e is for envelopes



Letter writing is absolutely, positively a dying art....and it makes me worry. I mean, I love email just as much as the next girl. It’s easy, in most cases it’s fairly effective, and it gives you that instant gratification feeling of sending the written word in just about the fastest form possible. But, personal it is not. While there’s a level of excitement to receiving an email from a friend, it can’t compare to finding a good, old-fashioned, stamped envelope waiting in your mailbox.

It’s this feeling that made mail art so easy for me to embrace. During my senior year of college, I did two independent studies based on the rather obscure art form. I found from my research that mail artists thrive on the idea that they are sending their creations out into a world that may not normally take notice of the creativity around them. They love taking their art outside the setting of museums and galleries and bringing it to people exactly where they’re at. It means that there’s no escaping it.

In an attempt at something similar, I sent painted envelopes to about 30 state governors, several local TV and radio “celebrities,” and various friends and family members. I began to look at everything as having mail-able potential, the postal workers came to know me by name, and over the course of several months, I literally made hundreds of envelopes. I had become thoroughly entrenched in the world of mail art.

But time passed and life took on its usual hecticness, and even I succumbed to the world of emails and instant messages. Lately, however, the call of the decorated envelope has been whispering in my ear once again. Every day that I open my mailbox to find stacks of advertisements and boring white bills, I desire to fill the postal world with brightly painted envelopes, artistic packages, and more mail-able creativity than anyone could possibly imagine.

Comments

Anonymous said…
envelopes...
What an exploration of art!
It took me a while to see that the audience of your art was the entire population of people who interacted with that envelope art. Who would ever have thought! d.
A.G. Lewis said…
I've always liked your mail art. I myself have been thinking of sending a few out lately. Whether i turn the words into action or not we'll all find out together.
lindsey said…
Heather and her envelopes. The two go so well together. Wasn't it Gray Davis that sent you back that really cheezy photo of himself? That was so funny to me. :)
Rach said…
Yay Mail Art! I am a HUGE fan. I think that beautifying the world in anyway is wonderful. I am sure postal workers like to see a little bit of color and life on a piece of mail once in awhile... and I KNOW that the recipicents of the letter love it. :)
Denise (A's Mom.. that Denise) said…
ahh .. yes.. letter writing IS a dying art. But Bravo to you for sticking with it. I have always appreciated those special envelopes when they arrive in my mailbox. I too love to write letters too, but my envelopes are so boring, perhaps I need to take a lesson from you as to how to make one. Keep writing, and keep those cards and letters coming. You can't imagine how special they make one feel (even my mailbox smiles! :)

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