We've known for a while that George W. Bush took up painting after leaving the White House, but it's been some time since his art has made headlines. That's about to change with Out of Many, One: Portraits of America's Immigrants, a new book by Bush due out in March from Crown. It features 43 oil paintings of "new Americans" by No. 43, the Hill reports. "My hope is that OUT OF MANY, ONE will help focus our collective attention on the positive effects that immigrants have on our country," Bush wrote in a Thursday Facebook post. "As I said from the Oval Office in 2006, 'America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time.'" The book will pay tribute to immigrants "who have contributed to the cultural richness, economic vitality, entrepreneurial spirit, and renewed patriotism of our country."
In the book's intro, seen by the AP, Bush writes that "while I recognize that immigration can be an emotional issue, I reject the premise that it is a partisan issue. It is perhaps the most American of issues, and it should be one that unites us." It's for that reason Bush—who hasn't said yet who will have his vote in November—didn't want the book coming out during election season. Forbes notes each painting will be accompanied by a biographical essay of the painting's subject, written by Bush himself; a portion of the book's proceeds will go toward groups that help immigrants resettle. An accompanying exhibit will be held at the George W. Bush Presidential Center from March 2 through Jan. 2, 2022. Bush's book is available for preorder for $38, or $250 for a deluxe signed edition. (Read more George W. Bush stories.)