Mail Art

Art In The Mail- Why Do I Love Mail Art?

The mail art movement is international. That right there intrigues me, pulls me in.

Mail artists live in various cultures worldwide, places that contrast politically, economically and socially. When there is a call, these artists generously send in their creative ideas, their imagery; drawings, prints, collages, paintings, any and all forms that can make it through the postal system are dispatched. Essentially, they send their voices, and for a moment it all comes together in one space. This is unifying as much as it is divergent but mostly it is powerful. It’s a powerful, connected artistic community.

Mail art is also easy to jump into, as accessible as your mailbox.

This will be a running list of reasons I participate, as they come to mind:

*Mail Art is creative (of course that had to be listed first). There’s lots of creative problem solving in response to a particular theme.Yes, I do so in my painting and collage series, but those have a particular recurring focus, developed over time. Mail art presents me with topics I may not have considered. It stimulates creative thinking.

*Mail Art is experimental. This is an extension of the above creativity. It’s a chance to let loose in a small format and explore various artistic styles with diverse materials.

*Mail Art is democratic. Artist on all levels of skill and experience may contribute. There is no jury, no judgment.

*Mail Art creates its own standards. That is, the artists set the parameters. No museum, gallery, or collector dictates what is acceptable or what defines “today’s art”.

*Mail Art is subversive. That goes along with the above and because Mail art has roots in Dada.

OK, that’s some of my two cents worth, more to come later…

Following is a list of projects I’ve contributed to lately. The Thumb! Call is listed in 2008. Here are photos of the Thumb! Exhibition

The Philosophy Day 1st International Mail Art Exhibition. An exhibition was held November 21-November 28 2007 at Vlasis Art .Com Gallery, Thessaloniki, Greece.

1st MoSa Collection Exhibition An exhibition was held November 1-15, 2007 in Malaysia

Sustaining Our Environment Postcards Project The postcards were displayed at the Janette Kennedy Gallery and the Women’s Caucus For Art booth in Dallas Texas, USA February 2008.

Ruud Janssen’s Mail-Artists Selfportraits Project (the Netherlands).

Inside and Out  Architecture and Interior Design Mail Art Event and Dialogue. Organized by the Modesto Art Museum. An exhibition was held March 15-April ?, 2008, at Picasso’s Deli and Gallery. Modesto, CA USA

Postcard Montreal, Québec, CANADA

SACREDNESS OF THE WILDLIFE The artworks were exhibited during April 2008 in Athens, Greece, at the Hellenic Pagan Festival «Olympieia»

Ryosuke Cohen’s Brain Cell -Fractal #709 & #718, Osaka, Japan

Fetish & Consumption The Exhibition is at the Akademie Schlos Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany, May 29, 2008 -July 5, 2008

Thème 2008; Le Vin (yep, that’s wine!) Works will be exhibited during the first edition of “Mail Art Encounters”, in Castelnau-Montratier, France, in the Village Hall, in City Hall, and in the shops.

…and then of course Thumb!

1-stamp-copy

Thumb! There was a three-day exhibit July 25, 26, & 27, 2008 at the Odd Fellows Hall in Kernville, California, USA.

Mailmania 3 Exhibition at Studio J, Victoria, BC, September 18-27, 2008, and at the Slide Room Gallery at the Vancouver Island School of Art,Victoria, BC Jan 11- 4 Feb 2009. Deadline: September 4, 2008

L’enfance Mailartee Exhibition for sale to benefit French Children’s Associations. Deadline: September 26, 2008

POETRY AND STAMP ART Deadline: October 20, 2008

Ko de Jonge’s Art = Start Archives of Artists Books, Middleburg, The Netherlands

Woman: The Prism deadline October31, 2008. Exhibition: Circolo Arcimontorio Verona, Italy

TEN To commemorate North York Visual Artists’ 10th anniversary. Deadline: November 1, 2008. Exhibition: NYVA’s Winter Show at the Papermill Gallery, Todmorden Mills, Toronto from December 3rd to 14th, 2008

Elimination of Violence against Women  2nd International Mail Art Exhibition– Exhibition in Serres, Greece. Deadline: November 11, 2008.

Artistamps in the Mailstream Exhibition: The show will be mounted at Mess Hall in Chicago as part of the Collections and Archives as Creative Practice show at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Artistamps in the Mailstream is curated by Andrew Oleksiuk.Deadline: November 26, 2008

The Ocean Works will be exhibited December 5, 2008 -January 10, 2009 in the The Françoise Giroud Library of Castries, France. Deadline: November 15, 2008

Arnolfini Archives’ project called Mini[e]MailArt  #4 Violet Spots  An online project. Deadline: November 30, 2008

Conceptual Continuity  That tenuous thread that, outside and above individual projects and personal experiences, connects the work of Ray Johnson to the current Mail Art. Italy. Deadline December 10, 2008

The 11th Annual Postcards From The Edge  in New York. Benefit Sale – one day only-Saturday, January 10, 2009 from 11:00 – 6:00. Deadline: Friday, December 18, 2008

Artistamp 2008  Deadline: December 31, 2008

Andreas Hofer-Tyrolean Hero There will be several exhibitions in South Tyrol, Germany, and elsewhere in 2009.  Deadline: December 31, 2008

Gallery 7 Mail Art Call  Gallery exhibition in Hutchison, Kansas.

Arnolfini Archives Mini[e]MailArt No5 – Unique numbers  Deadline February 29, 2009.

Surrealism Mail Art Exhibition  March 3-26, 2009 Mistlin Gallery, 1015 J Street, Modesto, California. organized by the Modesto Art Museum.

Estampillas de Artista Artistamps, Argentina.

Mail Train  Minden, Germany. Deadline March 31, 2009

Malaysia Mail Art Festival 2009   Shah Alam Gallery, Shah Alam, Malaysia. April 2009

Dodo Dada Dado  Deadline: 30 January 2010. Claudio creates 3-D with our mail art.

desmond

“Zero Nuclear Weapons, Zero Weapons of Mass Destruction: Create a Culture of Peace Now!” Deadline: September 1, 2009 . To be displayed at The Ribbon International at the United Nations Conference in Mexico City in September, 2009.

Heebee Jeebeeland Visit “An Island Paradise for Mail Artists Located in the 4th Dimension”. Exhibition at Jupiter Arts Gallery, Centralia, WA starting June 20, 2010. Deadline June 1, 2010

Human, Colours, Music International Mail Art Project in Athens, Greece. Exhibition in the Syntagma Square in Athens from June 21-28, 2010. Deadline: May 30, 2010

NOUVEAU PROJET D’ART POSTAL  Exhibition at the Forum of Chauny, France, from June 11- 19, 2010. Deadline: June 10th, 2010

FLUXUS ST.LOUIS  in collaboration with MUSEUM of CONTEMPORARY ART ST. LOUIS. Open Studios. Send to: FLUXUS ST.LOUIS, c/o Keith A. Buchholz, 4615 Oregon Av., St. Louis, Mo 63111, U.S.A. Deadline July 15th, 2010 .

Eel River Crossing  “Your vision of my home town Eel River Crossing in Maritime Provinces” . Exhibition at The Gallery Restigouche de Campbelton. Mail to: RAYMOND FURLOTTE, 6768, deNormanville, Montréal (Québec) H2S 2C1, Canada. Deadline summer, 2010.

Mailmania 4 Exhibition at the Slide Room Gallery at the Vancouver Island School of Art,Victoria, BC October 8 -November 8th 2010. Deadline: September 4, 2010

NO COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL Exhibitions at: Galleria Terre Rare – Bologna;  Garage N.3 Gallery – Venezia Mestre; Italia. April 10-29,2011; Spazio espositivo “Barrique” – Scriò di Dolegna del Collio GO. Deadline December 10, 2010.

Arnolfini Archives Mini[e]MailArt No13 – Layers  Deadline February 28, 2011.

YOUR TWO CENTS WORTH:  comments from mail artists on the Mail Art movement

You will find my two cents worth on the subject in Why I Love Mail Art

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Ivan Carreño Rey, (Spain)

“It is a way to share my creativity and spread it around the world.”

Georgia Grigoriadou, (Greece) Art By Georgia Grigoriadou

“For me it is a break from my creative position-

something else to think about and less demanding

I’m in love with stamps

I like to send and to receivemail art and to be a part of the global mailart network….”

Marina Salmaso (Denmark) Art By Marina Salmaso

“It goes without saying, but the opportunity to be creative, and to share that creativity with others, is paramount in mail art.  But there’s also the challenge of being forced out of one’s comfort zone when confronted with a theme or format that is outside of your normal scope.  And there’s the chance to interact with people from a broad range of perspectives from all over the world – like an ever-morphing pen-pal – but without the guilt when you don’t have time to write for a few months.  However, the most basic reason that I love mail art is simply the joy of receiving something in the mail.  It’s a child-like pleasure that is hard to describe, but I see it in my three year old daughter’s eyes every time something arrives for her.  It’s that happiness in knowing that someone took the time and effort to communicate with you.  They didn’t have to.  They’re not trying to sell you anything.  There are no ulterior motives.”  It’s just pure, honest, and fun.”

Scott Ray Randall (USA)Art By Scott Ray Randall

“I love Mail Art because is a Fantasy Generator!!!”

Fabio Sassi (Italy) Art By Fabio Sassi

“I love Mail Art because is an easy way to share with the world my art and my thoughts. Also, Mail Art allows me to know different points of view and many artists around the world who become friends. For these reasons and more Mail Art is great!!!”

Elizabeth Pujalka (Argentina) Art By Elizabeth Pujalka

“I like mail art because it interacts with people, space and human time. It is reflective and tells a story. A story that allows for live to intersect, not in trivial, bizarre or even interesting ways ie. Wikipedia, but in the common place- the universal quality of life is sealed with in the envelope. At the grocery store where I mail my card, men hide cans of beer in bags and smoke cigarettes and are suspicious of me unless I have my dog, then they are friendly. Nowhere on the internet dose this exist. Receiving a card, a hand written note, the pure reduction of personality on the page, is a gift. I like the interplay of the wider community and the drop in drop out, do it when you can- that the practice of mail art allows. It is mostly the surprise missives and images that arrive just when you need them the most to keep going in the common place, the real human world.”

Michael Kudela (USA) Art By Michael Kudela

“I love Mail Art because put me in contact with the diversity that exists in the world.

Celebrate and show the beauty of human differences was (and still is) the theme in my artwork…

Since last year, when I learn about Mail Art, something changed in my life…

Mail Art is a passion, is a loving addiction, is hope… More than that,is happiness!”

Mirta Toledo (Argentina & Texas) Art By Mirta Toledo

“della Mail Art amo soprattutto la totale libertà creativa!”

Angela Caporaso (Italy) Art By Angela Caporaso

“I appreciate the fact that the works are of small dimensions, with or without precise themes, without jury or curriculum vitae requirements and open to all who wish to express their artistic creativity. For small $, it enables me to expose all around the world.”

Raymond Furlotte ( Canada)Art By Raymond Furlotte

“The Art is the most beautiful answer to the questions of the world.

The Mail Art is one of the most democratic way of the Art.

The E-Mail Art is the perfect way of the Mail Art in the 21st century.”

Ervin Zsubori, Arnolfini Archives (Hungary) The Arnolfini Archives international e-mail project

“I think mail art is great, but why be exclusionary?  Femail art is just as good.”

Chris Johnson [bumbydad@verizon.net]

 


10 Comments »

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  1. […] Mail Art […]

  2. The Art is the most beautiful answer to the questions of the world.
    The Mail Art is one of the most democratic way of the Art.
    The E-Mail Art is the perfect way of the Mail Art in the 21st century.

  3. della Mail Art amo soprattutto la totale libertà creativa!

  4. I love Mail Art because put me in contact with the diversity that exists in the world.
    Celebrate and show the beauty of human differences was (and still is) the theme in my artwork…
    Since last year, when I learn about Mail Art, something changed in my life…
    Mail Art is a passion, is a loving addiction, is hope… More than that, is happiness!

  5. I love Mail Art because is an easy way to share with the world my art and my thoughts. Also, Mail Art allows me to know different points of view and many artists around the world who become friends. For these reasons and more Mail Art is great!!!

  6. I love Mail Art because is a Fantasy Generator!!!

  7. For me it is a break from my creative position-
    something else to think about and less demanding
    I’m in love with stamps
    I like to send and to receive mail art
    and to be a part of the global mailart network….

  8. […] Mail Art […]

  9. […] Mail Art […]


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