This sun is a star. And like Earth revolving around its own solar celebrity, we plan to make Sun #1 the center of our universe. At the very least, she’s destined for prime display territory. An 8”x8” letterpress print, Sun #1 was drawn by Jen Hewett as part of the artist’s Many Suns series. Hewett sketched the suns as a means of managing her own anxiety during the stress-inducing days following the 2020 Presidential Election, before a winner was declared. In the process, she also created an homage to the Black women whose visages inspired the anthropomorphized faces of her suns, women whose support, organizing efforts, and civic participation were instrumental in ejecting Trump and flipping the senate. Jen Hewett’s genius was brought to letterpress life by The Aesthetic Union, an indie SF printery specializing in custom work.
To introduce these sunny stunners, we reached out to Dana Williams-Johnson—friend of Ms. Hewett’s, Howard University professor, and the voice behind the knitting blog Yards of Happiness. Preview her words below, then pop over to the blog for more. And don’t miss your chance to snag this extra special limited edition. We could all stand to get a little sun. —Team 20x200
The first time I saw Sun #1 by Jen Hewett, I saw something so familiar, so comforting, but couldn’t put my finger on it. This is the first 20x200 edition from the artist’s Many Suns series. A letterpress print on #130 Strathmore paper, Sun #1 is simply—in a word—radiant.
I have been fortunate enough to become friends with Jen Hewett over the internet of all things. Due to COVID-19 and living across the country from one another, we haven’t been able to visit in person, but somehow we’ve forged a friendship online that has allowed me to see a side of her others may not always see. Her art is a reflection of who she is—her hopes, dreams, anxieties, and fears. We all know that 2020 was no ordinary year. So, when I look at Sun #1 I see Jen’s yearning for a better future, her vision of what America could be for all of us.
Sun #1 is confidence renewed and light reborn, with a striking visage inspired by the Black women who helped give this country hope after the 2020 election. Sun #1 is all the emotion of a year spent at home, watching and waiting and dreaming of a brighter tomorrow. Sun #1’s knowing eyes and coy smile are reminders of a mother’s watchful eyes over her child.
I knew when I looked at this piece that I saw something familiar, something that made me smile. I see optimism. I see the warmth of promise. I see the faces of so many amazing Black women in my life. I see grace. I see possibility. I see Jen Hewett. How could you not want that staring back at you?
The 411 on Dana Williams-Johnson
Dana Williams-Johnson, also known as DWJ, is the voice behind the blog Yards of Happiness. Knitting is what brings Dana joy, and she shows that through her use of color and her modifications of her favorite patterns into replica sweaters for her dog. Every week she shares her love of all things yarn and knitting on her website and demonstrates just how much she loves knitting. In one year, she knit 27 sweaters, along with dozens of other projects. And in under five years since she knit her first sweater, she has knit over 150 sweaters of varying complexity. Her philosophy behind knitting is to approach it without fear and your work will blossom. When not squeezing skeins of yarn or knitting, Dana is working as a professor in Marketing at Howard University in Washington, DC or spoiling her rescue dog Jellybean. She is also happily married to man who appreciates her love of yarn.