First published: Fall 2004
No matter how far or fast we dive into the information age, we will always have regular mail. Though we may all be carrying around PDA’s, cell phones or whatever new combination communication gadget has been recently invented, we still greatly rely upon the mail or as it affectionately has become known, ‘snail mail’. Even with our mailboxes overflowing with junk mail, bills and tax forms, there is still the occasion that we get something that makes us feel good when we go through the pile. A birthday card, a magazine, or pictures from a family event, these hard, tangible documents are coveted. Though most of us get our mail slipped through a slot in the front door of our homes, actual mailboxes still exist, out there, in the rural countryside, along country roads and the byways of America.
Are these creations a utilitarian object or some form of folk art? They are certainly indigenous to a particular region, that being the rural countryside. And they present some type of decorative skills by their makers. Somehow they offer a reminder of colonial times in that they combine a sense of charm and practical craftsmanship. Intrinsically what I see in them is a naive sense of design and an outgoing desire to create an object that expresses individualism and creativity.