Organized by Alexander Campos, Executive Director & Curator of The Center for Book Arts
Collins’ Featured Artist Project is centered around America: A Hymnal, an artist book made up of 100 versions of My Country ‘Tis of Thee from the 18th-20th c. Since its debut by the Rev. Samuel E. Smith on July 4, 1831, the lyrics of My Country ’Tis of Thee were re-titled and re-written at least one hundred times. Each re-writing in support of a passionately held cause—from temperance and suffrage to abolition and even the Confederacy—articulates a version of what it means to be American. In its many lyrical variations, America: A Hymnal is a chronological retelling of American history, politics and culture through one song. Additional works included in Collins’ Featured Artist Project are from her Contronym series, altered dictionaries and encyclopedias, each refusing in its own way a singularity of meaning.