Short Twig Press is the fine book press at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, started by Kerri Cushman, associate professor of art in the book arts/printmaking concentration. The press invites book artists to submit project proposals that address American history and culture, specifically related to Virginia.
Conceived and designed by Jessica Peterson
Stories donated by Everett Berryman Jr., Alejia “Mickie” Pride Carrington, Shirley Eanes, Florence Edwards, James E. Holcomb, Dorothy Holcomb, Rita Moseley, Rhonda Stockton Rowland, and Douglas M. Vaughan.
Farmville, Virginia/ Alabama: Short Twig Press, 2014. Edition of 100.
5.5 x 8" closed, extends to 70"; 16 pages. Double-sided accordion. Letterpress printed with photopolymer plates. Printed on paper of abaca and cotton handmade under the direction of Kerri Cushman. Sabon and Scala Sans typefaces. Numbered.
Paper Souvenir Press: "Unbound is a limited edition artists’ book which honors the veterans of Prince Edward County’s 1959 school lock out. All 100 copies of the book were letterpress-printed on handmade paper in a single month, produced collaboratively by community members in Farmville and faculty and students at Longwood University. The book was conceived and designed by artist Jessica Peterson and recounts the closing of the public schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia, from 1959 to 1964. Unbound tells this story of these events with timelines, archival evidence, and collected narratives from the veterans of the closings. Gold stars flow through each page, one star for each person whose life was permanently altered by the school closings."
Colophon: "Unbound is a tribute to the veterans of the 1959 school lock out, individuals who have carried their scars with grace for the last fifty years, with hope that they will continue to share their stories."
Introduction: "In the fall of 1959, the public schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia were closed in response to a court order to desegregate. The schools remained closed for five years.
"Many white children began attending a system of private schools established by the Prince Edward School Foundation. As permitted by state law, tuition for these schools was almost completely subsidized by the government.
"No one elected to attend the private academy for black students organized by the same group of white leaders.
"Approximately 4,000 children in Prince Edward County waited five years for the public school system to open, as lawsuits about the intersection of public education and race circulated through the state and federal courts."
CBAA Newsletter, Spring 2014: “Unbound is about the little known but unprecedented civil rights history of Prince Edward County, Virginia, the home of Longwood University. In 1951, frustrated by the conditions of the segregated schools, black students staged a protest and walked out of Robert Russa Moton High School. The incident became a lawsuit, which then was presented to the US Supreme Court as one of five cases lumped together as Brown v. Board of Education. In 1959, rather than integrate as mandated by the US Supreme Court, Prince Edward County closed the public school system to all students. The schools stayed closed for four years, until the Kennedy Administration opened a federally-sponsored school system in 1963. 2014 is the 50th anniversary of this event.
"Unbound recounts the history of these events with quotes from the more than 1,700 people who were locked out of their public schools for four years. … All parts of the production of the book are shared by the students in the Editions class, faculty, and members of the community. Students also interacted with local civil rights veterans, an amazing experience in living history for many of them (during one community bookbinding session, an older black woman was overheard explaining to a group of white under-graduates why she had hated all white people for most of her life)."
$375 (Last Copy)
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Somewhere Far From Habit
Printed by Kerri Cushman
Farmville, Virginia: Kerri Cushman, 2009. Edition of 45.
11 x 14”; 11 sheets. Letterpress printed by Kerri Cushman on handmade denim garbage pulp paper using a Vandercook No. 4 press. Laid in four-flap phase wrapper with Velcro closure and paper title label on cover. Numbered on contents page.
CBAA Newsletter, September 2009: "The exhibition, Somewhere Far From Habit, is a collaboration of some of the country’s most inspiring poets and most exciting book artists. The show pairs ten poets with ten book artists, in which the artists are creating one of a kind or limited edition artist’s books inspired by the poets’ work. In addition, ten artists were hand-selected to create corresponding letterpress printed broadsides (edition of forty-five) reflecting each of the highlighted poems. [This is the collection of those 10 broadsides, each signed or initialed by the letterpress printer.]
"Somewhere Far From Habit exemplifies the celebration of life found in both art and poetry, a melding of these artistic communities who share a mutual love: the love of the book."