Zines

A zine is a small-run, often handmade and photocopied, publication of art, stories, poems, photographs, lists, instructions, recipes, reviews, anything. Anyone can make a zine. Anyone can distribute a zine. A zine is a way to connect within a community. A zine is a way to create community. A zine is a way for all of us to feel a little less alone in this world” -Charlottesville Zine Fest, 2023

Jess started incorporating collage-style 8-page “pocket” zines into their creative practice in 2023 with the opening of their collaborative exhibition Artists for ERA at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.  Using leftover collage scraps from their collage-style poster:  “Thyme Was Once Prescribed As A Cure For Nightmares (RE: ERA NOW!),” Jess created an accompanying zine to distribute for patrons and fellow artists at the opening reception. Upon discovering the practicality of using zines as a creative approach to convey information, Jess was inspired to utilize zines as a tool for advocacy during the 2023 National Kidney Foundation Kidney Patient Summit. 

In 2023 Jess self-published and distributed 8 zines, collaborated with local artists to organize the inaugural Charlottesville Zine Fest Event at The Bridge PAI, led 3 zine-making workshops, and contributed to 3 other locally published zines. They continue to explore the ways zines can be utilized as tools to facilitate community connection in isolation and zine-making as a therapeutic practice.

Jess Walters
Zines

MALA LECHE / Bad Milk Press

Since joining Bad Milk Press, Jess has been featured in several group exhibitions, authored or created submissions to various issues of the quarterly zine, MALA LECHE, and guest-edited issue #5: Embodiment–Secrets Under Our Skin.

In 2018 Jess joined the local arts group Feminist Union of Charlottesville Creatives (FUCC), now known as Bad Milk Press. Bad Milk Press is an arts organization creating programming that compensates artists and writers in central Virginia, while also creating spaces that allow women, non-binary and genderqueer creatives to share their work, develop their skills, build their artist resumés, and gain visibility within the larger local artist scene. Since joining Bad Milk Press, Jess has been featured in several group exhibitions, authored submissions to various issues of the zine, MALA LECHE, and guest-edited issue #5: Embodiment–Secrets Under Our Skin.

Excerpt from Embodiment Letter from the editor:  

“For me, embodiment is the language of The body. My body. Your body. Our big, vast, universe-sized shared body. For a lot of us, it’s become a foreign language. We’ve become so programmed to believe our bodies are “obscene”, it seems we’d sooner become astronauts exploring space before fathoming to learn the languages of our own anatomy or natural niches. Our culture and social expectations have made us strangers to our physical selves and the somatic domains of communication: how bodies talk. Our institutions have us relying on physicians acting as interpreters to tell us what our bodies need instead of preparing us with knowledge of how to study our bodies ourselves, and so we despair from countless inevitable miscommunications and atrophied intuition. Fear, shame, and stigma keep us closeted from sacred knowledge gleaned from secrets whispered beneath our skin.” 

Chronically Jess

Contributed Works

MALA LECHE

Roar

4 x 5 ½ in.

 

mixed-media collage on cardstock

 

September 2023
Featured in Charlottesville Zine Fest orientation zine.
MALA LECHE

Ecdysis

5 ½ x 4 in.

 

mixed-media collage on cardstock
 

 

Featured in Uncovering/Apocalypse mini zine and exhibition at The Fralin by Bad Milk Press.
MALA LECHE

“What does it mean?”

8×11 in.

Pencil drawing & Poetry on coffee-dyed paper

November 2020

Featured in MALA LECHE, December 2020
MALA LECHE

“Un-Babeling Occurs in Dreams” Pt I

10×13”

Framed mixed media collage

April 2021

Featured in MALA LECHE #2: Fever Dreams of Mother Earth, April 2021
MALA LECHE

Un-Babeling Occurs in Dreams” Pt II

10×13”

Framed mixed media collage

April 2021

Featured in MALA LECHE #2: Fever Dreams of Mother Earth, April 2021
MALA LECHE

“Venus screams when she cries”

11×14 in.

Framed mixed media collage

March 2020

Featured in MALA LECHE #3: Window to Another Realm, September 2021
MALA LECHE

“As the world falls down, I’ll walk with you along an egg cloud”

10×12 in.

Framed mixed media collage

March 2020

Featured in MALA LECHE #3: Window to Another Realm, September 2021
MALA LECHE

“Baubo Embodies Me”

Poem

June 2022

Featured in MALA LECHE #5: Embodiment–Secrets Under Our Skin, June 2022
MALA LECHE

MALA LECHE x WTJU’s Odd Little Museum

October 2022
Distressed Nest

Distressed Nest

mixed media sculpture featured in MALA LECHE #7: A Soft Place To Land, May 2023
Howl

Howl

8.5 x 11in collage on cardstock. 2022.
Bathroom Sign

Bathroom Sign

Mixed media collage, 2023. Featured in The Future of Destination Organizations: A Guide to a Community-Based Welcome by Courtney Cacatian. 

Zines By Jess

ERA now!

This zine was designed for the 2023 Artists4ERA group exhibition at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.

Kidney Patient’s Point of View

This zine was designed for the National Kidney Foundation’s 10th Annual Kidney Patient Summit in March 2023.

Making a Zine

A zine with instructions on how to design, fold, and cut, an 8-page pocket style zine.

My Story Matters

An 8-page pocket style zine designed with the “My Story Matters” zine kit by Jess Walters.

Affirmations

8-page collaged pocket zine for 2023 National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.