Installation view from “Mitsuko Brooks: Letters Mingle Souls” on view at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.
Courtesy photo
Installation view from “Mitsuko Brooks: Letters Mingle Souls” on view at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.

BMAC, Brattleboro Area Hospice host workshop on writing to lost loved ones

BRATTLEBORO — On Saturday, April 29, at 2 p.m., staff of the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) and Brattleboro Area Hospice will lead a workshop presented in connection with the exhibition “Mitsuko Brooks: Letters Mingle Souls,” at the BMAC, in which participants will create mail art or a letter to a loved one who has passed on, .

Brooks is a Brooklyn-based artist and archivist. Her mixed-media collages and sculptures address issues of mental health.

Brooks collaborates with suicide-loss survivors and asks them to express “lingering thoughts, emotions, and feelings” that they wish they could share with their lost loved ones. She then incorporates their words and sentiments in collage compositions layered upon reclaimed boards, postcards, and book covers.

The resulting works of art evoke the power of everyday objects to carry personal memories and messages.

In her essay for the BMAC exhibition, Brooks speaks of her engagement with a model of clinical psychology that considers four factors involved in a patient's healing: the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual. The spiritual is especially important to Brooks, and she writes: “I reference the spiritual in my new mail art ... in hopes of bringing peace to the survivors and of connecting with the other realm.”

Brooks engages with the longstanding tradition of mail art, using the art form to address highly personal mental health concerns and to foster not just material but also spiritual connections.

“By sending mail-art pieces back to the deceased, Brooks emphasizes correspondence that moves beyond conventional forms of communication and into the spiritual realm,” curator David Rios Ferreira writes in an essay accompanying the BMAC exhibition.

Brooks is of mixed settler Japanese and European descent. She was born on Misawa Air Base, Japan. Her work has been exhibited at The San Francisco Art Institute, California College of Arts, and SOMArts, among others, and her zines, artist books, and mail art collages are in permanent collections at the Smithsonian's Archive of American Art, Canada's Artexte Information Centre, the Asian American Arts Centre, and The Los Angeles Contemporary Archive.

She received her Master of Fine Arts in painting and drawing from UCLA, her bachelor's from Cooper Union, and her Master of Library and Information Science and Certificate in Archives and Preservation of Cultural Materials from CUNY Queens College.

This in-person event is free, and walk-ins are welcome. Optional registration is available in advance at

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