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Grateful Dead Fan Art Showcased

Dead Letters is the title of an unlikely new book that is a showcase for the most creative envelopes sent by Grateful Dead fans in an effort to score tickets to the group's concerts.  The Dead's decision to begin distributing tickets directly to fans in the early 1980s produced an avalanche of millions of requests. Inevitably, some fans decided their chances of getting tickets would improve if the envelope containing their request was more eye-catching than the average #10 envelope.  That notion quickly gained traction and the daily delivery of mail to the Dead's San Rafael, California offices went from plain vanilla to a kaleidoscope of colors and design in a flash.
Paul Grushkin took on the task of looking through 15,000 of the estimated 10 million envelopes sent in by fans that made it into the official archive of the band at UC Santa Cruz to come up with 400 that stood out as particularly creative.  He called the challenge '...a sheer delight'.  The envelopes featured in Dead Letters include ones adorned in crayon, pen & ink, oil, watercolors, collages and other media.  Grushkin says the art work was all the more inspired because there were no guidelines other than the requirement that the work surface be a standard #10 envelope.


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