The Local Foreigner

Life enthusiasts living local wherever we go.

You’re Art, Mail’s Art, It’s all ART…


You’re Art, Mail’s Art, It’s all ART……..Or at least that was the concept that gallery director and curator Raquel Vasquez LaRoche, a recent Urban Heartbeat winner, had in mind. Nine months ago, La Roche initiated her idea by  posting to her Facebook and Twitter pages asking people from around the world to send her self portrait postcards via traditional post mail (remember that existed?) The concept was simple, and had been done before but never in Trinidad, which is why Venezuela born, LaRoche; a visual artist herself, thought a mail-art exhibition such as this one was so important.

“Postal Art Trinidad and Tobago” came just in time for the 50 year anniversary of mail art itself. The founder is debated, but most members of the community trace the roots of mail art back to Ray Johnson’s New York Correspondance School. “Correspondance” is deliberately misspelled because Johnson saw the postcards, letters, collages and drawings that he had collected and displayed in an art gallery as a means of interaction, thus transforming correspondance into a verb rather than a noun. Mail art (or Correspondence Art) has since grown into a community or cultural movement with many websites and forums where members go to find mailing addresses to send their art to. They call themselves “The Eternal Network” and  the more well-known members of this community even have their own

Originally, LaRoche intended to hold her exhibit in Alice Yard, a well known spot for art forms of all kinds to flourish. Little did she know however, that she would receive hundreds of postcards from over 43 different countries,. With such a high demand for space, the gallery was moved to 33 Murray Street in Woodbrook, at a place called Bohemia. Bohemia is also a popular spot for artists like 3 Canal to spend their time doing what they love. Some postcards were photographs, some were collages, some drawings, others paintings, and there were even the occasional letter. Very few were sent right from Trinidad, but LaRoche received  postcards from countries as far as Japan, Russia, Mauritius, Finland, Holland, Germany and Hungary, just to name a few. She even received emails from frustrated senders, many from Latin America whose post card never made it to Trinidad because their mailing system fails them the majority of the time. Some senders sent their postcards in series, hoping to tell a story by the end either with pictures or words. One of LaRoche’s favourite stories from this exhibition is about a long distance couple who sent postcards separately and asked to have them be placed next to one another in the exhibit.

It is clear that La Roche fills her days with meaningful work. She is a young woman who not only  innovatively adds to the art scene in Trinidad, but also puts her love for visual art to work through interior designer and hosting mail-art workshops for kids in the National Library. Within the exhibit, there was even a section dedicated solely to  children’s mail-art.

“Postal Art Trinidad and Tobago” was held for two weeks between Friday April 25th and May 4th, but La Roche is hoping to now move the exhibit down to San Fernando granted she finds the space for display. If you have any ideas please free to share and we will send it her way!  Anyone can join this community and any form of self expression art is encouraged, once it’s respectful, so if you’re interested in getting started visit to learn more.


2 comments on “You’re Art, Mail’s Art, It’s all ART…

  1. Talia
    January 24, 2014

    It would be most appreciated if this message could be forwarded on to Raquel, thank you!

    Warm greetings from Olin Hall Galleries in Salem, Virginia. Am working on an international art project and am hoping that you will email me your mailing address. Would like to send you a piece of mail art for the M.A.P. (Mail Art Project) which has been created to bring together a community of artists through art in the form of mail. The concept of this project is for a piece of mail art to be created and mailed to an individual who can then choose to:
    • “Add and Return”, expand on the work received to create a collaborative piece of art and return it to Olin Hall Galleries
    • “Add and Pass”, adding to the work, and sending it on to someone else
    • Create your own original piece of mail art and send it to Olin Hall Galleries
    • Keep the mail art you have received
    Olin Hall Galleries has organized this visual “pen-pal” venture and M.A.P. exhibition to represent an international outreach and exchange from Roanoke and the surrounding areas. Our goal is to have a M.A.P. piece mailed to ever country and U.S. state. These works will be documented through a world map that tags the locations in which pieces have traversed. If you would like to view this map please visit our website at
    For works to be shown in the M.A.P. exhibition we ask for the work to arrive at Olin Hall Galleries by October 1, 2014. The completed works will then be displayed in Smoyer Gallery at Roanoke College from October 24- December 5, 2014.
    Best wishes,
    Taliaferro Logan

    • gfoj
      January 25, 2014

      Hi Talia,thanks for reading and getting in touch! We’ve passed on your info to Raquel. Love the initiative, keep it up 🙂

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This entry was posted on May 10, 2012 by in Arts/Entertainment, Events, Trinidad & Tobago, Uncategorized.
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