To create Class Set, Bay Area artist Jessalyn Aaland invited artists to create posters featuring a quote by authors or activists. The artwork was reproduced via Risograph printing and offered for free to K-12 teachers, bringing art and inspiration into resource-strapped classrooms. Over 4,000 posters have been distributed so far.
Each of these artworks are also freely available for PDF download. Non-teachers can also purchase the set of 10 posters for a very affordable price of $100, which will be invested in a second round of posters.
Teachers can find more information about the authors and artists in a curriculum companion (freely available as a Word doc or PDF). It also contains activity handouts, including activities for students to make their own posters.
Sometimes I worry that being a project-based artist makes my work too ungainly to explain. Class Set is a great example of a project that is satisfyingly cohesive as a whole. The sum of its parts form compelling connections with audiences and constituents. The fact that the posters and curriculum are freely downloadable is an important part of the project—the posters gain life through their movements through the social imagination.
I love the inspirational messages in the posters. The following ones especially resonated with my current interests in interdependence, trusting the process, and courage in the face of vulnerability.
Skateboarding is such a perfect metaphor for the importance of failing (and falling) in the process of invention. If you don’t know about Jeffrey Cheung and Unity Skateboards, read about them in the NY Times.
For more info, or to download posters or the curriculum, visit ClassSet.org.
Participating artists: Jeffrey Cheung, Veronica Graham, Sarah Hotchkiss, Carey Lin, Paul Morgan, Yetunde Olagbaju, Grace Rosario Perkins, Sofie Ramos, Muzae Sesay, Chelsea Ryoko Wong
Featuring quotes by: Sherman Alexie, Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Stephen Bantu Biko, César Chávez, June Jordan, Corita Kent, Ursula K. Le Guin, Wangari Maathai, Nelson Mandela, Toni Morrison
HT: Susannah Magers (IG: @suzorsuziq)