People’s Paper Co-Op CNC Cutting Marathon!

“On the Day They Come Home,” a sculpture by Courtney Bowles and Mark Strandquist in the exhibition “Staying Power,” featuring five women who are fighting to end life sentences in Pennsylvania. The women are Tamika Bell, Paulette Carrington, Starr Granger, Ivy Johnson and Yvonne Newkirk. Photo by Kriston Jae Bethel for The New York Times

‘The People’s Paper Co-Op Work collaboratively with a group of former life-sentenced women and use art to support the fight to free all women and trans lifers in Pennsylvania. From art fundraisers to power campaigns, to creating films and designing billboards seen by tens of thousands. The People’s Paper Co-Op use art to amplify silenced voices, to destroy stereotypes, and to demand and dream of a world where no women or trans person is serving life.’ – People’s Paper Co-Op

I had fun working with Mark and Courtney on another Poeple’s Paper Co-Op project this Spring. This one got a lot of press, which was awesome to see! From the New York Times to the Philadelphia Inquirer to NPR. It was really exciting to see this project take off! I am always so inspired by the work the PPC do in Philadelphia and I was so glad to be able to open the doors of the Haverford Maker Arts Space to cut the text. When I was working on the project I only had text files to work with and I had no idea what the finished sculpture was going to be. See the picture below to get a sense for what I mean.

I titled this blog post a marathon because it was A LOT of cutting. I probably spent more than 30 hours cutting out this text.

CNC cutting text into charred wood.

The project, the artists and the content are the important parts of this piece. I was just happy to help out and continue to support the mission of the People’s Paper Co-Op.

finished installation.

There’s a lot more content on this piece here.