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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
World Bicycle Day
a reason to celebrate

Someone close to me recently retired Jun 1, and I made a card, but in some ways the envelope more explicitly references the event, tying it to other, more generally celebrated events, such as Juneteenth and World Bicycling Day, June 3rd.

mixed media envelope, 6.75 x 4.75". Ephemera, including stamps and vintage foil sticker[1] , 3 and 4 Jun 2022; this image from my phone actually turned out better than the lumix, oddly enough.

Expanding from the personal liberation (the first) the national—Juneteenth (the 19th), to the world (Bicycle Day) on the third—the card references all three with varying levels of specificity. Most of the ephemera comes from the mostly-useless costco mag they mail out, but it had some legs on the cover this time, and Fran collects legs (though usually floppy, photoshopped limbs, as opposed to extremely muscular ones of ultra-marathoners) so I just kept clipping stuff from it: that's where the references for both Juneteenth & world Bike day come from (both the recipient and I are cyclists, and hope to do trips together, so this seemed very appropos.)

Since the chinese restaurant saying referenced cows, and I added a dog (the recipient has a small furry dog, if not this exact breed) I drew the kanji for these animals. And what could represent freedom for a retiree who loves to travel better than a stamp that features a Hawi'ian shirt? Because the stamp on the front of the envelope, while appropriate to the ‘celebration’ iconography, also is cancelled, I put a uncancelled one on the back of a Black novelist, Nella Larsen. As a Harlem Renaissance writer, her stamp not only goes thematically with one of the holidays, but also visually ties to, and diagonally links, the similarly blue-purple ‘on’ text.

obverse. In order to keep from confusing the address-reading machines, I try to keep the decorations simpler.

Speaking of Fran, the doggie on the bottom is her contribution; the wooden fork is from an outing f2tE and I had at lovely patisserie after visiting a feminist art exhibit[2] (first time we've been in a museum since the pandemic). So, in a sense the card is not only a celebration of the recipient's retirement, but also a recognition of my slowly coming to terms with the post-COVID world.

[1]from my bestie, whose mom saved it for goodness knows how many decades...

[2]Women artists, even with huge amounts of sexism have always been around; it's sad that after success in their own day in overcoming barriers, later historians nearly erased them from the narrative. Infuriating, but also celebratory to see their work being recognized now.