The beginnings of the mail art movement are somewhat disputed. Was it Marcel Duchamp in 1916 sending artsy postcards to his neighbors or Ray Johnson making collaged postcards and sending them to his friends. Regardless, mail art is alive and well and I find very fun.
My love of mail art began in February 2014. Expressive Art Institute held a random valentine mixed media session. Participants created a Valentine’s Day card using recycled cardboard and mixed media supplies.They had several tables set up with all sorts of collage supplies, adhesives, tapes, scissors, stickers and papers. Visitors were encouraged to create their postcard art on the recycled cardboard and hang it on the display wall. The staff had attendees filled out address stickers and there was a donation box to cover postage costs. We left our completed card at the studio and a few weeks after the event, a Valentine’s Day card appeared in the mail.
Here is the one I received:
After the event, I searched for mail art groups on the internet. There are lots of them to choose from. I chose a group and have been making various forms of mail art for several months. The hostess of the group chooses different types of art to send in. We most often do postcards as they are easiest for the hostess to process and send. These are a couple that I did for an inspired by postcard.
Occasionally, there are other art things like stamps or zentangles or envelopes. The cards have a theme-color, technique, topic, etc. It has been a real treat to create art and mail it away to people who appreciate the work and who enjoy it as much as I do.
Recently, one of the artists hosted a family mail art swap. I got my kids together, covered the table in collage supplies and paint and let them go to work. We mailed off our treasures and received several postcards back. It was a lot of fun.