In the Making: The Beat of Blossoms

March 26, 2021

“The most important result is liberation. [When my students] figure out, “In just a little bit of time, I was able to express myself, with this little bit of materials” — it’s freeing. I teach process, and it’s about the process.”

Jamila Zahra Felton

On Thursday, March 25, 2021, we held a virtual conversation with Jamila Zahra Felton of The Beat of Blossoms, along with Erin Fletcher BB ’12, an NBSS Bookbinding graduate.

They viewed Jamila’s work with book arts, zines, collage, papermaking, printmaking, and writing—seeing examples of how she explores memory, identity, love, self-care, power, and Black futures. Pulling from familial history, she incorporates sewing and other techniques into her work including “the ultimate egalitarian art form” of collaging.

A former Boston and Washington D.C. public school teacher, Jamila works as a school librarian and has over nineteen years of experience educating youth and adults. Jamila’s artist books and zines are in the collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA). Her artist book The Deep End: Or, Some of Us Learned How to Swim was on view in the NMWA Library’s DMV Color Exhibition in 2019-2020. Jamila is a member of Pyramid Atlantic, and was Pyramid’s first-ever Gregory Vita Paper Arts Resident in summer 2018.

Download Jamila’s presentation.

“In the Making” is a new public programs series where we connect with a range of new voices, fields, and perspectives. Learn more and view a full list of participants on the series homepage.