ex libris exchange

The ExLibris Exchange is an international collaborative art project sponsored by the Boston/Strasburg Sister City Association (BSSCA) and Alsace Etats-Unis, two organizations whose mission is to foster grass-roots cultural exchange.

The project includes twenty-six artists –thirteen from each city– who created original Artist's Books and posters inspired by an elaborately illustrated 18th century journal created by Georg Daniel Flohr, a member of a French brigade that in 1781 participated in the American Revolutionary War.

Artists have produced highly imaginative works using 21st century techniques to engage with the voice and aesthetic of an ordinary soldier with an extraordinary talent.

Annie's book, HISTORY LESSONS, is a book composed entirely of laser copy transfers of Flor's texts, her research on the French military's crucial participation in the Revolutionary War, archival maps from the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. She worked a lot with assorted images of soldiers, potatoes, Ben Franklin in a Martin hat trying to look rustic in Paris, toy soldier reproductions of Washington and Lafayette, and many images of French coins: Louis D'OR, which funded the effort.




In 2004 Annie Silverman had the opportunity to travel along with Phyllis Ewen, to Havana,Cuba  to pick up an exhibition of prints organized by MIXIT Studios. While there she met Norberto Marrero and Janette Broussard, young printmakers with their own small printshop in Guaynabo, a beach community inthe environs of Havana. Even though Norberto speaks no English, Annie he ‘bonded” through a love of surrealism and quirkiness in their prints. This past September, Janette and Norberto had an exhibition at the Cambridge Multi-cultural arts center. Annie gave Norberto a small accordion book that she had printed with the aim of a collaboration ensuing. Janette translated. Astrid Martinez-Jones of Latin Art Space brought the book back to the Boston area later in the Fall.  Here is the result.  Norberto’s images are linocuts printed on very think Japanese paper and glued into Annie’s botanical woodblock printed images.



In 2014 Annie received an intriguing email from friend and graffiti artist / documenter Caleb Neelon asking whether she could possibly print 50-year-old Ed Emberly woodcuts on the press. Caleb has been a fan, and now friend and curator of Ed Emberly work since he was a 6 year old learning to draw the Emberly.

They set up a couple of studio days to see what could work, and 2 woodcut editions were commissioned of Paul Bunyan prints. One print is a stand alone of Paul, which was cut on a 10" x 24" plain board, and the other was a composite of 3 blocks with the same block of Paul, but with Babe the blue Ox, and a brand new sun that Ed carved just for the project. These prints are available on Big Cartel.

Annie's printing assistant was Michael Marafitte, a stellar graduate printer from the Mass College of Art Print Department. Caleb is curating a whow of Ed Emberly's work that will be at the Worcester Art Museum.