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Sarah Matthews~ Maryland

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Sarah Matthews

Artist statement: “Sarah Matthews' work is a reflection of her commitment to exploring the complex issues of race, equality, and gender, while shining a light on social injustice. She documents the struggles of breaking through barriers in our society through her layered prints and artist books. As an African-American, Mrs. Matthews has experienced firsthand the impact of negative media images that portray her community as inferior. Through her art, she aims to challenge these stereotypes and empower her audience to see all individuals' beauty, intelligence, and importance, regardless of their race.

“Sarah Matthews is a highly skilled printmaker and book artist with a background in art and business. She holds an MA in Art & the Book from the Corcoran College of Arts and Design at George Washington University, an MBA with a Marketing Concentration, and a BS in Sociology from Bowie State University. Her works have been exhibited internationally and are part of prestigious collections at institutions such as Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, George Washington University’s Gelman Library, University of Puget Sound, and Samford University. Mrs. Matthews is also a dedicated educator, teaching Artist Books at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and bookbinding and printmaking classes at various art centers and platforms.”"

Homage to NMAAHC
By Sarah Matthews
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Borowsky Center, 2022. Variable edition of 128.

12” x 6.25'“ (closed); 12 accordion folds. Flag structure. Printed by Amanda D'Amico & Erica Honson on a Heidelberg Offset Printer in the Borowsky Center for the Publication Arts at the University of Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. End covers fold out to reveal additional imagery and colophon Signed and numbered by Matthews. Laid in a folding lightweight portfolio with velcro and slit and slot closure. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Artist book statement: "’Homage to NMAAHC’" is an expressive flag book that serves as a celebration of the National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC). Inspired by multiple visits to the museum, Sarah Matthews felt compelled to create a work that captures her personal response and learnings. The book's foundation consists of a digital collage, featuring photos taken during her museum visits.

“During her vonHess residency, Sarah collaborated with Amanda D'Amico and Erica Honson at the University of Arts in Philadelphia, PA, to bring ‘Homage to NMAAHC’ to life. The book was beautifully printed on a Heidelberg Offset Printer at the Borowsky Center for the Publication Arts. Layered upon this base of the are the artist's original designs with an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King's iconic ‘I Have a Dream Speech.’

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

“This powerful line from Dr. King's speech serves as a reminder of the vision and hope for equality that resonates throughout the NMAAHC. The flag book format allows for the simultaneous display of these elements, creating a dynamic and immersive experience for the reader. Through this artistic endeavor, Sarah Matthews aims to honor the museum's profound impact and the enduring significance of its mission to promote understanding, recognition, and appreciation of African American history and culture.”

Interview CBAA Book Art Series

Homage to NMAAHC book
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SPACE: Known/Unknown
By Lauren Emeritz and Sarah Matthews
Columbia, Maryland: Matthews/Emeritz, 2022. Variable Edition of 14.

5.75 x 9”. Letterpress printing. Sewn binding. Pages created from the project prints. Each book in the edition has the same structure but the printing and inclusions are different. Handmade envelope on back interior containing information about the project. Band closure made of the prints. Signed and numbered by both artists.

Artist statement: "’SPACE: Known / Unknown’, is a collaborative project between Lauren Emeritz & Sarah Matthews. They explore the universe of book arts using ‘space’ as a metaphor and immerse themselves in the possibilities of letterpress and sculptural book techniques

“’SPACE: Known / Unknown’ incorporated hand-carved letters, Stars from Galileo's ‘Sidereus Nuncius’ (Starry Messenger), wood and metal type and printing blocks, to create a set of five prints. Three of the prints feature quotes … while the other two prints are abstract compositions of letters and stars. The prints are printed on French Paper Pop-tone Black using transparent white, silver, yellow, and orange inks. Emeritz & Matthews used a Vandercook Universal 1 and Vandercook 4T to print 200 copies of each print; 1,000 prints total.

’SPACE: Known/Unknown’ then became a book art project. Emeritz & Matthews folded, glued, sewed, foil-stamped, die-cut, and bound the prints to create a multitude of book structures, including: Flag Books, 1-page Accordion books, Star books, Sewn books, Japanese Stab books, Roll books, and fishbone books.”

MCBA statement:Emeritz & Matthews (E&M) use the form and function of letterpress printing and book arts as a vehicle to express their creativity. They tapped into their existing bookbinding knowledge and explored other unknown book structures. E&M researched Galileo Galilei’s book called ‘Sidereus Nuncius.’ Galileo’s charting and illustrating of the constellations inspired them. You can find the illustrations embedded within the letterpress prints that E&M designed and printed.

Lauren Emeritz’s work explores making things by hand. She combines traditional and modern techniques to create bright, colorful pieces to bring joy to the universe. Lauren’s favorite color is orange, and she incorporates it in everything she does.

“Sarah Matthews’s work documents the struggles of finding answers to long-standing questions about race, equality, and gender and breaking through barriers while shining a light on social injustice. She loves to layer multiple forms of printmaking and creates artist’s books from those prints. Sarah’s favorite color is yellow, and she was excited to incorporate it into this collaboration.”

Space: Known/Unknown book
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Page last update: 9.11.2023


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