ROCHESTER — Making original postcards is second nature for Detroit artist Jack Summers, who has been collecting and creating postcards for decades.
“Postcards are wonderful. They’re great to look at, they’re great to keep and they have a lot of nostalgia to them. They are just a wonderful fun little form to work with,” he said.
So when Summers heard the Paint Creek Center for the Arts was looking for artists interested in submitting original postcard art for an upcoming one-night show and sale of artist-made postcards to benefit the center, he got right to work.
“I jumped right into it and worked two or three days on them,” he said. “I’ve already made 50 cards for the sale, so I have a nice stack for the exhibition.”
Summers, who also serves on the PCCA Exhibition Committee, uses collage elements for his postcards, putting together a variety of images and text to interact visually and psychologically with the viewer.
“I like to put different kinds of things together — like things cut from comic books glued next to classic figures and art forms. I recently bought a version of the 1897 Sears catalog, which has wonderful things in it, and I’ve been cutting that up and using some of the images and the items that were for sale in 1897,” he said. “I have some different themes in my postcards. Maybe I have three or four from the Sears catalog, and then I might have some that use maps and some that have cartoon kinds of backgrounds — so I have a variety of topics and subjects in these cards.”
Along with Summers, PCCA Exhibitions Director Mary Fortuna is inviting other artists to submit original postcards, 4 inches by 6 inches, for the “Wish You Were Here Postcard Show & Sale” May 30. Artists of all ages may submit cards in any medium, made or mounted on heavy paper, photo paper, mat board or other similar heavy, rigid material. Suggested materials include: paint, marker, pencil, colored pencil, collage, photographs, textiles and flat objects. The PCCA will not accept postcards adorned with glitter, Fortuna said. Postcards should be delivered to the PCCA by Friday, May 23.
“I’m envisioning rows and rows and rows of beautiful, handmade cards by different artists in all different media, and they will be sold for $10 apiece or three for $25. So people can get some really beautiful miniature artworks,” Fortuna said. “It’s a fun purchase, whether it’s intended to keep for yourself or you want to send it to someone else, there is a nice personal exchange that goes on with postcards.”
Those who donate postcards for the fundraiser may choose to receive 50 percent of the proceeds, with the other 50 percent to be donated to the PCCA, or they may make a full donation of the proceeds for their cards to the center.
“As a nonprofit, we’re always looking for every way we can to increase the revenues so we are better able to serve the needs of the artists and the community who come to us to see art and to explore ideas,” Fortuna explained. “Sometimes, in order to do that, you have to find a way to support yourself. This is a little bit of keeping the lights on and bringing home the bacon.”
To get artists in the postcard-making spirit, the PCCA will offer a free hands-on postcard workshop, open to artists of any age, noon-4 p.m. May 3. Children are welcome but must be supervised by a parent. Those interested are asked to bring any tools and materials they’d like to work with or share with other artists. The PCCA will have some materials on hand, as well.
“We’ll set up some tables in the gallery, and we will sit down and make postcards and have a fun afternoon with it. If people complete their cards on that day, they can label them and leave them here. Otherwise, they can take them home to finish them and bring them back in before the show opens at the end of that month,” Fortuna said.
The “Wish You Were Here Postcard Show & Sale” will be held 7-9 p.m. Friday, May 30, at the PCCA. PCCA members are invited to preview the postcards starting at 6 p.m.
For full details, a call for entries and to RSVP for the show or workshop, contact Fortuna at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (248) 651-4110.