The Postcard Size Art Show at the Chester Gallery

I love this show; it's accessible, fun and surprising to discover what one can create when limited to 4" by 6". This year is the 24th year that Jack and Sosse Baker of the Chester Art Gallery have invited local and regional artists to create in this user-friendly format. You will find artists whose works you may already know and/or discover new talent and be glad for it. Here's a short list of likely participating artists, please don't be hurt if I you weren't named: Bill Vollers, David Rau, Pat Smith, Theresa Zwart-Luderman, Deb and Scott Munson, Patrice Nelson, Jan and Peter Good, Claudia Van Nes, Elizabeth Gourlay, and many more.

PostcardRackWhat can be expressed in a 4" by 6" piece of art? Actually, a lot. As pure art, this intimate size speaks volumes. Choices of material want to be intentional, provocative and/or simply pleasing to the eye. Small is not necessarily easier to create. Small demands that each brushstroke, torn edge, element, or figure communicates.

I have a long-standing love of postcards that I came to appreciate while first living in Paris. Walking the charming neighborhoods I discovered that the art posters hanging in the cafés and restaurant windows where more than just decorative. In fact, they announced current shows in galleries and museums. By following their lead on what I came to call my art trail, I learned the metro extremely well and distant parts of the city I might not normally have explored.

NotreDame PostcardSimultaneously and with time, my artistic eye was being developed as I hung my favorite posters and related postcards over my very small table in my very small apartment. Note here the postcard to Mom designed by the Polish artist, Miroslav Sasek.

My love of postcards as miniature art pieces led me to discovering the Marche des Timbres, the Stamp Market, which further led to discovering that the French Postal Service had a history of featuring famous works of art on their stamps. Like postcards, I've collected many of these stamp size works of art.

ND Postcard BackThe colors of Paris intrigued me, how could it not? At that time, I knew neither how to paint or draw nor the materials with which to even begin. Nonetheless, I found myself bravely entering the most famous of all art supply stores located along the Seine River on the Quai Voltaire. Sennelier describes itself as un marchand de couleur, a merchant of color. They are the merchant of not just color but of all unbelievably beautiful and useful art supplies.

I first ventured into Sennelier to buy glue. I needed the right glue, transparent glue I discovered, for creating my newly discovered love of collage. Happily collage required neither drawing or painting. And, I was encouraged by what abstract collagist, Kurt Schwitters, said about collage, "I could see no reason why used tram tickets, bits of driftwood, buttons and old junk from attics and rubbish heaps should not serve well as materials for paintings". A door was opened.

I think of postcards and travel; a place from which one sends regards, a greeting that's handwritten from the road - a note that in essence says, "Thinking of you. Having a great time. Wish you were here".

Recent travel plans to Paris inspired me to create a collection of small scale collages. There were then photographed by photographer Lisa Bousquet and transformed into postcards to travel with me. They are now appropriately stamped with antique cancelled stamps found at the Marche des Timbres, just in time for the upcoming show.


Join Jack and Sosse and the artists presenting their Postcard Size Art in a spectacular variety of themes and mediums, December 5, at the Chester Gallery, 76 Main Street, 5-7 p.m. The show is a great way to connect with a variety of user-friendly art, as an introduction to someone's work, and better yet, to begin a collection of small works of art!

And, P.S. The village will be launching the gift-giving season this evening as well.