As Hampshire prepares to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of its Cuba student-exchange program, the Harold F. Johnson Library is excited to announce the acquisition of two works by Cuban artists for the Archives and Special Collections artists books collection. Donated by Michele Hardesty, Assistant Professor of U.S. Literatures at Hampshire, the works were purchased from the studios of Ediciones Vigía (“Watchtower Editions”), located in the city of Matanzas, Cuba. They include a book of poetry, Los Ciclos de Nadie (Antologia Personal) by Carlos Esquivel and a play, El de La Mancha no va al Paraiso by José Milián.
Ediciones Vigía was founded in 1985 by poet Alfredo Zaldívar and designer Rolando Estévez Jordán, and celebrated its 30th anniversary in April. Books are handmade in editions of 200. Mimeographed texts are glued or stapled into bindings designed with repurposed materials of varying textures and weights, including butcher paper, newsprint, cardboard, and scraps of fabric, string, and yarn. All coloring is done by hand. The work is performed by a studio of book artists. Each volume contains a colophon naming the team of artists responsible for its production.
Professor Hardesty’s donation builds on Archives and Special Collections’ artists books holdings related to Cuba. Other works in this area include Steven Daiber’s El Mar and Mireidys Garcia’s Div III work Letter to the Immigrant’s Child. Materials are available by appointment with the Archivist (firstname.lastname@example.org).