The Madonna hears: your prayers, petitions, prejudicial statements; I am NOT AFRAID of pink anymore [are you?]; BLUE is better [everyone knows]. Three one-sheet artist’s book, each an 8-page booklet that opens into a 17 x 25 poster. Printed on an Epson printer with archival inks on Mohawk Superfine, eggshell, 100lb. text. The three booklets come together in an archival plastic slip bag.
“In the Madonna hears, the first book, quotations are attributed to original sources, and the small images of Madonnas are documented as to location. Using quotations drawn from women’s narratives that span the 1930s to the 1980s, the first book, the Madonna hears, looks at the historical prejudice women encountered in employment interviews, gaining admission to medical schools, and the like during much of the 20th century. The Madonna images are folk art forms from the cemeteries in the San Luis Valley, an expansive alpine valley in Colorado and New Mexico.” Kathy T. Hettinga: “The second book titled, “I am NOT AFRAID of pink anymore [are you?]”, takes the topic further with a bit of humor. Pink paint, pink plastic flowers also from the San Luis Valley cemeteries fill the pages, and the book opens into a large Madonna poster with a pink petunia. The third and final book, “BLUE is better [everyone knows],” has blue paint, blue silk flowers and blue ribbons, yet ironically has a good deal of pink and yellow. This book opens to a poster of a blue clad, ceramic Madonna on a wood stake with a broken, crown of pink flowers and a wrought iron fence in the background”
Kathy T. Hettinga, Distinguished Professor of Art and Design, Messiah College, PA, is an active artist in design, artist’s books, and digital prints. She has received national recognition including a Research Fellowship at Yale where she studied with Johanna Drucker and an Artist’s Book Residency, Women’s Studio Workshop.
Her large-scale digital series have been exhibited across the country and in Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Her artists’ books have appeared at Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts, Corcoran Museum; Action/Interaction at the Chicago Center for Book & Paper Arts, and the Dadian Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Her work is in the permanent collections of UCLA’s Grunewald Center, university collections of Iowa, Berkeley, Virginia Commonwealth, Yale; The Library of Congress; MoBIA, NYC; The Fogg Museum of Harvard; and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Her art and essays have been published in SIGGRAPH, Graphic Design: USA, American Photography 25, and Latin American Fotografia. In the past decade, Hettinga has worked in artists’ books, design projects for activist causes, and deluxe editions, such as her Grave Images: San Luis Valley (Museum of New Mexico Press).