The struggle for justice and equality in terms of civil rights, women’s rights, and LGBTQ+ rights. The fight for workers’ rights, immigration rights, and environmental change. These social movements have all made headlines in recent years, but they’re rooted in activism that was carried out years earlier — with the communal act of printmaking playing a crucial role.

That decades-long history can be explored, examined, and re-created through We Want Everything at the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Reinberger Gallery. On view through June 10, the exhibition delves into printmaking’s connection to political activism, posters, radical music, and book publishing design.

We Want Everything is the product of 30 years of research, activism, and artwork by Josh MacPhee, the Brooklyn-based artist, designer, and archivist who organized the exhibition. The show represents a collection of MacPhee’s work but also the work of hundreds of others, some of whom made only a single poster to serve an issue they cared about and others who spent their entire lives producing culture for movements.

We Want Everything is also the result of a two-year collaboration with the Printmaking Department at CIA, a premier college of art and design. This hands-on exhibition transforms Reinberger Gallery into a maker space and encourages visitors to mix and match imagery and ideas throughout the history of art and organizing for a better world. A large portion of the gallery will serve as a printshop — complete with a risograph printer — to allow visitors to participate in the printmaking process.

MacPhee and international activist and artist Tings Chak will conduct a virtual talk and Q&A during Reinberger Gallery’s Lunch on Fridays lecture series. The talk, part of MacPhee’s ongoing ¡Graphic Liberation! Conversation Series, takes place from 12:15 to 1:30pm on Friday, April 15, via Zoom.

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