(Summer 2020)

North Fork Arts Projects is delighted to present a table-top exhibition by Glynda "GT" Velasco that combines miniature book art with snail mail art. Glynda (pronouns: she/they/siya) is inspired by both high-brow (Impressionism, Surrealism, Cubism, Post-Modernism, Dadaism, and pop art such as Andy Warhol and Liechtenstein) and low-brow art (naive art, outsider art, self-taught art, and spiritually-enlightened art) and urban graffiti.  Their soundtrack while doing their artistry include R&B, hip hop, neo-Soul, worldbeat, punk rock, High Energy dance music, and New Wave. They are a transgenre (intersecting and/or united various media) artist mixing poetry and flash #speculative realness fiction on FB Glynda Velasco (GT Velasco) narrated as a spiritual voyaging, shapeshifting, and #SFBAVE (San Francisco Bay Area Vernacular English)-speaking Queerdo (weirdo and queer).

Their current project is being a #hactivist by trying to play with social media algorithms and creating a code switching between analog and digital using hashtags #RogueEducatorA and #RogueScholarA with #UniversityWithoutBorders with photos of writing and art pieces.

Another current project is “Apo GIMP: The Journey of a Journeyer” about a beloved outcast Manang Gal who is keeping her beloved nephew's curiosity through telling stories about herself and their beloved ancestors while keeping Manang Gal's Inner Child, GT Little, safe from the Mental Health System aka H E L L. 

"#SIPSnailMailArt," Glynda's exhibited project, is comprised of small books slipped into envelopes or (mostly) postcards taped to form envelopes. They describe their project as follows:

Glynda “GT” Velasco’s Artist Statement 

A couple of months back, Amelia Lewis (founder of the ZASU Collective) and I decided to mail art with the hashtag #HellaAnalogSIPMailart.  'Hella' is either a California or San Francisco Bay Area slang meaning "Great," "Awesome" or "very real."  'Analog' means the opposite from digital, and we wanted to emphasize this time intensive way of creating this art. SIP means Shelter In Place.  We knew it will be a while before venues that support art will be open. 

Mail art originally was created for artists to create art without the need of galleries and museums and other elitist means in the art world. I learned about mail art in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  There used to be a website called nervous.org dedicated to all kinds of mail artists and collaborative projects.  One such collaborative project was stapled pieces of paper as a book and each artist was to collect and stick fruit stickers on a page and then mail it to the next person on the list.  (Eileen Tabios [poet, editor, publisher, book advocate, novelist, and short story writer] on an FB post mentioned her lack of bananas so I put banana fruit stickers on one of my mail art.)

Barbara Jane Reyes (pinay poet and adjunct professor in Pinay Literature) shared in her #allpinayeverything FB group an article in Believer Mag which had a link of Egyptian-Filipina artist and author Malaka Gharib's workshop for families and especially for children and youth with instructions to make a DIY quarazine. She suggested going to YouTube on how to make an 8-page mini zine.  This is how I got the idea of not only snail mailing postcards but also little booklets.  Because I believe in upcycling I was using materials that were available and used them in various ways. For example, I used a gift bag as a booklet and used the ribbon handles as threaded into the zines/booklets. In another example, I opened up a Yogi brand organic tea box and colored it with gel pens and colored pencils and glued them on 3 by 4 inch index cards as decoration. Hay(na)ku, a tercet poetry, is perfect for postcards and mini zines. I also glued the fortunes/sayings from the Yogi brand tea on these mini zines. I intentionally left blank pages for someone to collaborate and put on their own artistic touches. Please enjoy this body of work. I hope this will keep the spirit of snail mail art alive in a digital world of instant gratification.

Book 1 of 8

Book 2 of 8

Book 3 of 8

Book 4 of 8

Book 5 of 8


[See "Curator's Afterword" below.]

Book 6 of 8

Curator's Note: Here, "Book 6" shows the "book" itself to be the "envelope" normally tasked with containing the book.

Book 7 of 8

Book 8 of 8

Bonus Book: 9


Curator’s Afterword:I’ve long believed that on some (not all) levels, one need not make up or fictionalize art and poetry—that art and poetry surrounds us and what the artist/poet needs to do is to be able to see them, thus, present them. I see this sighting in Glynda “GT” Velasco’s snailmail art through which they mailed postcards and hand-made books to me for their North Fork Arts Project exhibition. In this riotous blossoming, Glynda created from the random elements of what happened to be in their environment. It seems fitting that after they created her works, they then would expose them to the risk and precarity of the outside world (by snailmailing them), for it is the outside world’s detritus and not just elements from their interior world that gave them material. 

Exposure to the outside world (via snailmail) is a metaphor, too, for the artist’s search for love (“I need love / in time / of / Quarantine” in Book #7); openness to the world; and desire for connection. Which is to say, the artist is willing to put themself and their feelings at risk. Thus, while most of the small books are protected by envelopes, No. 6 is an actual drawn card that’s mailed unprotected from how the outside world might treat it during its actual journey; this metaphorically is also an interesting way to approach “book”—by making its container, or cover, be the book’s content and which they emphasize by creating a beautiful drawing as the interior comes out of the closet. Book No. 5, by the way, is missing and may have gone missing via snailmail—which seems appropriate for the implied negatives of loss, destruction, or erasure, among other things, can occur when one risks one’s self. Relatedly, Book No. 8 features an interactive component where the recipient is asked to please read pencil directions, erase, and do art/photo/poetry.” The interactivity incorporates a space for others, and Glynda is generous in this regard by foregoing ego to provide such space. Fortunately, Glynda also offers a persona that would be welcome by those in their journey—specifically, their Book No. 7 displays a charming sense of humor: “I am my favorite fruit: freshness.”

It's no surprise then that Glynda also offers “a bonus” through Book No. 9. And how appropriate that the texts are ones of encouragement and support—“Your greatest strength is love”—which is to say, they are focused on others during their journey.

Glynda’s books may be small in scale but are large in attentiveness. They not only reflect their desires to engage with the world but also reflect personal attributes that led to her caring to pay attention. How wonderful that the results of such engagements include art and poetry.