I like to send art through the mail. I enjoy thinking about postal employees and others who might see my art pieces while they move from place to place. While I’m making, addressing, and putting stamps on my mail art I imagine the pleasure people get from receiving it. Then I take a walk to the corner mail box, and say good bye to my work. I like being a part of a community connected by the mail, and as an artist, I believe visual communication rules!
What is Mail art? Mail art is simply art sent through the mail. It could 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, fees, or selective criteria – all who are interested may make art and send it in. The exhibit could be in a gallery, or in a non-traditional venue like a post office, community center 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 and using archival materials. Games like add and pass (receive art, work on it, send it to the next person) 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.