Mailart and Me - A mailart call for a show and mailart lecture on October 12th

Mailart. It's changed my whole life. Since discovering it, nearly 2 years ago, I can honestly say that mailart has heavily changed my life. Whereas before I discovered mailart, I was a science and technology person with a passing interest in art, I can now say I am an artist. Mailart has done this.

For me, art lessons at school were always a nightmare. I couldn't draw to save my life and I wasn't raised in an artistic family where images and sounds were valued. I could look at something and say it was quite nice, and I still do, but no more than that.

When it came to critiquing or creating art, I could not do it. Throughout school I was hopeless at art and deemed by the teachers to be a non-starter. So I gave up on it and labelled myself a scientist. Heck, so much so I became a physics teacher!

When I found out about mailart, I decided to give it a go. Instead of having a cynical-eyed art teacher looking over my shoulder and creating works that were "just not good enough" suddenly I was creating works that were bringing a smile to peoples faces all over the world. They would show their appreciation by putting something cool back in the post to me and by posting on my blog. my REAL wall, along with IUOMA and you people out there made this happen.

I found in the REAL world, that REAL people don't need perfect lines or subtle chiaroscuro or whatever the hell it was that my art teacher wanted me to do. They wanted pretty pictures in the morning made by another human being that expressed whatever I wanted to express at the time.

This was my liberation.

I still can't paint. I still can't draw. But I photograph and I rubber stamp and I do things on 6x4 inches that I wouldn't dare on a larger canvas. On top of all that, I put together all your works and stick them on my wall all the time, thus discovering installation art in my own way. It's not about books.

So now that I've discussed mailart and me, let's get onto the big news for today.

As some of you know, I work in a university in the education department. Today I was chatting to the Art education department and conversation strayed onto my REAL wall (as it temds to do when you talk to me these days). I explained how mailart had changed my life and the head of Art Education was fascinated.

"I' HAVE to sign you up to talk to our trainee art teachers about mailart" she said, and we went on to discuss how we could use my experience of discovering art in the classroom.

Yes it does seem a little odd, a physics teacher teaching art teachers how to teach art, but perhaps also it makes perfect sense. So on the 12th October, I'm going to teach a session entitled "Mailart - art in the global dimension" to a group of art teachers, starting with a mailart show of pieces received and will encourage them to send out mailart. We then intend to encourage mailart exchange within the group while they are going through the course with a view to putting on a show at the end of the year!

So this is a mailart call with a deadline to be received by 12th October in London. If you have been affected by mailart, please send a postcard to my REAL wall at the normal address,

my REAL wall
PO Box 63138
W14 4BR

with any design at all and I will put these up in my inaugural mailart lecture and try to convince them to send you one back!

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Comment by andytgeezer on January 5, 2011 at 12:50pm
Even better - we will be having our first mailart show of portfolio items generated by this project and the show starts THIS WEEK! I'll be posting pics as soon as the mailart goes on display
Comment by Pamela Gerard on January 4, 2011 at 5:35pm
I agree, Jen -- who knew there was a world of mailartists and postal lovers and friendly folks out there? I am having too much fun (even if I am spending a fortune in postage). AndyTGeezer--watch your PO Box!
Comment by Jen Staggs on January 4, 2011 at 5:29pm
I completely agree with you- I was never an artist- just an art historian. I wrote about art- discussed the complexities of depth or meaning, but never attempted to make anything meaningful.  And participating in this IUOMA world has changed me mentally for the better.  There are no grades, just amazingly supportive and creative friends all over the world.  I feel very lucky.  Off to make you something RIGHT NOW!!
Comment by andytgeezer on January 4, 2011 at 1:57pm
It went extremely well thanks Pamela. A few have now joined IUOMA and I've seen quite a bit of mailart from students in my REAL wall inbox. A lovely feeling sending more mailartists out into the world!
Comment by Pamela Gerard on January 3, 2011 at 7:19pm
Wow, that is really interesting (about teaching art teachers). How did things go?
Comment by andytgeezer on November 7, 2010 at 1:31am
Really reall well thanks Snooky and Angie! I even got asked back to do another. All slides have been sent out now and I've been asked by another school to promote their mailart call too on my REAL wall.

I hope to perhaps start putting schools together for mailart swaps in future
Comment by andytgeezer on October 11, 2010 at 7:39pm
Lecture tomorrow - I'll be posting up some bits of mailart through the night on my flickr and on my REAL wall and would love to hear any feedback.

I plan to run the lecture using postcards instead of lecture slides, and I'll be sending the postcards out when the lecture is over
Comment by liketelevisionsnow on October 1, 2010 at 7:19pm
i'll send something...
Comment by Ruud Janssen on September 30, 2010 at 6:40pm
This is so fun. I used to teach some teachers mail-art too, and from origin am a phycics teacher too. The creative spirit is the main inspiration. Teach them what sharing means, and show them a new world. Good luck & fun!
Comment by andytgeezer on September 30, 2010 at 6:38pm
Thanks Lilac. Mailart is such a great way to learn art, so personal yet shared, so delicate yet robust! I can't wait to run this session!


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