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McIntyre Library seeks 'secrets' for community art project

RELEASED: Jan. 26, 2010

EAU CLAIRE — University students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to reveal their deepest secrets — anonymously — in a creative and cathartic community art project that kicks off this week. "Secret Post," as much an artistic venture as a therapeutic service, provides an outlet for sharing a secret weighing heavily on one's mind. Participants write it on a postcard and let it go.

The project is based on postsecret.com, a Web site founded by Frank Warren, who initiated the concept for an art exhibit in Germantown, Md., but took it to the Internet when the postcards kept coming in.

Eric Jennings, reference and instruction librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, is coordinating the local effort along with some artist friends who hope to get the community involved. The benefit to those who participate and to those who view the postcards is in seeing that others are dealing with similar issues and that they are not alone.

Jennings is not an artist himself, but is fascinated by the design people take into consideration when sharing their secrets.

"I read it every week online," he said. "You can feel what they are saying."

Blank postcards can be obtained, and will be collected, through March 12 at UW-Eau Claire's McIntyre Library, in Room 104 of the Haas Fine Arts Center and at a number of locations off campus, including Benny Ha Ha, Brickhouse Music, Boys & Girls Club, Eau Claire YMCA, Globe University, Grand Little Theatre, Infinitea Tea House, Just Local Foods, L.E. Phillips Public Library and The Purple Petunia. Jennings recommends that participants be brief, legible and creative.

During the month of April, Secret Post will be displayed at McIntyre Library, in the Haas Fine Arts Center and at the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center.

For more information, instructions and downloadable postcard templates, go to the McIntyre Library Web site or contact Eric Jennings at 715-836-4076; Jyl Kelley at 715-836-4622 or kelleyja@uwec.edu; Jill Olm at 715-836-2358 or olmj@uwec.edu; or Lori Chilefone at lori@nextstepenergy.com.

-30-

RD/DW

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