But it's good too if what I already like to do can, in some small way, help out. Donating art for charity is nothing new - there are auctions, secret postcard sales, fairs where a percentage of any sale goes to charity and so on. The charity is often the organiser of such events, but the Instagram project #oneofmanypostcard dreamt up by John Pedder comes from the artist end of things.
His plan is straightforward - an artist (let's say a printmaker - I think it started with printmakers) produces an edition or series of postcard-sized prints, and offers them up on Instagram (John sets a date for sending them out, giving the project more presence and excitement, and therefore ultimately more effectiveness). For free. Anyone who would like one says Ooo, yes please (until they're all spoken for), and in return is expected to make a donation for what they consider the print is worth, to a charity of their choice - or volunteer or whatever, something that aids a charity. And really that's it. On or around the chosen date, artists post, people receive, and make a donation - a small good thing happens, in this difficult world of ours, and that's a plus. And it's growing all the time, with a lot of excitement generated around the date, feeding into momentum for the next date, and the next. How big will it become?
I acquired a couple of postcards from previous release dates and was determined this last time (February 14th) to join in myself. A bit nervous - what if nobody wants them? - but the two dozen I committed to did go, plus a couple more to make me feel wanted (good grief). I sent them out to the USA and Canada, Germany and the Czech Republic, and all around GB, and already I'm hearing back from people. So many charities getting funds - however much, however little - they might not otherwise have received. Cancer charities, mental health ones, Crisis, funds connected to the Australian bush fires, saving cockatoos, helping the homeless, and doubtless many more. There's no need to say what charities recipients donate to, but I was touched by how many people chose to tell me. When I first decided to join in, I suggested that what the printmakers got out of it was inky fingers and a warm fuzzy feeling. I was right.