Mail Art Project
This project aims to reduce the impact that loneliness and isolation can have on a person. It will spark inventiveness and encourage creativity as well as encouraging participants in making new connections in the community of York.
As more people sign up to become a part of this project, we hope we will create a movement that encourages these new connections to flourish in a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space.
What is Mail Art?
The simplest definition of Mail Art is that it is any Art that’s created with the intention of sending it through the mail(post).
Mail Art can include postcards, faux postage, decorated envelopes, friendship books and other concepts, themes, and formats.
If you have to ‘post’ it to complete the creative experience...it’s Mail Art!
With the right tools, everyone's an artist.
The idea behind Mail Art is to create community through the sending of art between individuals.
Mail Art is given freely, without the expectation of something in return, no judgements are made about the artwork. You get what you get - a little bit of joy!
Mail Art is given as a gift from one person to the next and no judgements are made about the Artwork or its quality.
Mail Art History
The whole purpose of Mail Art is to reject the need for any approval from the normal channels when exchanging art and take money out of the equation.
Its origins can be found in the artistic and social movement of the Italian Socialists but in the mid-1950s New York artist Ray Johnson began posting small prints of abstract drawings and poems to art world notables giving rise to the alternative social network, the New York Correspondence School.
Mail Art really took off in the 1960s when artists sent postcards inscribed with poems or drawings through the post rather than exhibiting or selling them through conventional commercial channels.
Mail art and can take a variety of forms including packages, faxes, emails and blogs. It is considered to be the predecessor of net art.
How does it work?
We provide the materials and the stamps!
1) Tell us you're interested by emailing us: email@example.com
2) Pick up a Mail Art Welcome Pack from our Central Mailing Hub or we can send one to you
3) Complete the Welcome Pack and send it back to us (we provide a self-addressed and stamped envelope)
4) Within the Welcome Pack, you'll be asked to create your very own Rubber Stamp design. Complete this design work along with the rest of the pack.
5) Once you're Welcome Pack is all filled in, either send it back to us or drop it off at our Central Mailing Hub.
6) Once we've got everything processed, everything you need to begin creating Mail Art will be forwarded to you (postcards, postage stamps and your unique rubber stamp).
7) Once you've finished your first masterpiece, post it back to us at the Central Mailing Hub and officially become part of the movement!
8) Wait for us to forward a brand new, original piece to you.
Some things to note:
Any information you give us will be stored safely at the Central Mailing Hub with your privacy as a top priority
Central Mailing Hub - Keeping it anonymous and safe
The addresses of the participants and recipients will be held by the Mail Art administration team and will not be shared. Your personal information and address will be stored securely and only ever used for the purposes of the Mail Art Project.
The work you create will travel to and from our Central Mailing Hub at Priory Street Centre (15 Priory Street, York. YO1 6ET).
If you do not wish to share your address on our secure mailing list, you can physically drop off and receive work from the Central Mailing Hub fortnightly.
Mail Art Avatars - rubber stamp design
As a part of this movement, we're inviting everyone to create an imaginary character, avatar, logo, motif or tag through which you will make and send your Art.
This character or logo will appear on each piece of art you make, and will be stamped on to your work before it's sent off.
Just let us know what your unique design is, and we'll create a rubber stamp for your use only!
Your character will become a part of the Mail Art Network. As more people get involved and regular mail is sent, we hope that these characters will become recognisable.
With your character in place and your stamp poised, next we invite you to start creating works to be sent and received through the post.
From here, you can imagine and create as much backstory to your character as you want. It’s completely up to you how you proceed from this starting point, and you have complete freedom to make Art without the normal channels or rules of Art galleries or methods of approval applying.
It’s free, fun, and open to anyone.