Ruthann Godollei is the Wallace Professor of Art, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota. Her internationally exhibited prints incorporate everyday objects altered with text, commenting on inequities, power and pressing events. Recent exhibits include Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Printmedia, Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL, 2020; North American Screenprint Biennial, 2020; The Big Crash, IMPACT, Biblioteca Central de Cantabria, Santander, Spain, 2018; Nasty Women, Knockdown Center, NYC, 2017; the 9th Biennale Internationale d’Estampe Contemporaine de Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada; etc. Her work is in many international collections, including KUMU Museum, Tallinn, Estonia; the Centre For Fine Print Research, Bristol, UK; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Polish National Museum of Art, Poznañ. Author of a DIY printmaking book, “How to Create Your Own …” (Voyageur Press), she received a 2019 Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Printmaking at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
Ruthann Godollei, St. Paul, MN, Face It Serigraph
Face It is a screenprint featuring a facemask and the text ‘Mutual Aid Society.’ The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected BIPOC communities. Well-documented* in numerous studies, this is due to systemic racism and policies which adversely affect housing, access to health care, chronic conditions, as well as stress, exacerbated by ongoing racism. In addition, many BIPOC people work in essential industries such as health care, food processing, assisted living and the postal service. Thus the lack of recognition among large numbers of White people that wearing a mask is about helping everyone survive in a pandemic is not only selfish, it is another expression of racism. That racism harms everyone is not self evident to racists and is further illustrated by the response (or lack of response) to stem the spread of the virus by those in power. The simple act of wearing a face mask to block one’s own potential contaminants would be one small equitable step. Building a society of mutual concern for fellow humans has a long way to go.