As lockdown regulations came into effect, Fern Long – a postal worker and a member of BOXCARSIX – thought about ways she could stay connected to her community while staying home.
Long missed seeing the other artists in BOXCARSIX, a feminist artist collective made up of eight women between the ages of 30 to 60, and working on their art together such as their exhibit from January that saw a storefront window filled with plush pink human insides.
The group’s latest project – Postcards from the Pandemic – was sparked by Long’s desire to continue to collaborate and stay in touch, along with the idea that postal workers would benefit from seeing the cards.
Each of the artists would start a postcard and then send it to another, who would add to it and potentially finish the card. BOXCARSIX started to post the completed postcards on Instagram and friends began asking to join. The project quickly grew from eight to 60 artists. According to Clare Thomas, a member of BOXCARSIX, the collaborations have been between anywhere from two to six artists, with most of the cards involving three or four artists.
The artists used a combination of techniques to respond to what the previous artist had created. Most of the cards are abstract, explains Thomas, but some carry messages of hope or refer to recent political events.
“Each postcard is evidence of the creativity and resilience of the artists involved in its creation. Together they were a way for us to reach out to others and build community through art in challenging times,” said Thomas.
Now, the group is holding an exhibit at The Fifty Fifty Art Collective, where 600 postcards will be on display. Thomas said there were so many postcards it took four people two full days to put them in place.
The exhibit opened Thursday and will be on display Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays from 1 to 3 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. until Aug. 14.
For more information on BOXCARSIX visit boxcarsixartistcollective.com.