Steve Lambert

wrote a book!!!

The Powers of Art

For the last several years I have made end of year Thank You prints for donors to the Center for Artistic Activism. This year it’s “The Powers of Art”.

The Center for Artistic Activism is able to do our most innovative work thanks to individual donations – and every contribution is meaningful. This year donors can also choose to receive the print themselves, or send it to a teacher to post in their classroom.

  • Art Needs Activism, Activism Needs Art print
  • Art needs activism, activism needs art - detail of C4AA logo
  • Art needs activism, activism needs art - detail of halftone dots

Why does art need activism and activism need art?

People forget.

When an art work moves us, we know, feel, and understand its power. It could be a song or a poem that encapsulates a feeling we couldn’t put into a words. Or it could be being the feeling of awe brought on by The Barbenheimer in IMAX this past summer. Either way, we recognize art’s power. But that lightening bolt of recognition is often just a flash. It can fade away. And who can blame us? Art and culture do so much, it’s hard to hold it all in our minds at once.

A couple years ago, Center for Artistic Activism Executive Director Rebecca Bray started researching what social scientists tell us about the powers of art. She dug into the literature looking at the role art and creativity play in our world. So Rebecca wanted to put words to the things deep down we know, but have a hard time grasping or expressing. What she came back with was a concentrated series of sentences. All of them had us nodding our heads and muttering “yes, yes, yes. These Powers of Art are now regularly shared in our workshops and referenced in our presentations and conversations.

At any moment in time we all can have trouble remembering one, two, or a handful of the Powers of Art. This list is helpful to have nearby as a reminder. Maybe more so for the other people in your life who may see it – who need to see it; collaborator, colleagues, family, maybe supervisors or funders. Because when you know the powers of art, it’s clear: to be relevant and resonant, art needs activism and activism needs art.


The Powers Of Art, 2023
11×17 Risograph on 100lb French Paper
Signed and dated by Steve Lambert. List originally written by Rebecca Bray. The “art needs activism, activism needs art” phrase was developed by Stephen Duncombe and I. But in one of those moments when your ideas mix together so you don’t know who’s is who’s.
Printed by Steve Lambert in Kingston, NY

The print is a Risograph. Similar to silkscreening, riso printing enables a layering technique to produce multi-colored prints. This print uses two colors and the Risograph’s built in halftone effects. Printed on high-quality Speckletone paper, the first-ever recycled sheet with flecks and “shives” created in 1955 by the French Paper Co.

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