I decided to send send my art care package to my family back home in Roseville because I miss them a lot and I thought it would be something they would enjoy. My family is pretty weird so I wanted to throw in some funny things. My favorite item is a program from a weird play Luke and I saw saw at Chapman called Will’s Wonk; a raunchy spinoff of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The other week I went to the clinic at school and stole a surgical mask for my brother so I was really excited that this project gave me an excuse to finally send it to him. I added that for him and then picked out something specific for my mom and dad too. For my dad, I chose the poem “My Beard” by Shel Silverstein and I painted a watercolor alien for my mom. For some reason she has always been interested in aliens. My middle name is Roswell, chosen after the area where aliens supposedly landed in Roswell, New Mexico. I added a few other things like an old weekly list of to-dos, a business card from my new job, and some polaroids. I also took an old page from a lush catalog and wrote “enjoy the little things” on it and felt like it really represented the project well. This package that I’m sending my family is not worth a lot. Some might even see it as random, useless items. However, it is important to enjoy the beauty in the small things that might sometimes get overlooked.
I think the idea of ephemera is pretty fascinating. It took me a little while and a lot of researching to figure out exactly what it was. Most of the items included are things you would normally throw away and associate with little or no value. They are also snapshots of a life and hold precious memories within them. I definitely think it takes a certain type of person to appreciate ephemera; I have no doubt that there are people who just see it as a collection of trash. I think it really ties back to appreciating the little things that are often overlooked. Ephemera is also really personal. A certain movie ticket might have a ton of value to someone who associates it with a particular memory, like a first date. However, that same exact ticket is probably seen as trash to anyone else. My grandmother always saved a lot of things that people might find silly but I am actually really grateful for. For example, I have the parking ticket that my grandparents purchased when visiting me at the hospital when I was born and I absolutely LOVE it! At first glance, a parking ticket is not something you would typically hold in high regard. Although it holds a lot of meaning for me now that they have passed away and can no longer experience the important moments in my life. I love having little memories or snapshots back into the past, especially with items associated with people who are no longer around. It is truly a feeling of bittersweet nostalgia.
Ephemera can definitely be a form of art. A more personal one though. Art in a museum is still really relative and can evoke many different feelings from person to person. But when you are standing in a big crowd observing a piece of art, you don’t get the same feeling as something set aside just for you. With the art care package I made, I hand picked certain things of value that I believed my family would enjoy. People can actually interact with items from the art care package and do what they feel right with it. You can’t do that type of thing in a museum. If you were to set even a finger on the artwork, you would be yelled at by a security guard. Or an alarm might even go off. Personally, I feel like art made for a small audience will bring people more meaning and importance than if they were to go to an art museum for public viewing.
I found that the art care package is similar to a snapchat in the sense that it is meant to be short lived. It is not something that is intended to last for an extended period of time. It is a simple, temporary way of communicating. However, the art care package of ephemera is also different from a snapchat. When you send someone a snap, it is instant. If the person opens it right away, you could even have a response back in a few seconds. Instead, the art care package took more time and thought. I really had to think about what I wanted to add and what each family member would personally enjoy. Even though it is meant to be enjoyed for a short amount of time, it still takes a few days to be delivered. The anticipation of waiting for your package to arrive is kind of exciting! You put a lot of thought into what you included and you are now eagerly awaiting the arrival. It is definitely more personal than a snapchat, especially because it is something you can physically interact with and not just view on a screen. Plus, everyone loves getting mail!
I completely agree that things like an art care package are made with love. I had so much fun creating this and carefully thought about what I wanted to include. I thought about the characters of my family members and used that to find something they would all appreciate. No matter how small. Since my family is really kooky, I added a few weird things that appealed to this aspect like the Will’s Wonk program and a surgical mask. Even though the idea of ephemera was to take things that would normally be discarded, I still made a few new things myself that they would possibly enjoy for a short period of time. For example, I actually sat down and thoughtfully painted the alien watercolor for my mom. I had her in mind the whole time and created the characteristics of the piece based on her. I also did the same thing with the calligraphy art I made. I am the only christian in my family so I am always trying to get my parents more involved in faith, even though they reject the idea a lot. So I thought it would be a good idea to include a bible verse in the form of art as a way to share the gospel with them. A lot of the things that I chose to add in my art care package were thoughtfully hand picked with love. The time I spent creating this not only benefits my family, but also myself. Putting this package together was very therapeutic for me. I always want to create art but I never know where to start. Once I began thinking of my family, I came up with all these new ideas. It was really relaxing and enjoyable to peacefully sit there alone making something beautiful that some one else will enjoy later. This love is 100% different than something like a snapchat. So much more meaning goes into the process of creating the package and I think whoever is on the other end will appreciate it so much more. We live in such a technology filled society and it’s really special to receive something like an art care package. It really shows that someone was thinking of you and spent time out of their day to make you happy.