These Times
2020 Virtual Members' Exhibition


Cassandra Stancil Gunkel

Cassandra Stancil Gunkel is a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts teaching artist who uses book arts in her teaching, printmaking and textile art.

We Never Had a Freedom Tree

On the timeline of African American history, Trayvon Martin’s murder was a lynching – an extrajudicial killing designed to control black people. His death moved me to take up wood carving for the first time to execute this group of images. American patriots gathered under an ancient elm tree, the “freedom tree” to protest against the British in 18th century Boston. African Americans never had a freedom tree. This small star book captures this history and my outrage as more African Americans continue to be lynched by mobs of police during Corona quarantine.

2.5" x 2.5"
Star book structure with original woodblock prints; cover is original fabric design by the artist.

Denim Reparations (Indigo Series)

Denim Reparations (Indigo Series) bears witness to a history of oppression and cultural resilience. Enslaved Africans were imported from specific West Africa regions with indigo traditions to labor in South Carolina’s 18th century indigo industry. A small tax on the wealthy multinational denim industry could easily fund reparations. Denim Reparations models resources as well as a path that tobacco, cotton and sugar corporations can follow. These slave-built industries thrive as African Americans continue to suffer economic deficits never paid to our ancestors for their sweat equity.

5.5" x 5.5"
Accordion book, indigo prints, recycled denim labels & denim applique, recycled souvenir towel,