There are four rules to mail art: (1) no juries, (2) no fees, (3) all work exhibited, as received, and (4) documentation to participants.
That is, no censorship.
But more important, an unwritten rule: money and mail art don’t mix.
If you are a careerist, mail art is low-rent and déclassée, for you. If you are a real artist, careerism is arriviste and snooty.
When Cézanne was rejected by the academy he held a Salon of the Rejected (Salon des réfusées).
Which show would you rather be in?
With the artists? Or with the poseurs? The strainers.
Manfred’s granny called strivers strainers.
Now, you wouldn’t have a mail art-biggie. That’s a contradiction in terms. But some people have been at it longer than others, and these artists are well represented in the Word Mail Art show currently on exhibition at the Bay County Public Library through September, the end of Banned Books Month.
Artists like Ray Johnson. How to Draw a Bunny.
David Cole. The Scroll Unrolls.
Lon Spiegelman. Spiegelman mail art rag.
Matty Jankowski. Matty Jankowski Archive.
Wait a minute? Didn’t Matty Jankowski curate the show?
Yes, he did. And aren’t we lucky to have him and his Matty Jankowski Archive,
Take the grandchildren.
They love it.
Get them started.
It’s never too early to start making art.
Or too late.
I’m still doing it and I’ll be 72 in August. I ain’t dead yet.