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On Friday, May 18th, we had a fun and festive Art Gallery Reception for Lauryn Welch and Chuck Welch at the Cafe. Creativity clearly runs in the family and whimsy links the pair of father and daughter artists. Paula served up some inspired new tidbits, like corn tostadas, gorgonzola covered grapes, and gouda, carmelized onion and spinach quesadillas.

The show will remain at the cafe through June 30, so stop by to view the collection of photographs and mixed media mail art.

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Lauryn is a twenty-something painter and mail artist from New Hampshire. She studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, and is currently developing projects on color and pattern recognition. The Camouflage for the Colorblind portraits, which feature the artist painted in spots, stripes and plaid upon a background of a contrasting but similar hue, play with vision and color theory. For more about Lauryn and her work, visit http://cargocollective.com/laurynwelch

Chuck, aka “CrackerJack Kid,” is an accomplished writer, paper maker, musician and mail artist. Mail art is the practice of sending art, poetry or music through the postal system. His “nom de art” is a nod to the realization that mail art offers a surprise in every mailbox, just like a box of crackerjack candy comes with free surprise. He was among the first group of artists to write and publish books about mail art networking, starting in the 1960’s. Chuck and his daughter, Lauryn are members of Ray Johnson’s legendary New York Correspondence School of Art, which they joined when Chuck sent the photo of a baby Lauryn in the mailbox to Johnson.

Chuck is particularly fond of creating artistamps, some of which are on view in this show. He is widely known for linking the international mail art movement with the Internet in 1991. He pioneered the creation of the World Wide Web’s first virtual reality art museum, The Electronic Museum of Mail Art and he literally wrote the book, Networking Currents, about mail art subjects, issues and the evolution of mail artists as networkers.

For many mailartists, the process of exchanging ideas and the sense of belonging to a global community that is able to maintain a peaceful collaboration beyond differences of language, religion and ideology, is valued above the aesthetic merits of the artworks that are swapped or created together. It is what differentiates the Mail Art network from the world of commercial picture postcards and of simply “mailed art”.

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