Dayan and I completed our Mail Art pieces, in time for me to get them to the post office and in the mail today! The artwork needed to be postmarked by December 1 and we are well ahead of that deadline.
Mail art, also known as correspondence art or postal art, is an artistic movement centered around sending small scale works of art through the postal system. It was created in the 1960’s and continues to flourish on a global scale. American artist Ray Johnson is considered the first mail artist. He developed the New York Correspondence School, a network of mail artists.
Media commonly used in mail art includes postcards, paper, a collage of found objects, letters and numbers, cutouts, stickers, images, rubber stamps, drawings and painted objects….pretty much anything that can be artistically arranged and placed into an envelope to mail. Mail art is officially considered art, once it is dispatched.
By that definition, the art that Dayan and I created became mail art today, as I dropped them off in a padded envelope at the Joplin post office. He and I enjoyed our project, destined for the Post Memorial Art Library, located within the Joplin Public Library. We gathered an assortment of materials and then let our creativity take over.
Dayan’s mail art focuses on maps and travel. He completely covered his oversize postcard with a paper background and affixed letters that declare: “Travel Like Magellan”. I love that! His artwork also includes a globe with a moveable airplane, a compass and a hotair balloon. Dayan definitely has the travel gene that pops up in my family. We have a trip planned to Italy in 2017, after he graduates from high school. What an adventure that will be! His mail art is a beautiful representation of his desire to explore the world.
My mail art focuses on this year’s word, BEYOND, and my symbol of an empty bird cage. The bird in flight near it represents freedom of spirit. I, too, have the travel gene, and my artwork shows that through the luggage sticker and the signpost with the words, “GO SOME PLACE NEW”. As a hint about what’s to come next year, my new word is also on the postcard. There are three words on there, other than the words on the signpost. I won’t reveal 2015’s word yet. I’ll save that for December, but it is on the card!
I am grateful to Leslie and Jill, from the Post Memorial Art Library, for sharing with me about their upcoming Mail Art Projekt. My grandson and I enjoyed creating art pieces. What a wonderful opportunity to spend time together and to give our creativity expression. We look forward to viewing the Post Mail Art Projekt exhibit in January.