Mail Art

Make Great Mail, Make Mail Great!

Tim Holtz Correspondence Rubber Stamps; find them at or at Guadalupe’s Fun Rubber Stamps.

Mail Art is an ongoing project sponsored by BAG, and all members are welcome to participate. This project presents an opportunity to make a piece of art each month and send it through the U.S. mail to another member of BAG. Then each month you will find a piece of art in your mailbox, relieving the tedium of solicitations, bills, and junk mail.

At each monthly meeting we set up a Mail Art area with examples of mail art, theme cards for the upcoming month, and a bag for exchanging names. Simply put your name, mailing address, and email (or phone number if you don’t have an email) on the back of the theme card, put it in the bag, and draw out someone else’s name. Then, considering the theme as a suggestion, a starting point, or any way you want to work with the idea, make and send a piece of mail art to the name you drew. If all goes according to plan, you will get one in return from another person who drew your name.

If you are unable to attend a monthly meeting, but would still like to participate in the next month’s project, contact Gail Murray ( or Douglass Rankin (, and we will put your name in the bag, draw a name for you, and let you know the information for your “mail art buddy.”

These are a few protocols that we suggest to make Mail Art a satisfying project for all involved:

  1. Please let the person who sends you mail art know that their creation has arrived…and thank them! You can do this via email—email addresses are available from the BAG member list. (Please let Douglass or Gail know if you do not have email when you sign up.)
  2. Also, if you find you are running late in sending out mail art for the month, just shoot your buddy an email to let them know that it WILL be coming. If unforeseen circumstances occur, making it impossible to complete that month’s mail art project, let Gail or Douglass know.

Mail Art began as one of BAG’s first projects, and it continues to be a fun and exciting part of our organization. Please join us!

Upcoming Themes for 2017

May: John Russell said: “Color is energy made visible.”

June: Pablo Picasso said: “I paint things as I think of them, not as I see them.”

July: Federico Fellini said: “All art is autobiographical.”

August: Leonard Cohen wrote: “Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.” (bells, cracks, light, or Leonard Cohen)

September: Kazuaki Tanahashi wrote: “As soon as you accept the accidental effects, they are no longer accidents. They are necessity—the part of yourself that you could not expect or design beforehand. Thus the realm of your creativity grows wider.”

October: Black, White, and a little bit of Red.

November: Celebrating Postage Stamps or faux postage or Artistamps. The term “artistamp” or artist’s stamp refers to a postage-stamp-like art form used to depict or commemorate any subject its creator chooses. They are decorative, and not valid for postage. Often used on mail art envelopes along with correct postage.

December: Homage to Henri Matisse, whose birthday was December 31, 1869. Matisse said: “Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence.”