The Postman rang many, many times at the Holland Area Arts Council
By Colette Finney
Oversized? Edible? Snagged in the postal meter? It seems that nothing could stop Holland’s couriers from delivering artwork for the remarkable exhibit currently featured in the Lievense Gallery at the Holland Area Arts Council. Running through Friday, February 24, Mailed Art: Delivery System, includes a range of media and techniques: exquisitely decorated envelopes, yarn sculptures, repurposed album covers, and images made entirely of candy. With unbridled originality, the featured artists have depicted visions of dancing, summertime fun, tea loving, and even a cigar-munching shark. This visitor was dumbfounded by the detailed work and remarkable craftsmanship.
Created by the Arts Council staff and curated by Hope Professor Billy Mayer, artists were invited to create correspondence art, whose only requirement was that it be deliverable through the United States Postal Service. More than forty works were submitted to meet the challenge. All selections are intentionally left unopened with indication of postage, including bar code stickers, and the occasional apology for damage.
The mail art movement began in the 1960’s as a way to share work of various media and network with other artists, without the hassle of procuring an exhibition space. In an era when e-mail and texting dominates long-distance communication, the nostalgia of “snail mail” art is a welcome diversion.
The exhibition includes pieces that are technically impressive, as well as examples that are humorous, and several rather edgy submissions. I think Mailed Art, should be an annual event at HAAC, expanding to include submissions from all over the United States.
This unusual exhibition is well-worth the trip. For more information on this exhibit or other cool happenings at the HAAC, visit hollandarts.org.
Mailed Art: Delivery System can be seen at Holland Area Arts Council through February 24, 2017. Every piece will be sold for $15 each to benefit HAAC programs, during a special purchase event on closing night.
Admission is free and open to the public.
The Holland Area Arts Council is located at 150 East 8th Street
Holland, Michigan 49423
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