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Defying Erasure: A Midwest Zine Archive

Exploring the subversive power of self-published art.
Aubrionna Mead
The Midwest Zine Archive will be up until March 21.

  Zachary Fraizer, a professor in the UMKC Department of Media, Art, and Design and owner of Astringent Press, hopes to preserve the core of handmade art with the Midwest Zine Archive. 

  Located in the UMKC Gallery of Art, the collection emphasizes the permanence of physical art and draws inspiration from the impact of censorship. 

  “The archive exists because of some leftover angst of mine,” Frazier said. “Maybe some paranoia about where archives are currently situated in various state organized and managed institutions.”

 A zine is a self-published mini-magazine composed of niche topics reproduced on a smaller scale.

One of the zine’s featured in the exhibit. (Aubrionna Mead)

  Frazier curated the zines made by local artists and students so they can be protected and live on forever throughout the Midwest. 

  At the end of this exhibit, each zine will be copied and sent off to 12 states throughout the Midwest to be kept by various private arts organizations to ensure their longevity.

  Adriana Ramirez, a freshman from KCAI majoring in photography, expressed her love for this underrated form of art. 

  “I don’t draw or paint or do any of that, but zine making was like, my in to doing something that isn’t just photography,” Ramirez said. “Everything you see you can touch, you can look at, you can move around, and how you can actually sit here and make a zine yourself like we did is so cool to me.” 

  Other students recognized the importance of zine making and the individuality of each zine.

  “I think it’s cool that we’re able to all collectively get together,” Miguel Hererra, a KCAI freshman majoring in graphic design, said. “With zines, everyone has their different themes and ideas. Everyone has different zines, some playful, some intricate, some random.” 

  The exhibit will run until March 21 and for more information on gallery hours, check out the UMKC Gallery of Art

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