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Serivce-learning through printmaking in the Roaring Fork Valley, CO since 2015.

Deborah Jones

Mail it! CSA Inaugural Edition

Words from the Artist
Over the past decades I have made small scale artworks sending them out into the world via the postal service as mail art. In the last year and a half I found corresponding in this way one contribution I could make during the turbulence and uncertainty we all were experiencing. My recent focus has been on what it will take for all of us to once again thrive and create a vital future. I was thrilled to collaborate with the Project Shop and communicate my message out into the world corresponding through the mail art system. In keeping with the message I looked at what first brought me some delight this past spring and one morning heard the striking birdsong of the robin during sunrise. From there I decided to use the colors of the American Robin and the blue of the robin’s eggs as the base color palette for the piece.

About the Design
I wanted the design of this piece to take into consideration the recipient receiving, handling and being invited to solve a visual and intellectual challenge. It was my desire that the art be interactive, unconventional and stretch the imagination. In the world we live in today we will need to be primed, ready and willing to solve problems with new and unique ways of thinking and moving. To invite the recipient to also correspond, continue the chain of mailing art and share the message became an important part of the piece. All the while the constraints of the postal system needed to be taken into consideration.

During this process I was being pulled into the world of collaboration, learning and discovery, integrating new techniques and utilizing different materials.

Collaboration with this project was crucial and contributed extensively to the success of the outcome as well as the ease during the process of making all the pieces. We worked at achieving a common purpose: create a provocative well made mail artwork utilizing each of our skill sets.

Cohesiveness amongst myself and the artists I worked with was essential to the crux of the work. I had been isolated for over a year working on my own and needed to ease into the process of working together. I required time, flexibility and patience which were given to me unconditionally. The feeling of working towards and achieving a common purpose was overwhelmingly fulfilling.

Flexibility: quality of bending easy without breaking
It was a new world for me after being in isolation to break routine, commute and make art in a community studio. The challenge was not only a mental and emotional shift but physical. I had to bend easily without breaking on all fronts.

Adaptability: being able to adjust to new conditions
The first days of working on the project were challenging. I needed time and patience (self and other) to adjust to other people’s routines, ways and pace of designing and executing.

New techniques: The shop’s purpose to “engage artists and creatives to learn, create and share their ideas through collaborations plus creating tangible quality print goods that support our community” meant that I needed to let go of all the past know-how of being the teacher. I became the student.

About the Artist
Deborah Jones is a painter, collage and book artist working in her studio in Basalt, Colorado,Her career in the arts spans over many years beginning with being a founding member of the Graphic Workshop in Boston while receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts at MassArt. With a move to the Roaring Fork Valley Deborah started teaching art at the Aspen Community School in Woody Creek, Colorado and operated a small silk screen studio. In the late 1990’s she became the founding director of the Wyly Community Art Center, now called the Art Base in Basalt, Colorado.  Deborah has been exhibiting her mixed media art works locally and nationally over the past decades. Leaving community work the directing of the art center provided a new opportunity to continue full time pursuits in art making and gardening up on Basalt Mountain.

Artist Statement
How does an artist truthfully describe her process of envisioning and making art when affected so profoundly by such turbulence and uncertainty as we experienced this last year and a half? Can I remember back before this wave of disruption and tragedy occurred? This has been a powerful moment for me questioning if my making art really has any meaning and if it has any impact beyond my own personal story.

As of late I have felt bogged down while at the same time fascinated by what force could move us towards the reckonings needed to create a universal life based in justice, kindness, racial equality and love. What will it take to move out of these challenging and crucial circumstances and feel like we are one world flourishing together? Is it possible? Recently, I came across the words “radical and necessary reimagining” and I was struck by their compelling directive. Reimagining in this way will be essential to our expanding and making a change that affects the fundamental nature of what it means for us individually and for humanity to truly thrive.