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Letters to Alfred

call for participants

Alfred, NY has been home for a time to countless people and made an impact on each and every person who passes through it. Many experience a sensation of magic in this place, and we invite you to continue to engage with that magic from afar through this project.

We will send each participant a piece of biodegradable handmade paper embedded with seeds of wild plants that are native or naturalized to the Southern Tier region. You can write your letter to Alfred on this paper and return it to us using the included pre-addressed stamped envelope. Your letter will be included in an exhibition at the Cohen Gallery in August 2019, reproduced in a book, and ultimately returned to the landscape to fully deliver the message and allow the seeds to grow and flourish.

What would you like to say to this place that was once your home? How did it change you and how did you change it? What thoughts, feelings, and memories arise when you conjure Alfred in your mind?

"Letters to Alfred" is open to anyone who used to live in the town of Alfred, NY for any amount of time and no longer lives there. You can choose to have your name associated with your letter or remain anonymous. This project is a component of "Won't You Be My Neighbor", an ongoing collaboration between Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr., Cassandra Bull, Caitlin Brown curator of the Cohen Gallery, Emma Percy, and the community of Alfred.

To participate, simply contact Emma or Michael with your name, address, and email:

Emma Percy // // 716.982.8173

Michael Stevenson Jr. // // 301.641.8004