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'Please Wear This Book:' Mercer professor encourages mask wearing through books and art

Graphic design director Tennille Shuster found a creative way to encourage others to wear their masks

MACON, Ga. — Since the pandemic began, medical professionals have encouraged the public to wear masks to slow the spread of COVID-19, and while the topic is still cause for debate, one Mercer University professor decided to use her love of books and art to encourage people to wear their masks.

Mercer's director of graphic design, Tennille Shuster, created 19 special edition books made out of masks.

Titled "Please Wear This Book," each printed mask is a page that altogether reads, "No one can do everything, but everyone can do something."

"It's a very simple act that we can all be doing, a selfless act to minimize the transmission of this virus," says Shuster. "The sooner we can get back to normal the better."

Shuster handmade 19 of the books, keeping two for her daughters as keepsakes from the pandemic.

The other 17 copies were sold to people and organizations across the country.

"A pediatrician in D.C. wanted to acquire one so he could keep it at his office to talk to his patients about the importance of mask wearing," says Shuster. "I'm just thrilled that it's making an impact."

Another copy went to the Smithsonian American Art Museum as a part of their collection of rare books and manuscripts.

Other libraries also purchased the book to commemorate art created during the pandemic.

The proceeds from her book sales were donated to the Macon 30 Day Fund for small, local businesses.

Shuster says she won't be making anymore wearable books in the future, however she does look forward to continuing her work with book art while teaching students at Mercer.