Mail art is simply art sent through the mail. It can be an envelope, hand made postcard, sculpture, or even recorded sounds. There is a theme, defined in the mail art call, but there are no juries or fees, all who are interested may make art and send it in. The exhibit can be in a gallery, or in a non-traditional venue like a post office, community center, cafe, or bookstore. The work is not returned. In exchange, artists receive a card or catalog documenting the show, or images may be posted on a website or blog.
Why do mail art? Mail art gives artists an opportunity to explore new themes and techniques, and share those results with others outside the constraints of marketability. Mail art includes games like add and pass (receive art, work on it, send it to the next person) which require direct visual communication with other artists – the artist can work on and alter someone else’s art, and thus see things in a new way.
In these times, my connection to the mail art world helps me thrive.