I recently stumbled across the Ticket to Jerusalem mail art project. The idea is brilliantly simple: create a “perfect” airplane ticket to Jerusalem and mail it away. All of the entries will be posted online, and some will be selected to be exhibited internationally and published in a book (all artists selected for the book will receive a copy).
I thought to myself, “wait a second . . . somebody like me, with no formal art training and an arguable amount of natural artistic talent, can be a published artist? And maybe even have my art exhibited?” You have to admit, it’s a pretty exciting opportunity.
The project is the brainchild of Radik Shvarts, a web designer who lives in Brooklyn. Originally from the Ukraine, Shvarts fell in love with mail art as a teenager when he read about a mail art exhibit in Russia.
You might be wondering “what the heck is mail art anyways?” Some say it started when Cleopatra mailed herself to Julius Caesar rolled up in a rug. Today’s mail artists use less dramatic items such as postcards, embellished envelopes and special rubber stamps. You’re probably familiar with the popular PostSecret, but maybe never thought of it as mail art.
Shvarts hopes that the Ticket to Jerusalem project will draw participants from both inside and outside the mail art network. His goal is two-fold: to popularize the medium through participants’ connection to Israel and to popularize the Israeli cause among young people interested in conceptual art. Shvarts says that the combined goal is a “cross-promotion of two things that [he’s] personally very enthusiastic about.”
The Ticket to Jerusalem project is made possible by Center Without Walls, project of COJECO, funded by the UJA Federation of New York. The first exhibit will be held at the JCC in Manhattan, opening on April 13, 2010.
Want to try your hand at creating a piece?
Participating in the Ticket to Jerusalem project is easy. Shvarts suggests using “ticket” and “Jerusalem” to direct your concepting. The final piece doesn’t need to look like a ticket, but should be inspired by Jerusalem and/or travel.
Use a horizontal 8”x3” piece of thick paper (the same size as a boarding pass) to create a piece of art. Any media is acceptable: collage, drawing, rubber stamps, etc (although Shvarts recommends not using a computer). Attach a stamp, include a return address and mail WITHOUT an envelope to:
PO Box 245614,
Brooklyn, NY, 11224
Entry deadline is January 1st, 2010.