Raleigh Rambles

John Dancy-Jones at large!

Plague Daze – Mailing Out Some Love

Below are images of my mail art project (edition of 50) sent May 1 2020

back of folder (legal size folded into fourths)

Here’s to mail art in the new world!

JDJ 257 Baird Cove Rd. Asheville, NC 28804

Mail art on Raleigh Rambles

May 4, 2020 Posted by | art, mail art, reflection | | 1 Comment

Mail Art Response Provides Pandemic Panacea

Recently received mail art includes responses to Charts of the Universe 2020

We are extremely lucky, thus far at least, to be in our little mountain cove far from the hotspots during the trying times of Spring 2020. Just as the news got really bad, I was in the midst of mailing out a major project – Charts of the Universe 2020. Suddenly mail art seemed like a really good idea, and actually made the news, described as “a charming trend” on artnet.com. I got several nice responses to my Charts project, including some wonderful mail art pieces to add to my large collection.

Anna Podris created the image above as the centerpiece of her tri-fold mail art. Anna’s design responded directly to the Charts format, but I find the bird to be a perfect specimen of her own style, evoking her wonderful story-telling encaustics.

Anna Podris mail art object

Orvokki Crosby sent a wonderful mail art folder created from what appears to be a long dust jacket with many labor intensive additions, all textured with meticulous marker highlights. She is a big fan of snail mail and, like myself and many others, hopes mail art remains viable (along with the Postal Service that allows it to exist!)

Orvokki Crosby’s mailing from front

The mail art pictured at the top of the post features several postcards from Connie Bostic, a beloved Asheville artist and pillar of the BMC scene there, as well as John Justice, a new writer friend who says he is inspired by the mail art he has received. The “Quing” postcard is from Richard C, who curated the 1976 Ray Johnson mail art exhibit that got me started with mail art in the first place. Richard is going strong with mail art, and so am I. Maybe in the slightly new world in which we find ourselves, others too will see the value in this populist and irrepressible art form.

All Raleigh Rambles posts on mail art

May 2, 2020 Posted by | art, mail art | , , , | Leave a comment

Charts of the Universe Culminates After 33 Years

Just completed Charts of the Universe 2020, a collage booklet in an edition of 36. Each one features an original collage, as seen above, with the following image recipe: a wildlife image, a cultural image, Jesus and a redemptive butterfly, a connective ribbon and two different brackets.I have been creating and sending correspondence art since discovering Ray Johnson and his show of mail art at the downtown NC Museum of Art in 1976. Ray responded to the zine I sent him and I was hooked for life.

This series, as with most, including a similar project entitled Science and Truth published soon after the Trump election, looks for resonances between art and science, between data-based visuals and visual aesthetics, locating surprising beauty in graphic information. The current project wraps up the Charts project for me, which began as an installation of assemblages at The Paper Plant bookstore which was accompanied by a chapbook of Chart images. Images of the chapbook are below.

The show of assemblages included over a dozen works, some designed for individual people and a few general ones. Like the final booklet I just mailed, the project was dedicated to Clyde Smith, who took me to that life-changing Ray Johnson show, and Richard C, the curator of that show, who became a friend and correspondent who still sends me his wry and quirky postcards.

Though I will continue to Chart in personal correspondences, this booklet marks the completion of the project and its group pieces. Send me your snail mail and I will add you to my mailing list. You will probably get a Ray J Jumps In, a memorial project that I hope will never end. Cheers to mail art!

Project Updates

John Diamond-Nigh’s blog post featuring Charts 2020

        photo by Ginny Webb

                  photo by Tom Patterson

                   photo by Alan Bowling

 

March 18, 2020 Posted by | art, mail art | , , | 2 Comments

Jacob Lawrence in BMCM+AC’s New Space Highlights Annual Conference

The 10th annual BMC conference takes place September 28-30, 2018 at the Reuters Center on UNC-A’s campus. A show of work examining his work and life at BMC opens September 28th in the BMC museum’s new space. This will be the 8th out of 10 I have attended; in recent years I have started creating a printed hand-laid paper object to give out. Above is this year’s, using a quote from the website of the Jacob and Gwen Knight Lawrence Center. Looking forward to it!

September 27, 2018 Posted by | art, Black Mountain | , , , , | Leave a comment

Sally Buckner, A Writer’s Writer That Championed North Carolina

Sally Buckner, 1931-2018

The first time I met Sally Buckner was through Sam Ragan, and she came to seem, in my eyes, as important a North Carolina literary figure as that wonderful man. I was in tenth grade, and my mother, dying of brain cancer and desperate to do something for her lost creative son, talked Mr. Ragan into letting me into an evening writing seminar he was conducting at the Hill Library at State College. All the other students were college age or older, but everyone was very kind to me and I learned a lot. Sally was one of the students, but I put that together in retrospect after many years.

Sally taught a writing class to M.Ed students at NCSU in the 90’s and her class was one of my last in getting my degree in Special Education. Her approach to this course was perfect for me and I was re-invigorated, newly aware of the possibilities for creative non-fiction, and moved by the memoirs she had stimulated me to write. It was clear to me she was a great teacher, and as we got to know each other I discovered our only previous meeting, in spite of close brushes through the years. I also came to know and greatly respect her own writings, as well as all she had done to promote North Carolina literary culture.

Sally was a very good writer, and I believe she was a great teacher of writing. These skills culminated in my favorite work of her, Our Words, Our Ways, a teaching anthology of NC writing through history. She taught in many venues at all age levels, but her 28 year career at Peace College took her into retirement. When she retired, I printed the poem below for her retirement dinner. As shown on her Facebook page and elsewhere, she was beloved and will be greatly missed.

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Sally Buckner papers at UNC

Losing My Father, a poem by Sally Buckner

 

January 8, 2018 Posted by | literary, Raleigh history, reflection | , | 1 Comment