Art doesn’t always need a big canvas. Sometimes creativity can fit on a small card.
The United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County will host an exhibition of Project Postcard, which encourages middle and high school students to create art on blank postcards.
Organizers sent out about 1,800 cards to area teachers and asked for students to mail them back. About 600 were returned.
“We’ve never been so excited to see the mail come every day,” said Chase Bryan, director of community art and events at Visual Art Exchange, which organized the project.
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The postcards were first displayed in May, but the group will show them again for this month’s First Friday event at the Arts Council on Glenwood Avenue. The idea is to get teachers excited about participating in the project’s second year, Bryan said.
Visual Art Exchange hopes to send out about 3,000 postcards this year, and Bryan is collecting names of teachers interested in participating. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project Postcard gets students thinking about their relationship with the community and pushes students to use their work to connect with a broad audience, she said.
Requiring the pieces to be returned through the mail added a bit of randomness and created some interesting results. Bryan said she tried to help one artist find her bright green postcard at the May event, only to find that it had somehow turned purple in the mail.
“Something in the process had changed the color,” she said.
In addition to the postcard show, the United Arts Council will host works from acrylic artist Susan Peters and metal sculptures from Blaine Janas.
Peters said she was glad to hear the postcards would be displayed alongside her colorful paintings of animals, plants and abstract portraits, because she was inspired by her art teacher at Apex High School in the early 1990s.
“She was very influential to me when I was in school, not only as an artist but as a person,” Peters said.
Peters said she had been accepted to the Savannah College of Art and Design but opted to study sociology at N.C. State University.
The artist, who now lives in Fuquay-Varina, said she largely stopped painting because she got busy with her life and career, but has been once again inspired to paint in the last year.
“When I started back, I just couldn’t stop,” she said.
The United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County is located in the MJH Gallery at 410 Glenwood Ave., Suite 170.
Chris Cioffi: 919-829-4802, @ReporterCioffi
Want to go?
First Friday, from 6 to 9 p.m., is a monthly art event in downtown Raleigh. Galleries stay open late, and many restaurants offer special deals. To learn more, go online to FirstFridayRaleigh.com.
More First Friday
▪ Lump, 505 S. Blount St.: “On Today,” an installation of 64 charcoal drawings of a single form by Louis Watts
▪ Artspace, 201 E. Davie St.: Various artists showcasing works in several galleries and studios
▪ Gallery C, 540 N. Blount St.: “Remembrances,” an exhibition of paintings by Peruvian artist Silvia Paz
▪ Studio R.E.D., 20 Glenwood Ave.: Various works in oil, acrylic, mixed media and jewelry as well as artisan aromatherapy products
▪ Retro Modern Furnishings, 300 W. Hargett St., Suite 24: Variety of handmade wooden signs by Brandon and Katie Carroll
▪ The Morning Times, 10 E. Hargett St.: Local artists, artisans and musicians
▪ Local Color Gallery, 311 W. Martin St.: “The Color of Hope,” works by 12 local female artists, with 25 percent of show proceeds going to The Foundation of Hope Research and Treatment of Mental Illness
▪ Block Gallery, 311 W. Martin St.: “Seeing Beyond the Structures,” urban landscapes by Adam Bellefeuil, Rachel Campbell and Caitlin Cary
▪ Flight Raleigh, 17 E. Martin St.: “Flag,” an interactive urban diorama by Raleigh artist Lincoln Hancock
▪ CAM Raleigh, 409 W. Martin St.: Rotating art exhibitions by artists, including Gesche Würfel, Precious Lovell and Andrew Morgan