Mysterious Letters: Art Project or Mail Fraud?

Mysterious Letters, art project
PITTSBURGH — "We intend to write to everyone in the world..." say artists Lenka Clayton and Michael Crowe on their website, Mysterious Letters.

Last week, 620 residents of the Polish Hill community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania received letters from Clayton and Crowe. Some were written on standard lined paper, some were on colorful postcards, and others were on materials like stickers, name tags and even a small saucer. But no matter what materials were used, each letter was hand-written and personally addressed by the artistic pair.

In April 2009, each of the 467 households in the small Irish village of Cushendall received similar letters.

But while some Polish Hill residents think the art project is an inspiration, others aren't so excited by it. One woman received a letter saying how nice she and her husband were, but the man had died and that made her uncomfortable. A local sculptor describe the project as "artsy-goofy" and "mysteriously pretentious." Some recipients were just plain confused by it all.

Crowe and Clayton spent about 10 hours a day over two weeks writing 70 letters each day. Their website explains, "We hoped these unsolicited letters would prompt neighborly discussion, spreading across the town, promoting community curiosity."

Like the reactions from the residents of Polish Hill, comments on the Mysterious Letters website vary from praise to accusations of mail fraud. All of the letters were photographed prior to their mailing and can be viewed at
Read More - Pittsburgh Mystery Letters Revealed as Art Project | AP
[Photo: Example of a letter sent to Polish Hill residents in Nov. 2009 by Lenka Clayton and Michael Crowe, courtesy]


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