Day 330: Completed Mail Art

Mail Art Dayan and Cindy

Dayan and I completed our Mail Art pieces, in time for me to get them to the post office and in the mail today! The artwork needed to be postmarked by December 1 and we are well ahead of that deadline.

Mail art, also known as correspondence art or postal art, is an artistic movement centered around sending small scale works of art through the postal system. It was created in the 1960’s and continues to flourish on a global scale. American artist Ray Johnson is considered the first mail artist. He developed the New York Correspondence School, a network of mail artists.

Media commonly used in mail art includes postcards, paper, a collage of found objects, letters and numbers, cutouts, stickers, images, rubber stamps, drawings and painted objects….pretty much anything that can be artistically arranged and placed into an envelope to mail. Mail art is officially considered art, once it is dispatched.

By that definition, the art that Dayan and I created became mail art today, as I dropped them off in a padded envelope at the Joplin post office. He and I enjoyed our project, destined for the Post Memorial Art Library, located within the Joplin Public Library. We gathered an assortment of materials and then let our creativity take over.

Dayan’s mail art focuses on maps and travel. He completely covered his oversize postcard with a paper background and affixed letters that declare: “Travel Like Magellan”. I love that! His artwork also includes a globe with a moveable airplane, a compass and a hotair balloon. Dayan definitely has the travel gene that pops up in my family. We have a trip planned to Italy in 2017, after he graduates from high school. What an adventure that will be! His mail art is a beautiful representation of his desire to explore the world.

Mail Art Dayan

My mail art focuses on this year’s word, BEYOND, and my symbol of an empty bird cage. The bird in flight near it represents freedom of spirit. I, too, have the travel gene, and my artwork shows that through the luggage sticker and the signpost with the words, “GO SOME PLACE NEW”. As a hint about what’s to come next year, my new word is also on the postcard. There are three words on there, other than the words on the signpost. I won’t reveal 2015’s word yet. I’ll save that for December, but it is on the card!

I am grateful to Leslie and Jill, from the Post Memorial Art Library, for sharing with me about their upcoming Mail Art Projekt. My grandson and I enjoyed creating art pieces. What a wonderful opportunity to spend time together and to give our creativity expression. We look forward to viewing the Post Mail Art Projekt exhibit in January.

Mail Art Cindy

Day 329: Mockingjay Part 1

Mockingjay Part 1 Banner

Tonight’s first was a viewing of Mockingjay Part 1, the third movie in the Hunger Games saga. In attendance with me were my sister Linda, daughter Elissa, and grandson Dayan. I think everyone except me has also read the books which these movies are based on. Being this far in, I think I’ll wait until the final film releases next year, before reading the books. That way, I’ll be surprised by the ending!

Mockingjay stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Julianne Moore. It was directed by Francis Lawrence and is based on the young adult novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins. This sci-fi adventure is rated PG-13, for violence, and has a run time of 2 hours and 3 minutes.

Book three in the Hunger Games series, like the Twilight series before it, has been split into two movies. Mockingjay Part 1 recently released with Part 2 to follow late next year. Picking up immediately after the end of last year’s Catching Fire, young heroine Katniss (Lawrence) takes refuge in District 13, located deep beneath the surface of the earth. She shattered the Games, ending them abruptly, and in doing so ignited a desire among the districts for freedom from the Capitol and President Snow (Sutherland). Peeta (Hutcherson) is held captive in the Capitol, along with two other victors. Katniss is reunited with her family and with Gale (Hemsworth), and meets the leader of the rebellion, President Coin (Moore).

President Coin and Katniss’ rescuer, Plutarch Heavensbee (Hoffman), and her old friend and trainer Haymitch (Harrelson) convince Katniss to become the Mockingjay, a symbol of resistance, courage and strength. Propaganda films are created and shown in the other districts to unite them into a rebellion that can overthrow the Capitol. Her candid and fierce appearances on the videos are fanning the flames of freedom while her haunting song, “The Hanging Tree” is sung by the masses as an anthem of hope. President Snow is creating propaganda films of his own, using Peeta to plead publically with Katniss to stand down and end the rebellion. Seeing Peeta being used in such a manner deeply distresses Katniss.

Unable to bear Peeta’s imprisonment, Katniss is ready to give up, when her comrades stage a successful break in and rescue the victors from the Capitol. Katniss’ joy is shortlived when she discovers Peeta’s mind has been altered. Instead of rejoicing over his reunion with his friend and partner in the Games, he tries to kill her. The screen fades to black as Peeta struggles against his restraints in the hospital bed, while President Coin announces to a cheering crowd that the rebellion is underway.

I know some have characterized this movie as slow, since there are no Games carried out in film three. Some have even called it a long trailer setting up Part 2. I liked the movie, though, and enjoyed the character development, and I especially enjoyed watching Jennifer Lawrence in the role of Katniss. She may not be fighting in the Games, but she is struggling to find her way, all the same. Her world is shifting, she is the enemy of a very powerful, vengeful man, and…..she loves two men, Gale and Peeta. If those conflicts weren’t enough to deal with, she is elevated to being the symbol for freedom in the districts. There is a grittiness to Mockingjay Part 1. And scenes with depth and angst in them, as Katniss searches for truth without losing herself, that brought tears to my eyes.

There was also an undercurrent of sadness for me, watching the performance by actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died with one week of filming left. I always appreciated Philip. He was an extremely gifted and versatile actor. Every time he was on the screen tonight, I studied his face, listened carefully to his words, watched him as one whom I will say goodbye to and not see again. He is, however, in the last film. I googled for information to see if Philip’s crucial role would be given to another actor to complete. What I found suggested that he had finished most of his scenes so the character would not be recast. Some scenes were rewritten to remove him from them and computer generation was used to complete his part in the film. Mockingjay Part 1 was dedicated to his memory, in the closing credits.

One more year to wait on this series. One more movie to complete the story. With all the film trilogies and sequels and series I’ve fallen in love with, I’ve gotten rather good at waiting for the next installments. It’s a good thing that I enjoy and appreciate anticipation!

Mockingjay Part 1 Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman with Julianne Moore