Thursday, May 5, 2011

Announcing the Spring Mail Piece!

After a number of frustrating delays, the Spring Mail Piece has finally started arriving in subscribers' mailboxes!

The "Sakura Panel" is part of the Spring Mail Piece.  It
features a quote by Rainer Maria Rilke.
The Spring Mail Piece is the second of a five-part series.  It is a multiple original--that is, a limited-edition print, in this case created digitally using archival-quality inkjet inks printed on acid-free paper.  Because the piece is assembled from three different drawings and an added piece, there is no single "original," from which the prints are reproduced.  The print itself, complete with an added piece, is the orignal.

The USPS provided the
 stamp design element.
I started the Mail Piece Project in January.  It is a conceptual artwork, resulting from a three-way collaboration between me (creating the images and assembling the pieces), the United States Postal Service (which provided the stamp--an integrated part of the design--and adds its own marks in the process of delivery), and the subscribers (who financed the project, and who complete each piece when they open, look at, and react to their unique Mail Piece original).

The address panel and back of each mail piece must be drawn foot-to-foot,
to look right on the finished piece.  The pansies among the rocks under the
forsythia on the address panel of the Spring Mail Piece were inspired by the
stamp chosen for this part of the series.
The elements in the Spring Mail Piece came from a variety of sources.  The pansies on the stamp inspired part of the design on the address panel.  The stamp, not totally coincidentally, was officially issued from right here in Kansas City, last June 22.  It is the Love: Pansies in a Basket stamp, and its design is taken from Hallmark Cards, Inc's all-time best-selling greeting card.  The card was created from a watercolor by Dorothy Maienschein; Derry Noyes designed the stamp.  The quotation and poem came from the "Quote Garden" website (if you like them, there are plenty more on the site!).
Inside of the Spring Mail Piece a pop-up section accents Persephone's flowery
Greek meadow.  This Mail Piece features the Persephone myth as part of its
spring seasonal theme.
Each of the Mail Pieces is proving to require about 5-6 weeks' time for development and production.  In just a few weeks I'll be starting research for the Summer Mail Piece.  If all goes well, it will arrive in subscribers' mailboxes in early July.

PHOTO CREDITS: The image of the Love: Pansies in a Basket stamp is courtesy of the United States Postal Service.  All other photos in this post were taken by Jan Sherrell Gephardt, of her own original artwork.