Artist couple speak about political issues and social inequality


The Ulrich Museum of Art welcomed California-based printmaking and narrative artist, Jos Sances on April 26.

The Ulrich Museum of Art welcomed California-based printmaking and narrative artist, Jos Sances, on April 26 for their last installment of the 1990’s decade for the series, “Voices from the Vault.”

The “Voices from the Vault” series focuses on different artists from different decades,  Sances discusses making politically engaging art in his current exhibition, “ONE YEAR, A Visual Journal Drawn in 12 Monthly Segments” as well as art from previous years. 

His work focuses solely on the concepts of political ideologies such as Capitalism and Racial inequality. Since his retirement, Sances has gotten into new art styles, one of them being “Scratchboarding.”

“I was gonna do a class for the Berkeley High school students,” Sances said. “There was a kind of a nasty racial incident that happened.”

During this time, Sances had planned on doing a two-week class with them, but those two weeks turned into three months.

“They told me what they wanted to make,” He said “Believe it or not, 25 students wrote on a five by five scratchboard.”

Sances stated that he is proud of the piece that the students made and that he is also proud of the students and their teacher for creating this piece.

One of his biggest pieces using this style, “Or The Whale,” is on display in Lawrence, Kansas at the Lawrence Art Center. 

Sances founded Alliance Graphics and co-founded Mission Grafica. Mission Grafica created graphics for events such as benefit concerts with artists that included Carlos Santana and Grateful Dead. 

His wife, Robbin Henderson also presented a portfolio that she and Sances collaborated on. Henderson’s work focused more on the imagery of the artists. 

The works Henderson presented was a portfolio known as “10×10: 10 women, 10 prints.” This portfolio was created to celebrate the 75 anniversary of the 19 amendment, which gave women the right to vote. 

“My mother was born one year before the amendment was ratified,” Henderson said. “My grandmother, Matilda Robbins, was born three decades earlier.” 

During her speech, she stated that women still face many struggles today as they did back then when her mother and grandmother were alive during those times. As a mother and grandmother, she fears for the younger generation of women in the near future. 

“I look at the world my daughter is inheriting and I worry,” She said. “Will she have fewer options than we did? Will the rights my grandmother, my mother and I won be overturned by vile, regressive and misogynistic eyes of reaction?” 

To finish his speech, Sances gave some advice for those going into the art industry.

“There’s different ways that you can learn,” He said. “But, I would keep in mind that you’ll want to do things, you’re going to want to learn things that are going to benefit you to making art.”