On Connecting via Communication (Mail Art)


Last week I wrote about my role as an artist who creates for connection on many levels. Connection to self, to others to history and more... To name this was so powerful for me as it offers one more reference point when considering taking on a project. Does it meet this connection criteria???

My default is to want to say yes (tell me you do this too...).  Having such reference points keeps me out of overwhelm by taking on to many things that don't really fuel me, inevitably making me feel disconnected.

After posting last week we took a family trip to the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA. I really enjoy everything about this little museum tucked where one would least expect it. They have three galleries, an auditorium, an amazing library of story books, a cool gift shop and.... A STUDIO.

The studio is stocked with daily projects and happy workers who guide you on a museum inspired project upon entry. Last week the project was mail art. "MAIL ART!" I thought to myself. "Mail art. Are you kidding me? Why haven't I thought of this?"

It's not that I had never thought of mail art per say. I am always doodling on envelopes and boxes. I had a small handmade greeting card business in Boulder years ago. I have slapped a stamp on a doodle or two and dropped them in the mail.

However when sitting at the studio in the Eric Carle museum the possibility of creating specifically in this format with my new ownership of making art as a means of connection I felt titilated. Yes, I was that excited!

I sat down with the my husband and brother in law and all 5 kiddos and we started making our postcards. Cutting a piece here and collaging a piece there I thought of who I wanted to connect with most right then at that moment and made a postcard for my mom. I felt more connected in the moment of making it and I hope she feels the same when she pulls it from her mail box. It's just a little piece of paper, not the most beautifully crafted thing by any means, but made with lots of love.

Driving home I remembered watching a Ray Johnson documentary "How to Draw a Bunny" in 2002 and how I was intrigued by his mail art but not willing to commit the time or resources to simply drop something in the mail. To consider that evidence of it's journey might somehow expand upon it's beauty. To realize that the people receiving his pieces were probably thrilled. Now I do...

Stay tuned for more mail art posts coming your way... And if you're interested in receiving email art too, sign up below. You just never know what I might send to your inbox:)