The Love Lettering Project
The Love Lettering Project is a community arts engagement project that brings love letters to strangers. Lindsay has been writing love poems, turning them into one-of-a-kind paper and thread collages and slipping them into air mail envelopes marked ‘love’ since 2004.
Visit the official Love Lettering Project website here!
The Love Lettering Project is a community arts engagement project bringing love letters to strangers. It has the capacity to transform strangers’ relationship to public space and their communities through social engagement.
The Love Lettering Project has transcended local media and has been featured in national media for the last two years, including on CBC Television’s The National, Global National News, CTV’s Canada AM, The Toronto Star, Toronto Life, The Globe and Mail and CBC Radio’s Definitely Not the Opera and World Report. (More press details here).
To mark the 10th year of The Love Lettering Project, Lindsay collaborated with DreamCatcher Mentoring for a three-city tour of Canada’s North (Yellowknife, Whitehorse and Fort Smith). Supported in part by the Canada Council for the Arts, Lindsay invited high school students and teachers to write and create love letters to the places they live and anonymously distribute them throughout their communities. As a long-term DCM mentor, she also shared her experiences as a community engagement artist and writer.
Also in 2014, Lindsay partnered with Art in Transit to fill digital screens in the city’s downtown underground pedestrian walkway with city-focused love letters from February 3-29, 2014. Torontonians created the handmade missives in response to a public call for love letters.
In addition to speaking engagements about community art projects, in 2013, Lindsay embarked on a 5-city UK tour, with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and Indiegogo supporters. She partnered with various British arts organizations and events in London, Bristol, Brighton, Nottingham and Liverpool and asked folks across the pond to write love letters to their communities. More on the events here.
In 2012, with funding from The Awesome Foundation, Lindsay went on a 14-event Toronto tour, collaborating with community events and arts organizations such as Harbourfront Centre’s Canada Day festival, Celebrate Yonge Street Festival and Kensington Market’s street festival. Using paper donated from The Paper Place and Coach House Books, over 1,000 love letters were created and distributed throughout Toronto in a single summer. More on the events here!
Also in 2012, Tourism Toronto commissioned Lindsay to create 500 love letters to spread Toronto-love in Las Vegas and London, England.
There are three key components to the project:
1). Reflecting on what you love about the city you live in
The shift in perspective from seeing what needs to be fixed to what works in a city is a powerful shift indeed. This social engagement promotes a greater sense of well-being and civic pride.
2). The creation of the love letter as an art object
The project provides an opportunity for members of the community to engage with the written word and paper arts in a judgment-free, accessible forum.
3). Individuals take their love letter and hide it anonymously for a stranger to find
This final step asks participants to further engage with their physical community, hiding their love letter for a stranger to find with no personal agenda other than the simple pleasure of sharing joy.
The history of the project:
I (2004): Toronto love ~ phone booths, in bins of cherries at fruit markets, in gardens, on park benches, under windshield wipers on parked cars…
II (2006): Library love ~ Irving Layton to Baudelaire, first editions to brand new books, Nabokov in Russian, plays, poetry, fiction and everything in between…
III (2007): ‘Odes on brambles and elegies on hawthorns’ ~ a tree papered in love letters…
IV: (2008): Bike love ~ love poems to magnolia trees, wheat beer, old Penguin edition books, May and so many other lovely bits all tied to strangers’ bikes…
V (2009): First kisses ~ love letters with poems about the locations of first kisses – then delivered to these places…behind ice rinks, movie theatres, basements, behind churches, porches, driveways, school playgrounds…
VII (2011): Toronto love: The 2011 incarnation of the project was the most ambitious and involved the created and anonymous distribution of 500 love letters. In the spring of 2011, Zier-Vogel asked people to tell her their favourite things about Toronto and wrote love poems to these places – the lake, Romni Wools, the water treatment building in the east end, Mount Pleasant cemetery – and Zier-Vogel decided not to make between 80-100 love letters the way she had in the past, but instead made 500 one-of-a-kind love letters and hid them all over the city.
Community engagement: Later in 2011, Zier-Vogel began developing The Love Lettering Project as a community-generated project through the Toronto Public Library system during 2011 Culture Days and at the launch of the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Family Learning Centre. It was wonderful to see what people from all ages and different corners of the city love about Toronto – ravines, the CN Tower, the cherry trees in High Park…
VIII (2012): Love, write, deliver… In 2012, with funding from The Awesome Foundation, Lindsay embarked on a 14-event Toronto tour, collaborating with community events and arts organizations such as Harbourfront Centre’s Canada Day festival, Celebrate Yonge Street Festival and Kensington Market’s street festival. Over 1,000 love letters were created and distributed throughout Toronto in a single summer.
Later in 2012, Tourism Toronto commissioned Lindsay to create 500 love letters to spread Toronto-love in Las Vegas and London, England.