Mail Art

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.

2018 Mail Art: Pantone Postcards

For our 2018 Mail Art program, BAG will sponsor a new type of project, based on an idea instigated by Emily Martin, book artist from Iowa City. (Images above are from her project. View all the cards and her book at her website:

Our project will be similar to the way Mail Art usually works. At each monthly meeting, beginning in December:

1) Put your name and address on a card, place it in the bag, and draw out a card to be sent to your mail art buddy.

2) Instead of a suggested theme or quotation, select a colored postcard based on the Pantone Matching System.*

3) Two cards of the same color will be rubber-banded together. On both cards you draw, feel free to “expound” on the color in any way you like: draw, paint, write, punch, sew, print, attach a photo… It’s open season for your creativity to “play” on BOTH CARDS you draw. Then send one to your mail art buddy and one (which will already be stamped and addressed) to BAG to become part of the BAG permanent collection.

4) Also at the meeting we will ask you to sign a sheet saying which color you picked so that credit can be given to the mail artist when we display these cards in 2019 (see #6).

5) Hopefully, by the end of the year, all 100 postcards in the series will be returned to BAG, and…

6) In summer 2019 Axel Contemporary will exhibit our creations in its mobile van!

We are excited about this variation on mail art and hope that everyone in BAG will participate for at least a month or more, providing great variety for our 2019 BAG Mail Art: Pantone Postcards exhibit at Axel Contemporary.

Any questions: contact Gail Murray or Douglass Rankin

* The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is used in the commercial printing industry as a way to identify specific ink colors for the jobs being printed. This is the industry standard for all ink colors that are not printed as a 4-color process color. Logos, stationery, posters, and brochures that are printed with more than black ink must have a PMS color and number specified for each non-black color desired. For more information, visit

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!