One of the more gratifying and heartbreaking statements that I read far to regularly is, "Your letter was the first time my name was called at mail call."
In February of 2016, I traveled to Anamosa State Prison in Iowa, toured its old facility and bought a ceramic bowl that was made in-house through one of their craft programs. I also ended up talking with their wonderful administration, who were more kind and receptive than I ever imagined a prison administration would be. Their kindness, and open thinking toward my work made Anamosa State Prison an obvious choice for a project I had long wanted to make.
Greetings From is an animation, made from 858 postcards that I letter pressed, and then custom stamped and colored. Each one, addressed to a different inmate at the Anamosa State Prison. I spread out sending each one, usually in clusters of 10-30 so that each inmate in the prison would be named in mail call, at least once.
On the back, I introduced myself to them and asked if they would be willing to send me the name of someone they have had a positive impact on. This would allow for the project to continue. My hope is that as the responses come in, we will be able to slowly create a new narrative about who these people are and what they represent to their friends, families and the communities that they are from. Additionally, if the individual decides to not participate with my project, my hope as this postcard at least leads him into an afternoon of considering some of the more positive actions they have taken in their lives.