International Mail Art Exhibition: Before/After
A call for mail art was put out worldwide using social media, the result was overwhelmingly successful. 200 submitted pieces came to New Haven from eight participating countries. Each submission was individually photographed, edited, posted, inventoried and if any clues were left on the envelope, the artist was contacted for any information they wanted posted with their work. This quickly created a community of artists worldwide, sharing ideas, thoughts, processes and individual stories. Thank you to the many individuals who made this possible, especially anyone who sent a piece in - you made this show something remarkable.
Today, in 2019, mail is less convenient and more expensive than communicating and sharing artwork on the internet. However, for an artist to apply to most exhibitions and gallery shows, they have to pay to play. While this price usually helps fund the show in some way, it creates a serious problem in the world of visual arts. Entry fees can often dissuade artists from applying to programs, and makes it especially difficult for artists of lower socioeconomic statuses from breaking into the fine arts world. Mail Art continues to provide an inclusive opportunity internationally to collaborate and network no matter what your background is. It’s creating a non-commodifiable piece of art that will have a dialogue with people you would never have imagined.
Mail has served as both a vehicle and medium for artists throughout history. It wasn’t until the early ‘60s that a group of artists began to use correspondence as the core of a cohesive movement. Mail Art was established outside the bounds of Mainstream Art. A creative network developed, whose members made and mailed art to each other across the world. Artists were attracted to the inclusivity of Mail Art -- connecting a far-flung constellation of peers who would never have a reason to interact at all otherwise. The number of Mail Artists grew, especially in the 80’s. Artists interchanged their creative world vision without considering their work as products with market value. Mail Art crosses borders and is enriched by the continuous confrontation with the “Other”.
International Mail Art Publication, Before/After
Mail Art Installation, 900 Chapel Street, New Haven CT: June, 2019 - April, 2021.
Mail Art Exhibition, Lotta Studio: June 8-22, 2019
To all participating artists:
Barbara Vento Furtak
Carla Sofia Pinto
Donna Marie Joyce
Jonah Stone Alderman
Samantha Danis Price
Sara & Hinda Edelman
Tamara Kingery Gonzales
Toyo & Ketsap
& many more…!
And a big thank you to USPS!