We Belong Together

During Fall 2020, Fine Arts faculty member, Sonia Almeida, and students in Sonia's class, FA27b Artist Book and Editions put out an open call for mail art submissions with the prompt “We are Together.” In November, Sonia Almeida bound all the submissions to create this book. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to find creative ways to stay connected. The Fine Art Department extends a big thank to Sonia Almeida for her hard work putting this book together.
An orange cloth-covered hardbound book with blue text reading, “We are together.” At the center of the cover beneath the word “are” is a perfectly round hole that shows a glimpse of the first page. The book is 13 inches tall, 10 3/4 inches wide, and 3/4 inches thick.

Book cover

The first page is artist Tory Fair. The page is a horizontal strip because it is smaller than the dimensions of the book and some of the following pages. There is a white paper mache form protruding upward like a mini-volcano to expose a round river stone. This stone was seen through the hole in the cover of the book.

Tory Fair

The back of the Fair’s page is a pro-vote and show of unity graffitied MA vote by mail application.  The second page is artist John Vorhaus. The page is the same size as the first therefore smaller than both the book and the following page. It is a photo portrait of a man wearing a hat and sunglasses. The photo was cut into pieces and separated. Text next to the image exclaims, “I am (loosely) together.”

Tory Fair | John Vorhaus

The back of Vorhaus’ page is a series of photo portraits of men in silly situations.  The third page is artist Ariel Freiberg. It is an abstract pattern photoshopped from the top of heads, shoulders, arms, and hands. A set of fake eyelashes are attached to the surface as if there were a face imagined into the pattern. The page is stitched into the book and on to itself, it has the appearance of being two sheets of paper. This volume gives the page a more physical presence, even fleshy appearance.

John Vorhaus | Ariel Freiberg

The back of Freiberg’s page is the same human abstracted pattern and is indeed two sheets stitched together. The page’s volume alongside the human pattern, folds, and stitching help accentuate the fleshy appearance.  The fourth page is artist Bekah Richards. The page looks to be a photoshopped image. The imagery is dreamlike with light pastel colors. Birds are flying around a large flower that emanates light. It has text that reads, “A change emerges a radiant clarity A lush garden fresh and subtle bright and splendid made unmistakable a dance.” By Bekah Richards

Ariel Freiberg | Bekah Richards

The back of Richard’s page shows the image was printed on photography paper.  The fifth page is artist Sonia Almeida. The is another horizontal page. The imagery is a printer copy of multiple Internet Explorer launch pages stacked on top of one another nearly covering the one before it. The repeating internet pages give a frantic feeling of trying to get something to work. To the right of this image under the page is a sliver of a hand-cut print. The imagery of the print can’t entirely be made out but we know its lines are of a different quality and therefore feel in contrast to the top page.

Bekah Richards | Sonia Almeida

In this photo, the hand-cut print by Sonia Almeida was pulled out to reveal that the page was folded, and is double the width we initially saw. Flowing left to right, the stacked Internet launch pages get briefly interrupted by the humanness of pink watercolor marks but quickly go back to the mechanical internet. The page ends with the seeming merging of the two in the mechanical yet hand-cut qualities of the wood print.

Sonia Almeida

The back of Almeida’s page again speaks to the merging of human and mechanical with a brown-orange shade pallet and wood-cut digital looking marks.  The sixth page is artist Ingrid Schorr. The page is a collage where the viewer's focal point falls on a sheet of portrait stickers, all of the stickers are missing except one little girl whose face is alone in the lower-left corner. The empty spaces where the outlines of faces used to be are eerie. Around the sheet of stickers is expressively applied pink paint. Above the sticker sheet, there are cut pieces of string partially covering the text “BOATS AGAINST THE CURRENT.”

Sonia Almeida | Ingrid Schorr

The back of Schorr’s page is black with a splash of pink paint sneaking around the left edge.  The seventh page is artist Adeline Skovronek. This page is the smallest so far. It is a colored pencil drawing of a black pepper plant. The smaller size of the page alongside both the imagery and the hand quality of the drawing set a duality between its preciousness and the sharp taste pepper delivers.

Ingrid Schorr | Adeline Skovronek

The eighth page is artist Ariel Wexler. This is another horizontal page. It is a marker drawing with paper collaged on top. At the center of the image is an open laptop. Surrounding the laptop is a loud array of shapes and colors.

Ariel Wexler

The ninth page is artist Maggie McNeely. It is a watercolor painting of a little dog running in a field with a large daunting sky of swirly clouds. One of the clouds takes on the form of a scary old witch-like face.

Maggie McNeely

The tenth page is artist Rebecca Strauss. This page is made out of canvas where a square within the textile was made by meticulously unweaving and removing the horizontal strings leaving only the vertical. The vertical strings were then grouped and tied to form a diamond mesh pattern in the shape of an hourglass. To the sides of the hourglass shape, and in contrast to the pattern, are free-flowing vertical strings.

Rebecca Strauss

The back of Strauss’s page is a darker canvas which also shows through the pattern on the front of her page.  The eleventh page is artist Danielle Potwin. The form of this page is made by folding, ripping, and layering white paper. Drawn on the paper are squiggly black pen marks and a single verity of dried flowers collaged throughout. The pen peeks out from behind folded and layered paper where the flowers are sprinkled throughout. To preserve the page, it is bound by placing it in a sealed transparent pouch.

Rebecca Strauss | Danielle Potwin