POSTAGE REQUIRED: A Mail-Art Exhibition

Exhibition Dates:  November 4 – 27, 2016
Opening Reception:  Friday, Nov 4th, 5:30 to 8:30pm

Since the 1700’s, Americans have enjoyed the pleasures of sending and receiving personal letters, photographs, and gifts to one another via the mail from all corners of the country, and beyond from the comfort of their own homes. The Vermont Center for Photography is celebrating this tradition in a month-long exhibit titled “Postage Required: A Mail-Art Exhibition” which features over 400 unique postcards and mail-art pieces from around the globe, sent in over the last year to VCP and will feature guest artists Rachel Phillips, Bob George, & Doug Frank.

All submitted postcards and mail-art will be for sale during the exhibition as a fundraiser for the Vermont Center for Photography. Each maile-in item will be $5 and can be picked up by the buyer after November 27th at VCP.

Rachel Phillips, Mail-art

(Above:) Rachel Phillips, “Never Before…” – Unique transfer print to old envelope – From the series “Field Notes”

Field Notes, by Rachel Phillips
Make me a willow cabin at your gate, and call upon my soul within the house. Twelfth Night, Shakespeare

Certainly, home is a place.  It is also a place of mind.  For the spirit too, home offers familiarity and solace, shelter and rest.  Yet a house is not for hiding from the world; it has windows, and doors to enter but also leave by.  As a girl, I adored the Wind in the Willows where homes were in and of the landscape—built underground, along the riverbank, and in the woods.  A place where you can be still, letting the world come to you, watching birds fly by.

This series of photographs blends the domesticity of home with the joy of wilderness, the natural world.  The paper houses are built from letters, postcards and envelopes saved through the decades in old shoe-boxes by my grandparents and discovered in their attic a few years ago.  The images are printed on old envelopes collected from around the world; artifacts from the last centuries.  What did the envelopes contain?  Where did they come from?  In whose mailbox were they delivered?  What stories do they tell?

To view a short video demonstration of the process of making a Field Notes piece, please click here.

Rachel Phillips pieces courtesy of Catherine Couturier Gallery, Houston, TX.