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.