You can sit with us. Take a minute and let the beauty and the feeling of these words sink in. They are illustrator Ashley Nelson Jackson's words and they mean everything to me.
Ashley is an illustrator of power and nuance. She brought the words of this t-shirt to life on Instagram—You Can Sit With Us—in a drawing that later became an art print. It was a top-down view of a circular table, with makers who had skin colors of all shades sitting around the table, each with their craft of choice: knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, embroidery, stitching.
The message felt incredibly powerful to me because it was not the platitude (and subtle upholding of white supremacy) that says ‘I don’t see color’ or ‘let’s all get along’ or even ‘I’m a ‘good’ white person because you can sit with me.
Her drawing reached into my heart and said in a deep way: I see you and you see me. And we can sit together. Her drawing said to me: You do not want the status quo and neither do I. We can sit together.
Ashley and I started working together in the fall with a commission, and then I floated the idea with her of creating a t-shirt from her drawing. We split up the work: she’s the creative force and I’m the technical one. She redrew the concept to work as a simpler graphic, and I did the technical conversions and will handle the orders and shipping.
This t-shirt is what we created, and I am so absolutely thrilled to let you know that: You Can Sit With Us.
I will also have a small number of shirts at my booth Stitches West (1036/1038). If you’ll be at the show, you can pick one up in person and if they’re sold out, you can preorder right then and there from your phone.
You Can Sit With Us.