Teacher, artist, and Notebook cartoonist Eric Joselyn will be honored by the Philadelphia Folklore Project for his artistic contributions to social justice at a "Birthday Bash" event to be held at the Painted Bride Art Center Saturday night.
Joselyn will receive the Rosemary Cubas Award for Folk Arts and Activism, for being “a prolific working artist who has been turning peoples’ demands and dreams into eye-catching (and conscience-catching) expressions for decades,” according to the Folkore Project's website. Though some may not know Joselyn by name, his work has a significant presence around the city. “Without recognizing it, you may have seen his work displayed street-side: at local demonstrations for immigrant rights, antiwar protests, or street theater against racism,” PFP says.
Readers of the Notebook are familiar with Joselyn's editorial cartoons, which have graced every regular print edition since 1994.
Joselyn's work, almost always socially or politically relevant, has not generally been highlighted in galleries or through traditional, industry-driven ways. Instead, according to PFP, he prefers to create “high-spirited handmade props for demonstrations, stylish do-it-yourself banners, a forest of words on signs, and texts filled with painful reminders of the constant need to fight for justice.” This niche, which he was drawn to after the realization in his post-college years that he did not want to follow the conventional path of a professional artist, makes him a recognized name among activist organizations.
Alongside his activities as a politically driven artist, Joselyn works as an art teacher and coordinator at the Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School. In addition to nearly two decades volunteering as the Notebook's editorial cartoonist, he was an original member of the editorial collective that launched the Notebook in 1994 and that managed the newspaper during its first few years. A number of his cartoons can be seen below.