Monday, April 29, 2013

New site! New blog!

It is with great excitement that I announce that you should please bookmark my NEW online portfolio/blog/home for exciting things over at Please do!

This blog will no longer be updated; please find and follow its replacement HERE.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Love Letters :: Messages Received -- opening 3/2

Love Letters :: Messages Received, a new body of work by Marissa Falco, is on display at the Washington Street Art Center from March 2–30, 2013. In this exhibit, Falco uses fabric and thread to craft three-dimensional, functional objects that are both highly relatable and intimately personal. Love’s many messages from the world around us are hidden in hand-constructed garments, while a handmade quilt features text from Falco’s extensive cache of analog correspondence. These objects explore communication within relationships of all kinds, and the types of messages directly received versus the messages one chooses to take in from the world at large.

Falco’s Love Letters :: Messages Received presents a vintage aesthetic of hand-tailored clothes and letters sent through the mail interwoven with undeniably modern elements of pop music, humor, and sexuality.

Opening reception for Love Letters :: Messages Received will be held Saturday March 2nd, 7–10PM, and will be on view to the public 12–4 on Saturdays in March at the Washington Street Art Center.

Recipient of a 2013 multidisipline artist fellowship from the Somerville Arts Council and the Mass Cultural Council, Falco will be creating, presenting, teaching, and writing throughout 2013. View more work from Marissa Falco at


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sweet Dreams + How to Be A Lady :: new zines

This is a joint project I worked on with Carolee Superdilettante last summer. At an early age, music videos gave us ideas about how the world worked and how we might come to be adults. Each of these zines is about how certain music videos from the 80s and early 90s shaped this concept in our minds. These zines are text-heavy with very detailed cut and paste layouts/illustrations. Behold! If you like memoir-perzines about gender and pop culture this is right up your alley.

If that were not enough, the zines will arrive packaged in a handmade gold paper folder hand-decorated with notebook graffiti representative of the era. What sort of graffiti? Look into your past, my friends. You know what you drew on YOUR notebooks. It's good stuff.

More about the zines here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

When Somerville Hugs You Back

This is my second time living in Somerville. The first time was in 2001, when I graduated from college, started working full-time, and after a sleepless summer realized that I needed to be out of the student neighborhood in Allston. So I looked on Craigslist and found a room in a big house in Teele Square, just around the corner from a good friend, and lived there for two years with a revolving cast of roommates. At that time, zines were the main creative force in my life, and purely by chance I was recruited by a fellow zine-maker to take part in the very first Bazaar Bizarre craft fair at the VFW in Davis Square. This was the beginning of something, but at the time I didn't know that.

My second Somerville residence began in mid-2009, when a friend living there let me know that the apartment below her was vacant, and should I be interested in living there, we could drink tea and work on art projects all the time. You know, in case that appealed. It did. Although part of a fantastic living arrangement north of the city, I'd been getting weary of being so far from "the action" or whatever, and found myself hoping to live somewhere with more community and more art and more places to hang out. So I moved back, and for the first time I lived alone, and even though I was doing a decent job of making it work, I was really REALLY scared of messing everything up for a solid six months or so. But eventually I got a couch, and I made a budget, and I started working on a lot of projects, and over three years later I'd say that it's been going better than well. I've met some interesting people, worked on lots of artwork alone and with friends, I've drawn several posters for Bazaar Bizarre, and I joined the community of artists at WSAC, or The Art Center, as I usually call it.

All of which is to say that Somerville and I have been getting along quite well, creatively. It is a good place and it is good that I am here.

What was good got even better last week, when I found out that I've been awarded a fellowship grant from the Somerville Arts Council this year. Yes! This is based on the work I've done so far, and will essentially be an investment in the work I'm going to do this year, which is very exciting. It is an honor, and all the more special as it means I'm representing/being recognized by a place that I am quite fond of. I want to make lots of great things this year, and make Somerville proud. And I want you to come see these things, and experience this place that means so much to me.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Parcel Ghost's Guide to Post: a new zine about mail!

Originally conceived as a means for teaching young mail-art makers about the rules of the post office, the Parcel Ghost quickly took on an afterlife of his own. In the Parcel Ghost's Guide to Post, the friendly spirit (who used to work for the post office when he was alive) shares his knowledge about mail practices and particulars, and tells some stories about his adventures and mail he's sent and received. This zine is intended for mail lovers of all ages.

Get a copy for yourself and your mail-loving friends HERE

The Parcel Ghost has started a tumblr about his mail and adventures HERE

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mail Call class at BEAM camp

For a week this summer, I was a guest instructor at BEAM camp in New Hampshire. It's a sleep-away camp way out there in nature, specializing in innovation and building and making things happen, a very cool place to be. I was there to teach two art classes, the first of which was Mail Call, designed to teach kids all about mail and mail art (not male art, as I keep having to explain). The idea was that I'd show the kids some examples of mail art, point them toward a pile of supplies, and then set them loose to create their own weird things to send to friends and family back home. I managed to snap some photos of the kids' work before all the postcards and letters were mailed.

I purchased some antique-style cat stickers recently and they proved to be one of the most popular supplies in the art barn. Everyone had to make a cat postcard! Yes, everyone. The kids also really liked the washi tape, decades-old Pantone swatch book, and rubber stamps from the supply box.

More postcards by various artists. Note that the cat sticker on the card in the lower left corner is saying "Please love me Aidan!" I hope Aidan received this postcard and chose to love that beautiful, mysterious cat admirer. The kids also enjoyed using typewriters for their mail projects.

Nature postcards made of collected nature in cellophane bags

A kid made this postcard of lace and the dictionary definition for "gentle"

On the last day of class, the plan was to teach the kids to carve erasers into custom rubber stamps. But when the day arrived, we couldn't find the knives anywhere. We ended up making do with the one x-acto I'd brought from home and a couple of craft knives we found in the office. "Please, please just watch out for your fingers," I said, giving a lesson on knife safety before the kids got started "And please don't lean your face in quite so close while I'm carving. Please." I said a little prayer for no lost fingers and no poked eyes, and then let them go to it.

Eraser carving was going great! Kids were sharing materials, waiting patiently for use of one of the knives, asking for help carving some of the tiny details. And then the lights went out. Yes. Thirteen of us (me, my assistant, and eleven campers) sat in the dark as much of camp lost power. "Just keep working!" I chirped, trying to keep a cool exterior. Carving erasers was my backup plan, the final structured activity I had planned for these kids, and it wasn't safe to have them wielding knives in the dark. We'd have to do something else. Sure, I could improvise something, but in the dark? That made it a little more tricky. "Hey, can we carve on the porch?" one of the kids asked. Great idea! So half of us went out to the porch, finding that the floor of the porch was mostly dry enough to sit on. We sat out there, working on our stamps, when someone had the excellent idea to tell ghost stories, because that's what you do when the power goes out. I had a chance to tell my most favorite ghost story, which the kids deemed "creepy but also nice." By the end of the afternoon, we had many stamps to show.

Eggplant by a counselor; all others kid-made!

When I got home from camp, I made a stack of camp-inspired postcards in thanks to the mail artists who sent us interesting, beautiful, or mysterious mail at camp. It's amazing that how many people are willing to share their time and their creations to keep the art form going! Many thanks go out to Angela J., Christine N., Linda W., Jacque D., Aaron J., Pamela G., Billie Jo S., and Judith M. Check your mailboxes soon!

Special thanks, also, to my friends at the Letter Writers Alliance for multiple mails including the pigeon, to Superdilettante for excellent mail, and to Virginia and Leah for stationery donations. Please stay tuned for a post about what we made in my other class!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Zine Talk 6/27, open to the public

Next Wednesday, 6/27, I'll be presenting a bit about my zine-making history and how my formal education in journalism and design influenced my ongoing perzine publishing. Alana Kumbier will be talking about zines and libraries and building community. Papercut Zine Library will be there. It should be an excellent evening. Thanks to the Somerville Arts Council for the opportunity.

For more info, click here.