An example of “Art in the Mail

Explore creativity through mail

Sooke's poet Wendy Morton offers free program at the library

Sooke’s library is offering a special art program for adults and teens on the afternoon of Saturday, Feb 15, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.. This free 90-minute “Art in the Mail” program allows participants to explore their creative sides.

Wendy Morton, a local poet and artist, will help guide your inner creative genius in this afternoon devoted to the love of written letters, and the envelopes that hold them. At this workshop, you will discover how to create collages on envelopes from old photographs, bits of poems, beautiful napkins, and magazines, to make personalized art for your friends and family. Choose from the eclectic bits of provided materials, and create and personalize your envelopes. The only recommended prerequisite is that you have an intended recipient in mind.

This course is being taught by Sooke’s creative force, Wendy Morton, who has lovingly created these envelopes for friends of hers. Using photographs, napkins, calendars, cut out words and magazine bits, Morton makes these collage-style works of personalized art intended solely for the addressee on the envelope.

“You don’t have to be an artist,” says Morton, you just have to want to give a bit a of joy. “A great joy,” she calls it, “Magic Recycling.” These envelopes are constructed with only the intended recipient in mind, and magnify the act of giving.

Morton’s background includes careers as a printer, private investigator, and poet.

Morton began her high-flying career as a published poet back in 2001. She had just published her first book of poetry, Private Eye, and was looking for a way to turn her book into cash. So, according to Poets.ca, “she called up WestJet Airlines, suggested she read poems for the passengers and write poems for them, in exchange for flights.”

Looking back on that, Morton said, “I just ask for what I want, and usually I more or less get it.” Sure enough, they said yes, and Morton became WestJet’s Poet of the Skies. “I had a really good run with them, seven years with WestJet.” She also received a car through sponsorship and many comp hotel stays.

Most recently, Morton was featured on CBC’s Definitely Not the Opera, for her poem, “If I had a Name Like Rosie Fernandez.” This work caught the eye of — you guessed it — Rosie Fernandez, who is the DNTO producer.

Morton has published five books of poetry and a memoir. She is the founder of Canada’s Random Acts of Poetry and recipient of the Spirit Bear Award, the Golden Beret Award, the Colleen Thibaudeau Outstanding Contribution to Canadian Poetry from the League of Canadian Poets, and made an honorary citizen of Victoria. She believes we are all poets at heart.

If you attend this free art event, you’ll go home with at least two artful envelopes and a desire to send art in the mail. Registration is required, so call the Sooke library in advance, at 250-642-3022.

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