"The eighth chapbook in Booklyn’s series, 30% of Buffalo features artist Charmaine Wheatley’s intimate portraits of adult learners and tutors from Literacy Volunteers of Western New York and Erie County whose stories provide insight into how the ability to read can impact lives.
One in three residents of the City of Buffalo is functionally illiterate. On a national level, between 41% and 44% of adults with the lowest literacy skills live in poverty; 60% of prison inmates are illiterate; 76% of adults on public assistanceare illiterate or unable to read more than the simplest of texts. Given these startling statistics, illiteracy is undoubtedly a matter that affects not only individuals, but our society as a whole. Graphic novels are affordable, portable, and thereby an accessible format for establishing collective awareness and heightened visibility of artwork.
Wheatley’s sequential drawings of “life observed” at Literacy Volunteers capture the socially devastating realities of illiteracy and its relationship with freedom, self-esteem, poverty, and crime. Beyond this expository function, the book serves as an emotive testament to our ability to listen and empathize with one another’s personal experiences through recognition of our universal contention for survival or, as the artist describes, “that feeling that makes us go RAWR.”
Letterpress cover, offset printed interior. 44 pages. Numbered edition of 1250. 2010.”
Marshall gave these out at the lecture during the Diamond Leaves opening at the Museum of Printing History. Very nice watercolors!