By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities artist has started a unique program since the stay-at-home order began. He’s calling it the Postal Express Project.

Mark Rivard may be best known for his Sharpie art on skateboards. Now, he’s started an interactive project putting art in mailboxes across the country at an approachable price.

You’ll find Rivard at his drawing board for much of the day. He’s creating art for friends and strangers as part of a new project.

“Just offhandedly I posted to Facebook that for $10 I would send you a sketch and I put my Venmo on there. Woke up the next morning to find my Venmo had been flooded with requests for sketches,” Rivard said.

He was looking for an outlet after most of his educational art contracts were cancelled through the summer -and the Postal Express Project was born.

“Just the idea that something right now as we’re kind of going through all of this that’s not our screen, that’s a physical tangible object, something to look forward to,” Rivard said.

So for $10 you can send Mark a word and he’ll take it from there.

“A single word subject is kind of a guideline you know. It sort of gives me a direction or just say artists choice and you never know what you’re going to get. A lot of golf, I’ve had a lot of my kid’s birthday things like that, right now I’m working on avocado toast,” Rivard said.

It’s helping him, but the project is also inspiring others. An art teacher in Florida requested a piece and then shared the project with her students.

“They get it and they see the importance and the excitement of how an artist right now could be doing this in our country during a pandemic,” Amanda Holloway said.

Mark says it’s fulfilling to create a dialogue with people he’s never met, and to send something special to people that marks the moment we’re in.

“Long after this project is done, I see this going onward. I don’t intend to quit. I think this is something I stumbled into that I really, really love,” Rivard said.

WCCO gave Mark a word too. See his sketch in the story.

Click here for information on how to request your own piece of art. He’s creating about 10 a day. The current wait time is about two weeks.

Jennifer Mayerle

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