Various Curatorial projects...
Curator’s Statement -
postMARKed is an exhibition of many hundreds of artistic postcards, letters, and the occasional object that have made a journey through the mail over a period of several years.
In this digital age of electronic communication and keyboard input it is becoming increasingly rare to have an actual piece of hand addressed mail arrive in one’s mailbox. This, however, has not been the case for me. On most days I will receive one or two and up to seven or so mail pieces, hand addressed in cursive, and often elaborately decorated. Nearly all of these are from one Mark Raymond Collins. What started with a single hand painted envelope that showed up in my mailbox several years ago turned into a torrent of postcards and letters with varying formats, themes and styles. While I have been the main recipient and have responded with a very modest amount of return mail, a couple others - Dr. Michael Kienzle of Iowa City, Iowa, and the late, great Keith Puccinelli - have been part of this exchange and are included in this show.
Creating these pieces, addressing them, and sending them via the United States Postal Service has become a beautiful obsession of Mark Raymond Collins, a good friend, a self-taught artist, witty human, and Consultant to Experts. Part of his impetus for this activity is utilizing and preserving outmoded forms of connection and communication, in particular the United States Postal Service, cursive handwriting and sharing of analog art.
As the years passed and the boxes of mail began to pile up, the idea for this show came about. Seen as a whole, themes emerge, whether they be commentary on the news of the day, the political climate, or explorations of shapes and mark-making with a variety of media. I have found inspiration in the creativity and the sheer volume of this unique expression and hope those who view this show may be similarly inspired.