Pushing the Envelope(s)

bethannworking It’s not often you get a hand-addressed envelope in the mail anymore, let alone one that’s been stamped with a beautiful design. That’s why art intern Beth Ann Fogal has been tasked with designing and stamping the envelopes for our annual mailing this year. Fogal, who graduated with a Fine Arts major, works in oil paints, watercolor, charcoal, and most helpful to us this summer, printmaking. “Most donor letters are sent in typical, business type envelopes”, says Fogal, “so I was tasked with making that envelope into a work of art for the recipient.” After all, we’re an art center, so why not share beauty wherever we can? After creating a line drawing of the outside of the Harrison Center for the front of the envelope and a skyline view of Indianapolis for the back, Fogal transferred these drawings to two pieces of carving wood and carved out the designs with a Dremel tool. It’s then that ink is applied to the stamp with a roller and stamped onto the envelope itself and smoothed over with a clean roller. Once one side is dry the process is repeated on the other side with the other stamp. She then meticulously hand addresses them to ensure each envelope is as close to perfection as possible. No small undertaking as there are over 4,000 envelopes to address. It’s quite impressive how swiftly the process is moving. Fogal began creating the design for the envelopes in early June, completed them the first week of August and they will be mailed in the fall.


Although stamping envelopes might seem like just a huge art project, Fogal has been developing and utilizing her skills in leadership and organization along with the obvious work of printmaking. “I’ve gained a lot of experience in managing time and managing the interns that are helping me print. I’ve also been able to see how we can all work together to make a very big project turn out smoothly and beautifully.”