Mail art is a form of expression. So says Jason Brown, a 30-year art collector and curator. Originally from London, Jason has lived in Nashville, TN, since 2012, and he’s had an affinity for mail art for some time. His latest mail art project, entitled “My View From Home,” encourages participants — and everyone can be a participant — to send Jason a postcard (by either snail mail or email) of exactly what it asks for: their view from home. And we’re all at home.
We caught up with Jason to learn more about this unique and timely project, which was launched to provide a shared platform for all as we — as humans — move through the global pandemic. When it’s all over, the project will be cataloged in the Special Collections section at Vanderbilt University’s Library. Find out more about “My View From Home” and learn how it makes the world feel just a bit more personal.
Where are you from, and what is your background as it relates to the “My View From Home” project?
I have 30 years of experience in the arts as a collector/curator. Amongst my favorite projects are “Cab Gallery,” which turned a working London Black Taxi into a mobile gallery with art exhibited on the inside and outside of the cab, and “Nashville Calling” in 2013, which was the first European exhibition at Hatch Show Print. That was great fun and allowed me to showcase a cultural gem from my new hometown and introduce the creative mind of Jim Sherraden to an international audience. I’ve also organized other mail art projects that included gallery exhibitions here in Nashville.
Where did the idea for the My View From Home project originate?
Since the COVID-19 pandemic has most of us spending the majority of our time at home, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to document that shared experience in a mail art project. The project allows for creativity in a time of chaos. And, I love that mail art is accessible to everyone. All you need is your imagination and a stamp.
What is your goal or hope for those participating in the project?
To provide a platform for a shared experience that spans the globe. This is such a unique time in our world history that I liked the idea of seeing how people in Singapore, India, England, Nashville, and elsewhere interpret their view from home in this specific period of time.
How many responses have you received so far? And do you have a goal number you’re hoping to reach?
The project launched on March 17 and runs until May 31. So far, I’ve received over 50 submissions from 13 countries and had over 500 visitors to the website in just three weeks. I don’t have a specific number in mind, but I’d love to see responses from several of the countries impacted by COVID-19.
What are your plans for all of the mail you receive?
The Special Collections at Vanderbilt University Library will catalog the collection upon its completion.
What is the most interesting/absurd/intriguing mail you have received so far?
In my first mail art project, I received a foil-wrapped rubber chicken mailed exactly as described with the stamps on the foil. It made it all the way to Nashville from London, England!
Do you prefer snail mail over email or vice versa?
I prefer snail mail, but due to the current quarantine measures in several countries, I am accepting email and traditional post.
Anything else you care to add?
Please join in! Mail your piece to Jason Brown, PO Box 160267, Nashville, TN 37216, or email to [email protected]. Check out myviewfromhomemailart.wordpress.com to watch the progress and check out the art.
Thank you, Jason! All photos provided by Jason Brown.
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