Frankie Lane’s art installation titled “You’ve Got Mail” recently opened at ChaShaMa’s West 37th Street Gallery in New York City. “You’ve Got Mail” celebrates the thousands of years of complex mail delivery systems from messenger pigeons to the modern-day USPS and the creative spirit of those people sending and receiving mail. The installation space is filled with large-scale canvases of mailboxes enhanced with canceled stamps, mail bags line the floor and vintage letters with canceled stamps hang from twine dotting the walls.
Frankie Lane is fascinated by how people express their creativity, profession, personality or just a favorite color in their choice of mailbox. He wants visitors of the ChaShaMa Gallery’s installation to ponder the history and future of letter writing: When was the last time you put pen to paper and mailed a letter? Has the cost and convenience of email killed the art of handwriting and letter writing? How many times does the letter change hands before it gets to the recipient? And what does the receiver of your letter’s mailbox look like? What does your own mailbox look like?
The “You’ve Got Mail” installation had its premiere at the ChaShaMa Gala 2021 with a costumed mailperson that encouraged letter writing by offering postcards with an image of mailboxes and pre-paid postage which were dropped into the mailbox. Hundreds of gala attendees took advantage of the opportunity to send postcards to friends. Frankie Lane is an artist who works in various media, including photography, collage, painting, video, and music. Versions of Lane’s “You’ve Got Mail” are already booked for future gallery-based installations in 2023.
ChaShaMa was founded in 1995 by Anita Durst to celebrate the legacy of theatre visionary Reza Abdoh. ChaShaMa’s initial focus was on the production and presentation of new theatre. Recognizing that a lack of affordable space was the biggest threat to sustaining a diverse cultural environment in New York City, they began to work toward securing studio and presentation space in Midtown Manhattan for struggling artists by partnering with Property Owners that provide unused space to ChaShaMa. In the first decade, they secured seven locations on 42nd street between 6th and Broadway, presenting over 700 shows.
Since then, they have moved from midtown Manhattan to the 5 boroughs and beyond, giving artists work and presentation spaces, as well as providing free art workshops in under-served communities. Currently, presenting over 150 events a year, with workspaces for 120 artists, they have developed 80 workshops in under-served communities.
To learn more about Frankie Lane go to FrankieLaneArtist.com.
To learn more about ChaShaMa Chashama.org.