Petaluma Postcard

Petaluma Postcard Project

The Petaluma Postcard Project redeployed the 19th century, 4×6 inch postal format as a medium for documentary, interactive fiction, recorded music, sculpture, and a puzzle among other art experiments. The choice of venue – Petaluma Mail Depot – was not without a sense of whimsy too. The works, shown in both large format as well their limited-edition postcard iterations, could literally be plucked off the wall and dropped in the mail on the premises.

The Petaluma Postcard Project encouraged Petalumans to become pocket-sized art collectors with a series of limited-edition postcards featuring the work of local artists. Among them were co-curator Karen Hess who forages local flora and fungi to create natural dyes and fibershed-sourced, textile adornments and art, as documented in “The Dyepot Series.”

Local author and co-curator Daedalus Howell published a choose-your-own adventure story over several postcards created especially for the exhibit.

Expatriate Petaluma photographer and writer Trane DeVore sent visually-striking postcards from Japan where he is a university professor. Lifelong Petaluma photographer Dennis Ferguson reframed Petaluma through a neo-noir lens.

Together, internationally-lauded artists Michael Garlington and Natalia Bertotti create private commissions and collaborations with performing artists including Susan Sarandon and Margaret Cho. For the exhibit, Garlington’s postcards are effectively a puzzle of his harrowing image “Clown Nightmare” and Bertotti’s sculpted ceramic postcards reimagine the postcard as medium unto itself.

Musician and major label veteran (Longwave/RCA) Shannon Ferguson debuted his new instrumental act, Breathing Canyon, with a limited release lathe-cut vinyl postcard record featuring an original composition. The band performed a live set in its debut performance.


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The exhibit opened with a reception April 8, 2016 at the Petaluma Mail Depot.