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'Secret Post' exhibit reveals creative and powerful secrets

RELEASED: March 25, 2010

EAU CLAIRE — Postcards expressing the innermost secret thoughts of individuals on and around the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus are on display in the Haas Fine Arts Center through April 1.

"Secret Post," a community art project, brought in 91 entries to date and welcomes more postcards for displays scheduled for April 12-30 in UW-Eau Claire's McIntyre Library and May 5-28 at the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center. The objective of the exhibit is to provide an outlet for sharing a secret weighing heavily on one's mind. Participants write it on a postcard and let it go. Approximately 80 percent of the entries came from UW-Eau Claire students, faculty and staff. The remainder was from the community at large.

"I have to say that I am extremely happy with the creativity that those who chose to participate have shown," said Eric Jennings, a McIntyre Library reference and instruction librarian. "There are some really powerful secrets that people released through this project and the designs are incredible. The words alone are powerful, but when you add in the imagery associated with each of these secrets you learn a lot more about the person and what their secret means to them."

Jennings helped coordinate the exhibit after discovering postsecret.com, a Web site founded by Frank Warren. Warren initiated the concept for a local art exhibit in Germantown, Md., but took it to the Internet when the postcards kept coming in. Jennings frequently visits the site to see updated posts.

"When I was looking through the postcards I noticed some that I could relate to even though they weren't my own," said Jennings. "That's the other great thing that I think people can really get from this — they share some of the same thoughts and feelings as other people on campus or in the community. This art display is accessible to the artist and nonartist alike."

Text-only versions of the postcards received can be viewed online.

A box of blank postcards is located next to the display case in the Haas Fine Arts Center. Postcards may continue to be mailed to McIntyre Library with "Secret Post" written on the address line. More information, instructions and downloadable postcard templates are available online or by contacting 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.

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RD/DW

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