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80+ Artists Transform Vintage Envelopes Into Messages of Hope in a Time of Separation

Art From Couriers of Hope

Andrew Hem, “Return to Sender” (Photo: Intertrend Communications)

In a time when many of us are separated from friends and family, different forms of virtual communication have been invaluable to make us feel connected. A new art exhibition presented by the Port City Creative Guild explores the importance of connection under the prompt of what brings you hope. Entitled Couriers of Hope, the PCCG invited more than 80 artists to participate in the show, accumulating over 120 unique works of art.

The exhibition is inspired by the mail art movement of the 1960s and uses found or new envelopes as the canvas for illustrations in pencil, watercolor, and other media. In addition to artists submitting their own work, the PCCG encouraged students from the Long Beach Unified School District to trade letters with one of the artists and collaborate on a piece together. “The prompt given to both the artists and LBUSD students revolves around hope,” says the PCCG. “Hope is a universal human experience, but where each individual's hope comes from is deeply personal. After a full year of reasons to feel hopeless and fearful, we want to recognize that hope is still there keeping us going.”

Although the artists and students worked under one prompt, the submitted works display a wide range of styles, mediums, and subject matter. Some letters feature detailed paintings and portraits, while others use the shape of the envelope as the frame for detailed pen and ink drawings. Among the artists who participated in Couriers of Hope are Andrew Hem, Jonathan Martinez (featured previously), Narsiso Martinez, Luis Zavala Tapia, and Elizabeth Munzon. The show is a community effort, involving 10 Long Beach museums, galleries, and arts organizations as curators—the Long Beach Museum of Art, Creative Arts Coalition to Transform Urban Space, Flatline, Inspired LBC, The Icehouse x Ink and Drink Long Beach, Arts Council Long Beach, Carolyn Campagna Kleefelt Contemporary Art Museum (CSULB), Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum, Compound LBC, and the Creative Class Collective.

You can view Couriers of Hope virtually 24/7 on the Port City Creative Guild's website, and see the exhibition in person at the Psychic Temple of the Holy Kiss in Long Beach, CA until February 28, 2021.

The Port City Creative Guild invited more than 80 artists to explore the concept of hope in a new exhibition called Couriers of Hope.

Art From Couriers of Hope

Jonathan Martinez, “Little Messenger” (Photo: Intertrend Communications)

It features over 120 works of art that use letters as the canvas for pencil, watercolor, and multi-media illustrations.

Art From Couriers of Hope

Adam Harrison, “Color Suspension” (Photo: Intertrend Communications)

Art From Couriers of Hope

Eric Rauseo, “Hoping for Brighter Days” (Photo: Intertrend Communications)

Art From Couriers of Hope

Luis Zavala Tapia, “Love” (Photo: Intertrend Communications)

Art From Couriers of Hope

Narsiso Martinez, “Works on Envelopes” (Photo: Intertrend Communications)

Art From Couriers of Hope

Vladimir Noel, “Espoir” (Photo: Intertrend Communications)

Art From Couriers of Hope

Kiki Onaga, “Ever-changing Lands” (Photo: Intertrend Communications)

Art From Couriers of Hope

Miranda Villanueva, “Love Through a Letter” (Photo: Intertrend Communications)

Art From Couriers of Hope

Tim Youd, “Mail For Tavares” (Photo: Intertrend Communications)

Art From Couriers of Hope

Vladimir Noel, “Joie” (Photo: Intertrend Communications)

Art From Couriers of Hope

Alepsis Hernandez, “Answers From Above” (Photo: Intertrend Communications)

Art From Couriers of Hope

Diana L. Sanchez, “Abolish ICE” (Photo: Intertrend Communications)

Art From Couriers of Hope

Elizabeth Munzon, “Keep Moving Forward” (Photo: Intertrend Communications)

Art From Couriers of Hope

Meghan Boterenbrood, “Guppies” (Photo: Intertrend Communications)

Port City Creative Guild Exhibit at Psychic Temple

Port City Creative Guild Exhibit at Psychic Temple (Photo: Brandon Shigeta)

Port City Creative Guild: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Port City Creative Guild.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. When she’s not writing, Margherita continues to develop her creative practice in sequential art.
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