Large brown envelopes cling to the sides of walls in many buildings around the Sam Houston State University campus. Inside these envelopes are many white envelopes. Upon closer inspection, the white envelopes simply have three bits of information: an anonymous address, a Web site and a small quip inviting a submission.
These envelopes were designed to stir curiosity and be taken by people who happen to pass by them. The person then submits their interpretation of a quip that lines the inside of each envelope.
“With this project, we want to avoid focusing on the individuals and instead allow people to focus on individuals’ ideas,” the creators of The Theo and Sophia Project said.
The Theo and Sophia Project is anonymous in two ways. The actual creators are just as anonymous as the people who participate.
“We think anonymity is beneficial because it makes people feel safe, and therefore liberated to express themselves honestly,” the creators said.
The Theo and Sophia Project, which was created in part of completion for an independent study class, is a personal expansion on a former class titled “Self-published Works.”
“We wanted to take the subject of self-publication a step further than we had in the previous semester, so we started thinking of ways to do that,” the creators of the project said.
The inside of the white envelopes read the phrase, “fill me with the notion of” and are followed by one of sixteen words chosen by the creators of The Theo and Sophia Project.
These sixteen concepts have been derived from a verse in the Book of James that reads, “every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow caused by turning.”
As the creators of The Theo and Sophia Project reflected on the verse, they discovered what the project should stand for.
“When we think of what gifts are good and perfect, we don’t think of material things, or even non-material things like talents, because we think all of those things are temporary and specific to individuals’ lives,” the creators said.
What we think of instead are things that are perfect [and complete] in themselves,” the creators said. “[Some] things that He gives us: peace, redemption, reconciliation, mercy, charity, self-sacrifice, unconditional love, truth, atonement, faithfulness, healing, freedom, humility, salvation, revelation and forgiveness.”
After a submission is received, it is posted to the project’s Web site.
“We wanted to give the public a chance to experience the responses physically, so we decided to add the exhibition element to the project to make that possible,” the creators of The Theo and Sophia Project said.
This project has received submissions from the residents of Huntsville with their interpretations of the quip that lines the inside of the envelopes.
The large brown envelopes have been located in the Library Computer Lab, the Music Building, the Evans Complex, the Dan Rather Communications Building, AB 4, AB, the LSC, the Art Department and the Chi Alpha House.
“We know that people see things differently, so at the very least, we hope that the project will provide people with an opportunity to have a voice, to express something personal and to connect with others,” said the creators.
Unsolicited submissions are accepted. To make a submission to The Theo and Sophia Project, send an interpretation of one of the sixteen concepts to Theo + Sophia, P.O. Box 7231, Huntsville, TX 77342. All submissions must be in accordance with any of the sixteen concepts.