Mail Art Madness

Here at Two Hands Paperie, we’re antsy for a little March Madness of our own. No, we’re not opening a line of decorative foam fingers and hand felted basketball hoops. We’re talking Mail Art!

“What is Mail Art,” you may be asking. “And where did it come from?”

The origin of mail art is disputed. Some want to let Cleopatra take the credit, referring back to the stunt she pulled with Julius Cesear. Hidden and rolled up in a carpet, she was delivered to Cesear and became the mail art. I say, let’s give credit where credit is due and direct our attention to Ray Johnson. His artistic and unconventional correspondence with hundreds of friends and acquaintances through the postal service in the 1960s created and pushed into light “Mail Art”, sometimes known as Postal Art or Correspondence Art. If you are interested, you can find lots more information on Ray Johnson here. But before we steer away from Johnson, his quote is worth a mention. “Mail Art has no history, only a present.”

Which leads us to our present and our own call for entires. During the month of March, Two Hands is accepting any and all mail art. We’re calling out to you to submit one, twelve, or fifty pieces of, well, anything. What you can mail has no limitations! Mail a bowling ball. Mail a shoe. An oven mitt. A chip. A watercolored postcard. Anything you like! The only restrictions are it must be received during the month of March, and it must be sent through the Postal Service. (No hand deliveries allowed!) Nervous to add a stamp to your beautifully crafted envelope or river rock? Don’t be! The “wrapper” is part of the art!

Why participate? What does Mail Art have to do with you? Well first (and perhaps most importantly) Two Hands will be publishing images of the artwork we receive. You (yes you) can have your fifteen minute claim to fame on our blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! AND, the first 50 people to mail something (with a return address of course) will receive a response from us! What is it? You’ll just have to wait and see.

Besides giving people their fifteen minutes of a fame, we’re hoping to spread the word about this incredible and approachable art form. We’re excited to see what we receive and are eager to display the work in the store. You’ll be able to come in to Two Hands and see the artwork as we receive it. (We’ll keep you posted on when we begin displaying it.) In addition, Two Hands is donating our collection of Mail Art to the University of Colorado’s Special Collections. When March ends and our exhibition is over, it can be revisited and be pulled out on campus to be enjoyed again and again. (If you aren’t familiar with University of Colorado’s Special Collections, then you are in for a treat.)

And lastly, we love and are always looking to support wonderful postal system.

All entries can be mailed to:

Two Hands Paperie
803 Pearl Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302
USA

So you are convinced. Now what?

Two Hands is hosting an event to inspire and motivate you! Our beloved journaling instructor and friend, Fran Meneley will offer tips and tricks to creating your own wonderful Mail Art during her free demo at the shop on Saturday, March 9th, from 10:30-12:30. There is no need to RSVP. Just grab a friend and drop in!

You’re too excited to wait until March 9th? (Boy, you must be really excited.) Well, the links below will take you to some inspirational websites to get your creative, innovative, and out-of-the-box juices flowing. Take a look, make some art, and watch for your Mail Art to appear here, on our Facebook or Twitter page, or in an Instagram post.

It’s all in the name of art and fun, so go wild!

Two Hands Paperie’s Mail Art inspiration on Pinterest

An ongoing Mail Art project and book: Mail Me Art

My personal favorite: Margaret Huber’s Mail Art project