The Black Swans’ Change! Manifests Itself in Artist’s Edition Vinyl Form, Tour

Carrying mystique that far outweighs the compact disc and most certainly MP3s, vinyl records will always remain at the very least fetish objects. The heightened prominence of their cover art alone being just one of the rewards, elevating the form beyond simple impulse buy. In the case of music as genuinely affecting as folk-rock group The Black Swans, proper visual representation aids in the realization of a greater understanding of the musical alchemy they are trafficking.

There are occasions, however, when editions have importance even beyond the norm of simply being a greater extension of the music and, by some accounts, a graphic designer's self-indulgence. The Black Swans have presented just such an edition with the vinyl edition of their most recent release Change!.

Lead singer Jerry DeCicca utilized the artistic talents of students of a vocational workshop at ARC Industries North, a division of the Franklin County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. He had been inspired by work displayed at Yeah, Me Too, a Columbus, OH coffee shop. Paired with the added suggestion of shop/gallery owner Jovan Karcic, he turned the inspiration into reality when he proposed the idea for the students to paint covers for the vinyl release.

Each of the 50 participating students created a distinct visual work, an uninhibited interpretation of their reactions to the stunning album. Each of the 500 art editions is further accompanied by a booklet, an artist's statement, and information on ARC. ARC sells the students' artwork direct, so the possibility of appreciating and supporting their work extends beyond this beautiful release.

Click here for YouTube clips of the artists working or here for a link to the special edition of Change!.

And if you are in any of the following cities, do yourself the double favor of not only supporting the artists behind the covers by purchasing this special release, but the band itself by attending one of the shows closest to you.

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