The Art of Communication – 100 Artist Show

The Art of Communication – 100 Artist Show
February 1-March 3rd


This pen and ink illustration was created for The Art of Communication – 100 Artist Show at the Mary Lou Zeek Gallery in Salem, Oregon. I decided to use my pen and ink drawing style for this black and white illustration. It seemed in keeping with the topic. I also added a little Caran d’Ache pencil for color.

First Day of Issue Stamps.

Mary Lou Zeek was inspired to create the show when she found a collection of first day of issue stamped envelopes at an estate sale. She invited 100 artists to participate in the project and paired us with each other. We were then sent a stamped envelope, addressed to our partner artist, containing a sheet of blank writing paper and asked to write a letter on any topic we liked.

While reflecting on the title of this project I thought my letter would be some kind of meditation on the nature of communication. However, when I actually received the package I was so moved by the first day of issue stamps on the envelope that I wrote about preserving the past instead- a subject I’m passionate about.

An inspiring letter.

I received a wonderfully moving letter in response to mine from my partner artist, Leslie Peterson. A couple of lines recounting a story from her family’s past really struck me and sent me back to reflecting on the nature of communication once again. In our letters we both lamented the often “casual disregard” for the past here in the U.S. and Leslie talked about preserving “memory”. She wrote about her grandfather, an immigrant from Austria who never learned English, while his children, born and reared in the U.S., never learned German. This was not unusual for the time. However, I keep wondering how Leslie’s grandfather communicated with his children? How did he pass down his family’s stories, his history, and what was lost?

An authentic voice.

I too am an immigrant. I come from Ireland originally. Thankfully times have changed and I don’t have to worry about assimilating in a way that would force me to deny my past or silence my voice. So, in the end I created a piece that simply expresses my need to have my own voice – to communicate honestly and authentically who I am- no bells and whistles or special effects. And I communicate as an illustrator because that is what I am.

The Art of Communication- 100 Artist Show starts next week at the Mary Lou Zeek Gallery.  If you would like to learn more about the exhibition and see all the artists’ work just click on this link and scroll to the bottom of the page to see all the artists’ work.

Aislinn Adams
January 12, 2012.

2 Responses to “The Art of Communication – 100 Artist Show”

  • SLF:

    Lovely, and well stated! Wish I were close enough to visit this artists show, LOL… wish I could draw! I can appreciate the artists though! Nice blog!

  • Aislinn Adams:

    Thanks for the nice comments. It was a great experience collaborating with all the artists in this show.

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