Dear 33020: Lead by Margaret Roleke
March 1-May 1, 2017
The Art and Culture Center/Hollywood and Artspace New Haven are dedicating their gallery windows to a slowly unfolding postcard correspondence between Connecticut-based artist Margaret Roleke and Broward-based artist Lisa Rockford. As postcards arrive, Center Curator Laura Marsh and Artspace Curator Sarah Fritchey will add each correspondence to a grid that will eventually create one image that reflects the current political climate. These artists are strangers, but both participated in mass demonstrations following the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. Roleke’s postcards are being placed on the new Frosted Gallery of Correspondence in the Art and Culture Center lobby.
Dear 33020 was conceived as a partnership between Marsh and Fritchey. The curators are colleagues and have worked together for seven years, and now serve as bridges between communities. They will continue this coast-to-coast partnership in the year ahead, experimenting with ways to introduce local audiences to artists working in different parts of the country.
Postcards are unique in the openness of their handmade designs. While each postcard will measure 5×7 inches, Roleke and Rockford must decide how much information to communicate via image or text. They must also decide if they want to address a primary audience or multiple audiences, which could range from one another, to the post office workers who carry their cards, to the audiences in New Haven and Hollywood. The project will come to a close on May 1 – the 101st day since the new administration took office. At that time, the grid will reveal a unified larger image that can be read as a whole.
Dear 33020 explores how we can communicate across time, space, professional boundaries and political differences. The cards will be passed among many hands across 1,350 miles of terrain between Hollywood and New Haven. The production route starts in a private studio, enters the U.S. Postal Service (a government service), and lands in exhibition spaces that are unfamiliar to each artist. Each individual who touches them may take on the role of co-producer, collaborator, or audience member.
The project is bound to and based in the potential of friendship, new and old, to maintain contact through distance, an act that requires maintenance, cultivation and mutual care.