For several years we received, as Christmas gifts from my in-laws, post card sized images by various artists. They bought the postcards each year at RCA Secret, an exhibition and sale put on by the Royal College of Art in London. ”Secret” refers to the fact that in the exhibition the postcards are displayed anonymously. The name of the artist who drew the image on each card is written on the verso, so that it remains unknown until the card has been purchased. It’s a little bit like The Voice for the art world, although in this case many of the artists participating are already recognized and established figures. Still, it can be a lot of fun to view the exhibition, and even more to buy a postcard or two, for a very reasonable price, purely because you respond to the image, and only later to attach a name to that image. (You can see the postcards from the November 2011 edition of the RCA show here – they’re really fun!)
For those in the Boston area, the School at the Museum of Fine Arts is staging its own version of the same exercise this weekend. I guess I know what I’m doing this weekend. If you have an interest in art and can make it, trust me, it’s worth it. The SMFA show is called Proof of Purchase. As in the London show, each work is done on a 4×6 postcard. The artists’ names are on the reverse and aren’t revealed until after you’ve made your purchase. Postcards cost a flat $50 across the board. Buy what you like. It may have been done by a SMFA student, perhaps by a famous artist, or perhaps a Boston personality. Hours are 7-8:30 Thursday, May 3 (today, so sorry, you missed it), 11am-6pm on Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 5, and 12noon-5pm on Sunday, May 6. Drop by the Samson Gallery (450 Harrison Avenue @ 29 Thayer St, Boston). You can find the list of participating artists here. If you actually want to see the art, you’ll have to go to the show (if you’re not local I’m sure they’ll publish the images after the show closes).
Personally I attach ours to the wall using push pins (no, not actually poking through the art — one push pin just above the top edge of the postcard and one below), but how you want to deal with this is up to you.