I am adding a new Mail Art category to the blog for non-artist trading card items. The mail art community is so huge and diverse with a wide array of gifted and traded items including inchies, twinchies, rinchies, altered Rolodex art, journal pages, artist post cards and more. I greatly enjoyed my collage trade and will be a small painting trade later this month. Meanwhile, a broad request is being sent out for a hurricane loss of a post card collection:
Can you help a friend of a friend out who lives in Brant Beach? One of the things that she lost, which can never truly be replaced but had a lot of meaning to her, was her extensive postcard collection from all over the world. Here is her message… For all of you who have asked me: “what can I do?” I finally thought of something! It may seem silly in the face of so much devastation and believe me, I count my blessings over and over. One of the things I lost was an extensive collection of postcards sent to me over a lifetime from every continent (including Antarctica!) maybe no monetary value, but they were written with love, some by people who have passed on that I will never hear from again. In the spirit of starting over and rebuilding, I ask that you send me a postcard (please no virtual ones, I’m talking with a stamp and postmark) my address is Laura Maschal 4603 Long Beach Blvd, Brant Beach, NJ 08008. Eventually there will be postal service again and I will receive it. Thank you! Feel free to share this post
Please spare a minute and a stamp to send a post card.
Meanwhile, I had been thinking about the loss of my antique post card collection. Many years ago, I was feeding this teenage crack head who lived in the apartment above me. She was not old enough to drive, had pale skin bordering on translucent, badly dyed blonde hair and pale cornflower blue eyes. She would have looked pretty if it weren’t for the dark circles under her eyes and her gaunt frame. I checked in with a patrol officer for my ‘hood and he told me the gang member that pimped her out was the real deal and would put a bullet through my head if I interfered. I held out some hope for her and fed her a skeletal self good number of sandwiches and leftovers. She was headed for a real cold place in the morgue and no one was looking out for her well-being. No good deed goes unpunished, and I suspect it was she who robbed my place. I lost all my gold jewelry and my antique post cards. They were probably fenced on Water Street in Wilmington, Illinois. I found the above post card, the century old Halloween greeting, in between the pages of a large art book. It had been my last purchase before the crackhead girl robbed me and I used it as a temporary book mark. My current apartment storage unit was robbed this October and I lost all my tables, chairs, steel cooler and tent foot tent for outdoor art fairs. It was a terrible loss.
I was sad and angry over the recent robbery and was further reminded of the lost antique post cards from the prior robbery. Those items were unique and irreplaceable. Close to a decade has gone by since the post card loss and I stuck my nose into an antiques shop to learn that the tanked economy and lack of interest has rock bottomed the price of post cards. I feel a lot better about these two hardships because I started a new collection this month. Instead of just mourning the loss, I have moved on and made some great buys.
This also will be your benefit, since I am going to drop high resolution scans of the antique post cards I buy in this new category. I cannot assure everything or anything is Public Domain; use them at your own discretion. Please download them for digital designs, print them out and use them in collage art or make new post cards to send to someone.
Gotta love me some Henry explaining the financial benefits of bigotry. Thanks, Henry!
October 9th would have been the birthday for Chicago street artist and activist Chris Drew had he not died May 7, 2012. No one took down his Facebook feed, so the stupid social media software was reminding me to wish him a happy birthday. That was creepy, and sad. I found the number of people writing not a memorial or commemoration for his former Facebook wall but wrote instead “Happy Birthday!!” bizarre. I feel that the dead do not have birthdays; they are dead and had a birth date. Birthdays are for the living. If some factoid advises that today is Mozart’s 256th birthday, that is even more illogical. No one lives that long so we should say it is the anniversary of the person’s birthday or something more sensible.
I never got to print these last two creations for the Art Patch Project. Chris was in the hospital with the keys to the studio space. We were out of photo-emulsion to burn silkscreens and he went into rapid decline. The art works and greater action largely supported his cause in fighting his protest arrest for street vending art and the felony eavesdropping charge of audio recording his own arrest by the police on the sidewalk in public.
As is the case with all of the other Art Patch contributions I created from August 2011 through May 2012, these are open source, Copyleft and may be used in the public domain barring any appropriation, interpretation or extrapolation that promotes oppression toward others and attacks, insults or hate rhetoric toward any group, sexual orientation, gender, race or ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.
I had been shopping out thrift stores for the sheets I liked to use for fabric patches and was looking for a nice floral pattern to print behind this art patch. I liked working with the patterns fabric like here and here. They were fun and this method was an easy way o print fast and get color in the work.
This is a Chicago thing. There is a decades old folk song called “Lincoln Pirates” because the Lincoln Towing Company will haul your car off, even if it is not illegal parked or broken down somewhere. They are notorious car thieves and were even caught stripping stolen cars in a police sting, yet strangely are still in business. The time they got me, I stepped into a 7/11 store for about five minutes and the car was gone that fast.
Kyle McDonald has variously worked with human computer interactions, open source coding, the social impact of technology and various other themes that where digital technology and art overlap. He wrote a long reflection on WIRED.com about having pissed off Apple, riled people up online and wound up under investigation by the United States Secret Service for an art project. The heat went way up on all four burners when people debated whether or not the work was “art” or not independent of his intentions. Kyle McDonald has a lot of interesting points about our culture and where it is influenced by technology. It’s best to understand the work involved and his ideas if you read the whole article below:
An Apple Store employee. Watercolors courtesy of David Pierce.
Or at least glitter production is up. I bought this “Pop Art” color collection at Michael’s for $2 because their marketing department has figured out I’m a glitter crackwhore. BTW the cameras in big box retail chain stores are not used for theft prevention as much as they are there to record our body language and facial expressions for marketing purposes. In my case, I went “OOO!” and grabbed for the package so fast I probably ensured expansion of the product line. Then I had to search the dollar bin area for the components to make a good glitter crack pipe because I’m too classy to smoke my glitter through the tube of a ballpoint pen.
Meanwhile, holy shit gay people need to watch their back. ABC reports that a wedding photograph of recently married couple Brian Edwards and Tom Privetere was jacked, ‘Shopped and used in an anti-gay attack ad by a hate group. The morons that stole their image obviously don’t know basic copyright law, or don’t care. I think it’s time to add itching powder to the glitter bombs.
I spent Sunday as a volunteer photographer and videographer for Women To Go. Volunteers portrayed exploited women in a store window and there was a drive to get signatures for a petition. This was a referral from Buy Art Not People [BANP] as being a group that needed volunteers. Women To Go is looking to bring awareness to the forced prostitution and human trafficking of women and children in Chicago and America in general. I was able to do a quick turn around time and get the video and images edited and online the same day.
CMYK Chris Drew Portrait by Shellie Lewis, CMYK Process acrylic inks, spray paint, permanent marker, glitter, sequins and Unryu paper on canvas, 24” x 36” [Art Patch Project related]
Chris Drew loved Process inks and silkscreen. He loved that he could take his photography skills and combine them with a varied, painterly hand-made physical media. I want to believe that he would have liked the multi-media memorial portrait I made of him. If I’m objective, I have probably made it it much too happy, too cartoony and portrayed him as rather chubby in a knee jerk response to seeing him slowly waste away and die from cancer. People die from all sorts of wide spread diseases but cancer has the strongest hold on our popular sympathy for having the most intense visual impact, the worst before-and-after pictures.
I grouped the painting with the political section of my blog since Chris died while still under indictment for the arrest as an activist seeking reformation of Chicago’s peddler’s laws and had been subsequently charged with a major felony regarding the Illinois eavesdropping statute for audio recording his own arrest. The last judge to deal with the eavesdropping case ruled the arrest was not Constitutional and kicked it up to a higher court. Chris was optimistic about seeing the case resolved, the eavesdropping law overturned and his name cleared.
I wonder what the etiquette is for Facebook when your friend dies. I guess you can’t just remove a dead friend from your list of friends; that seems amoral -the digital equivalent of flushing a dead pet goldfish down the toilet and calling it a funeral. There certainly are not going to be any future status updates. Meanwhile, to preserve Chris Drew’s art, I am just going to post them here. He liked t-shirts because he loved combining both the functional and the accessible in his art. He was a street artist that embraced being out on the streets.
This afternoon, May 7, 2012 artist Chris Drew of the Art Patch Project passed away.
The most important thing to say is that Chris died as he lived, fighting all the way for the dispossessed and marginalized among us, for the right of artists to speak their mind and to survive. He died struggling to make sure the art patch project continues, and there are a number of artists beginning to organize to make sure the project does continue. He died urging that the legal battles he had entered not be dropped.
Before there was a national dialogue and a coherent cry on behalf of “the 99%,” Chris devoted his life to providing the artistic means for people to discover their creativity and to participate in the transformation of society. A long time colleague of Carlos Cortez, Chris lived the aphorism that Carlos was fond of telling as we sat around his dining room table: “Never become an artist to make a living. Become an artist to make a life!” While advocating for artists’ individual rights to make a living by their art, Chris never strayed from using art for change for all, and never left the section of society with and for whom he advocated.
Chris touched very many people in his journey. We will remember his strength, his audacity, his willingness to sacrifice, his ingenuity and persistence. We will remember his creativity, his art. As long as we are here, he is still here. Remember that he is still here, the next time you see another artist printing an art patch, when you see another art patch on a book bag or a jacket.
A cattle rustler struck. At least, digitally speaking. Some little jerkface stole content from one of my Hockey Blogger Boyfriend’s sites. He not only jacked whole articles, images and databases, he had the nerve to take my HBBF’s name off the content and put his name on.
HBBF had linked to the new autograph collecting blog out of courtesy at the request of its creator. He discovered the theft when he checked out the new blog he had linked to. He periodically checks the other blogs he links to on his sites and found his work had been jacked. I think it would also be a good idea to Google search your writing; try titles and key phrases, to see if anyone has ripped you off.
HBBF emailed the plagiarist, advised him of the problem and posted the same in the comments section of the new blog. He was pretty cool about it, it could have been a kid or someone that is not familiar with U.S. law. These requests to remove the content were ignored. Since both blogs were on Blogger, the original content and the rip-off, HBBF filed a complaint with Google. Google agreed the content was plagiarized and removed the stolen content on the upstart blog. HBBF got screen captures of the theft and wrote an article about it here. Google jumped on the report that was filed right away. Fellow sports bloggers and sport memorabilia collectors have agreed to ban and blacklist the thief.
I thanked Detective Alan Krok for his informative lecture and he advised me of an art initiative here in Chicago to fight slavery and human trafficking. Buy Art Not People [BANP] at http://buyartnotpeople.org/ raises funds for social and activist needs by selling art works on their website for a flat $35.00 online credit card donation. They have long term goals to educate the public in order to stop slavery and the economic exploitation of people. Their most current goal is fund-raising to help formerly exploited young women and girls in a local residential program.
I recently met with BANP member and activist Elizabeth Grace Andrews and learned more about the organization. They are new but going through all the right steps to grow their cause and work toward specific goals to help people. They currently have tax exempt status through Destination Church and have partnered with and raised funds for the Salvation Army. Their biggest outreach program is raising funds for the care of and giving art lessons to girls that are residents of Anne’s House:
The Salvation Army PROMISE Program (Partnership To Rescue Our Minors From Sexual Exploitation) is pleased to announce the opening of Anne’s House- Illinois’ first long term trauma based residential program for young women and girls who have been impacted by sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. This trauma based program will offer comprehensive services including, but not limited to, individual and group therapy, life skills training, support with academic and vocational goals, social and recreational activities and spiritual guidance.
They are working toward a gallery style art show event this May and are putting out a call for entry for works. The works will be on display for a month for sales and to bring awareness to BANP. This will be a juried show of donated works from artists and will also feature works available for sale by Anne’s House residents. I will post the formal call for entry when it is released.
Creative Friends and Partners,We have missed you over these last few months and hope this message finds you living and loving and creating like never before. We have great news to release about the next Buy Art Not People event that will take place in May at Flourish Studios! We will be releasing the Call for Entries by the end of this week and hope that you will consider being involved and spreading the word to your communities.We truly are so grateful for your involvement and support in the past and present day and hope that you will continue in the future to help us create change and spread the abolition message through our voices in art. Cheers.The BANP Team