3410 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA15201
Organization Type: 
Arts Organization
Programs and Services: 

Just Seeds is a decentralized North American art collective advocating for social change through graphic design. Founder Josh MacPhee was searching for a way to promote radical design work; his collaboration with other artists on the Celebrate People’s History Poster Project led to the formation of the group. Originally based in Portland, Just Seeds now maintains an office in Pittsburgh. Its members can be found all over North America, from Montreal to Aztlán. The artists work in a variety of media. Screenprinting dominates, but it isn’t unusual to see blockprinting or puppet-making. The compositions, color choices, and figuration are even more varied. Individual members focus on anti-war, anti-capitalist, First Nations, and environmentalist concerns. When they make art together, during their yearly retreats, the results can be monumental. The installation Which Side Are You On?, shown at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 2009, was cacophonous blend of messages and assemblages. The profusion of stimuli re-created and demystified the audiovisual assault of the metropolis. A shared task for Just Seeds is the recovery of artists and activists once consigned to the dustbin of history. From the People’s History project onward, Just Seeds has reclaimed radical movements of the past and reintroduced them to the spotlight. Besides producing their own work and representing the figures of yesterday, they also serve as ad hoc historians of graphic design. Members have led talks and taught classes on design; their journal, Signal, is a bridge between 1960s’ global counterculture and our contemporary culture. Members include: Alec Icky Dunn, Bec Young, Chris Stain, Colin Matthes, Dylan Miner, Erik Ruin, Favianna Rodriguez, Fernando Marti, Jesse Purcell, Jesus Barraza, Josh MacPhee, Kevin Caplicki, Kristine Virsis, Lesly Geovanni Mendoza, Mary Tremonte, Melanie Cervantes, Meredith Stern, Molly Fair, Nicolas Lampert, Pete Yahnke, Roger Peet, Santiago Armengod, Shaun Slifer, Swoon, and Thea Gahr. Just Seeds members contribute to a blog at www.justseeds.org/blog