Sunday's card, the first card in the series, is "Bless Me, Ultima," by Rudolfo Anaya, banned for containing satanism, offensive language, violence, religious viewpoints and sexually explicit content. ARTIST: Mary Burchill. EXCERPT FROM ARTIST'S STATEMENT: My husband and I have spent time in New Mexico as Park Rangers. We came to appreciate the varied cultures that thrive there. One is the Spanish/Mexican/Chicano population. Their acceptance of religion mixed with mysticism that speaks to them and makes their lives so rich is fascinating. This author captures all of that in his writings. I just recently started what is called "art quilting." The theme is from the cover when it was first published.
Monday's card is "Leaves of Grass," by Walt Whitman, banned in 1882 by the district attorney of Boston because the sexually charged poems violated "the Public Statutes concerning obscene literature." Whitman was also fired from two jobs for having a copy at work. ARTIST: Nicholas Ward. EXCERPT FROM ARTIST'S STATEMENT: Somewhat strange and abstracted, the character in this drawing is an amalgamated exquisite corpse of Whitman, artists Max Ernst, Marina Abramovic, Alexander Calder and past president Abraham Lincoln. I imagine these people existing through the decades as promoters of a Whitman-esque essence. They also are figures who have influenced me to a similar effect as Whitman.
Tuesday's card is "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," by Sherman Alexie, banned in a variety of schools since its publication in 2007 for being racist, containing vulgar language and sexually-themed jokes, and referencing masturbation. ARTIST: Leah Hoelscher. EXCERPT FROM ARTIST'S STATEMENT: This book tells the story of Junior, a high school freshman who lives on a Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to get a good education, he transfers to a high school off the reservation, where he is the only Native American — except the mascot. My illustration shows the tension between stereotypes and real people that make this book engaging and funny.
Wednesday's card is "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," by Stephen Chbosky, repeatedly banned due to explicit teenage sex, offensive language, suicide and homosexuality. ARTIST: Chloe Seim. EXCERPT FROM ARTIST'S STATEMENT: I wanted to represent the intimacy Charlie shares with his typewriter, along with the transparency he conveys about being a social wallflower. One of the greatest issues Charlie must grapple with in this book is his own mental stability, due to childhood trauma. I wanted to reflect this through the slightly offset nature of the composition, which instills a sort of instability or anxiety.
Thursday's card is "Charlotte's Web," by E.B. White, banned by a parents group in Kansas because "humans are the highest level of God's creation and are the only creatures that can communicate vocally. Showing lower life forms with human abilities is sacrilegious and disrespectful to God." ARTIST: Blake Nations. EXCERPT FROM ARTIST'S STATEMENT: I chose this book because I didn't know many banned books. When I was sketching, I saw a picture of the web with a word in it. With that, I immediately thought I would draw that with "BANNED" in the web.
Friday's card is "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," by Maya Angelou, banned because it covers the topics of race, rape and molestation, parents in Kansas said the book contained "sexual explicitness and violent imagery." Others banned it for being "anti-white and encouraging homosexuality." ARTIST: Bobbie-Frances McDonald. EXCERPT FROM ARTIST'S STATEMENT: The book's title is taken from the third stanza in "Sympathy" — a poem by African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. I designed this book cover to show the metaphor of a caged bird offering a song of lament for its circumstances. The wrongs of prejudice and oppression cannot be corrected unless someone has the courage to vocalize them.
Saturday's card is "The Catcher in the Rye," by J.D. Salinger. It was banned in several U.S. schools for obscene language, sexuality, prostitution and "anti-white" sentiments. ARTIST: Barry Fitzgerald. EXCERPT FROM ARTIST'S STATEMENT: Holden Caulfield is a disenfranchised youth trying to find his place in the world. The few lasting elements of happiness from the story were both real and imagined. The cabin he would build right near the woods, not right in them, because he wanted it to be sunny as hell all the time, was a wish for the future. I wanted to depict that wish on the cover of the book, with a reference to a memory of that past happiness.