuring over 60 artworks donated for sale to benefit Global Empowerment Mission (GEM), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to global disaster relief. All donated works will be available to view in person one day only on Saturday, May 21,2022 from 11am-6pm during Artists Open, the annual county wide event presented by Fountainhead Arts and Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. The sale of donated works will continue through June 30,2022 on the ArtistsStand4 website and social media platforms. All proceeds of this sale will go directly to GEM’s Ukraine Mission.

Fountainhead’s 3rd Annual Artist Open

Fountainhead Artists Open has provided the structure to invite Miami into their artists’ studios one again in 2022. The event will be across the county, and include Extra Virgin Press and neighboring Exile Books.

Saturday, May 21, 2022 from 11AM to 6PM.
Visit our studios at 5900 NW 2nd Avenue. We will be open all day. Look for the pink banners on the gate outside the lot.

https://www.fountainheadarts.org/artistsopen

https://artistsopen.miami/about

https://artistsopen.miami/tom-virgin?rq=Tom%20Virgin

Fountainhead Artists Open

Join me in my studio on Saturday, May 21 as I open to the public for Artists Open. Explore my studio and learn more about my work from 11am to 6pm. As the only open studios event of its kind in Miami Dade County, don’t miss out of this opportunity to intimately engage with the artists you most admire! You can register for the event, explore the interactive guide, and get directions to my studio at www.artistsopen.miami. 

WILD/Life – Guild of Book Workers Exhibition

Tom Virgin is thrilled to be participating in the exhibition. From the press release:

This exhibition features approximately 50 works by members of the Guild of Book Workers, an book artists organization that promotes interest in and awareness of the tradition of the book and paper arts by maintaining high standards of workmanship, hosting educational opportunities, and sponsoring exhibits. Members were invited to interpret the theme of “wildlife” in any way they wish, be it literal or abstract, humorous or serious. In a biological sense, wildlife describes the myriad of creatures sharing this planet, interacting and adapting, all connected to each other and their environment. “Wild” also describes an untamable essence that survives despite the constraints of society and culture. As craftspeople, knowledge of materials and keen observation of how they behave (and often how they refuse to comply) is an integral part of the practice of book making, and a reminder of how traditional bookbinding materials originate in nature.

https://guildofbookworkers.org/content/wildlife

Q42P, 2021

A Questionnaire for Two Pussies, 2021. Written by Denise Duhamel & Maureen Seaton. Drawing, painting, and design by Mary Malm. Design, drawing, printing, and binding by Tom Virgin. This book records a feminist conversation between Duhamel and Seaton, regular collaborators, in both verse and prose.

Printed on French Paper’s Poptone Bubble-gum, with a cover that white stained, maple veneer, laser cut, and attached to the book block hand sewn tackets. The book is bound with a kettle stitch using waxed linen thread, Okawara, and pink bias tape. All pages are hand printed on a 1949 Vandercook 4 Proof Press using Avenir Bold and Book fonts, wood type, polymer plates, and linoleum blocks.

Q42P is 9.5 in x 6. 25 in x .5 in. 25 pages.