The Postcards Project

Why Postcards?

Postcards have been connected to “place” since the earliest days of their existence. At the turn of the century, “picture” postcards featuring the newly built Eiffel Tower in Paris and images from the Chicago World’s Fair jumpstarted a golden age. Between 1905-1915, over a billion postcards a year were mailed in the U.S and in 1905, seven billion postcards were mailed worldwide. Since then, the popularity of postcards has been on a slow decline, accelerated more recently by social media.

However, a number of artists and creators have returned to the idea of postcards to explore issues of identity and place using a variety of mediums--textual, visual, and auditory. Examples include “Postcards from Detroit,” where the painter, Stephen Masgig, has created a “visual diary of Detroit in paintings” that are postcard-sized or the project, Postales en Movimiento or “postcards in motion,” where the artist, Bibiana Rojas Gómez, mixes video, animation, sound, and music to create a “sound postcard” from cities like Lima and La Paz.

These creative reinterpretations of postcards, especially with their strong focus on place, have been the inspiration for the first year of our Voices of Lake County initiative: The Postcard Project. In suggesting postcards both as a physical object and a metaphor, we hope to encourage participants to create verbal, visual, and/or multimedia narratives that explore slivers of time, place, and/or identity connected to a Lake County community (or communities).

For more information and ideas about ways you can participate in The Postcard Project, see: