One Last Thing

Artist

Deb Monti

Date

2020

Location

Greater Pittsburgh, PA

Commissioning Organization

Office of Public Art

About the Project

One Last Thing is a correspondence-based public art project by artist Deb Monti that was aimed at giving Pittsburgh area residents the opportunity to share, via postcard, the one thing they regret not saying or doing for a loved one before the Covid-19 crisis.

Inspired by both the DIY and mail-art movements, Monti designed prepaid, self-addressed postcards with an area for recipients to anonymously write a message responding to the prompt: What is something you wish you had told someone in person, pre-quarantine? In addition to hand written messages, correspondents were encouraged to express themselves through drawing, painting, and collaging directly onto the postcard.

In order to produce the postcards, Monti learned the screen printing technique at Artists Image Resource (AIR), an artist run, non-profit print and imaging studio established in Pittsburgh’s North Side to serve as a laboratory for artists, educators, and the community. There, Monti screen-printed all of the postcards for the project with the help of AIR print technicians.

The prepaid, self-addressed postcards were distributed throughout the Pittsburgh region with assistance from partners that included Brew House Association, a non-profit art center located in the former Duquesne Brewing Company facility in Pittsburgh’s South Side; and with the help of artist John Peña who is currently working with the Larimer Senior Group in Pittsburgh. Additional distribution support came from various organizations, businesses, and institutions such as restaurants, community centers, meal distribution centers, and other institutions that adapted to curb-side service such as public libraries. Correspondents were invited to mail or email their submissions to the artist, who then categorized, scanned, and archived on the artist’s website.

Online Resources

Submissions

Postcard submissions have been collected in a digital archive on the artist’s website.

About the Artist

Deb Monti is a painter and a writer. She grew up in Pittsburgh and graduated from Yale University in 2019, where she studied American history. Monti paints with vibrant, complementary colors and approaches everything with trust.

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“One Last Thing harnesses this historic moment and works to remind us that—although all quarantines are different—many of us are navigating similar emotional dynamics with relationships that have been put on pause, rekindled, or quickly intensified.”

Deb Monti

Image credits

All images and photos courtesy the artist

Related

PROJECTS

Black Rest ThoughtPathways

An online video series dedicated to Black and Indigenous rest practices by Black Dream Escape was uploaded to YouTube every Wednesday over the course of June 2020.

PROJECTS

The Quarantine Companion

When the quarantine began, an artist team led by Sharon Massey and Sean Derry began distributing “kits” consisting of needle, thread, googly eyes and instructions for how people could create their own companions using leftover fabric and other scraps.