I am sometimes confused about mailart and so I hesitate to send because I

want to do it right.  I have heard conflicting opinions about what is actually mailart.

Maybe all of them are true and acceptable??

*Mailart should be on the addressed and stamped side of the work. (that is the only side to be

displayed?)....... so what about postcards?

*Mailart is what is on the OUTside of the envelope... not what is inside, so empty art

envelopes are good........... so what about ATCs? (too small to mail alone)

*ANYthing you send through the mail can be mailart.  The object itself being the art.

*Mailart can be in any medium you chose.


Please give me any advice concerning the above statements.  I need a better understanding of

what is expected and acceptable.

Thank you,



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Thanks for the 2 cents! I appreciate it!
For a project the organiser might have specific requests. What one would call Mail-Art is any another discussion. There are no specific rules on the products, mail-art has to do with the process.

Not sure if this helps to make it clearer.....

with best wishes,

Thanks for your response. Now I'll send out a couple of things.
Mailart can have art on both sides of a postcard or envelope. The envelope can have art inside as well.
A plain envelope with art in the inside is ok. Many add & pass works of art are shared this way.

ATCs can be mailed alone, stick a stamp and an address on them and give them a try.

Many Mail Artist do not participate in shows, limiting their exchanges with other artists.

Most Mailart shows try to display the art in such a way that both sides can be view.
If it is pinned to a wall, the viewer should be able to remove it to get a better look.
Handling of the artworks should be allowed.

The unexpected is expected and anything interesting is acceptable.
that sums it up quite nicely..
Thanks so much for your response. I found it very helpful.
Now I'm ready to join in on a couple of calls.
Unless a mailart call has specific guidelines, I think anything goes (which is one of the reasons I love to do it). I like to add dimensional stuff to alot of my mailart and when I do, I mail it in an envelope to protect it. I try to decorate the envelope. I always put my ATCs in envelopes ever since the post office refused to process 2 ATCs because of their small size.
If you were to ask 100 different people what Mail Art meant to them, you'd probably get 96.8 different answers. Admittedly, I'm new to the the Mail Art scene, but I say follow your instinct. Obviously there are some projects that people have laid out guidlines for. Aside from those, I say follow your creativity, be unique. Personally I sometimes add stickers, doodles, & always include a quote on the adress side of my cards. Some people may disagree with this approach, but isn't the whole point of art to enjoy creating it?
Thanks for the feedback!
I am new to this venue too, but I agree...unless specified...anything goes! I like your idea of a quote!

My own preference is to send POSTCARDs -- so that all the art is out there for everyone who handles it to see. 

If I'm sending something specific (such as un-cancelled artiststamps or ATCs for a swap) I'll use an envelope; but then I think of it more as "mailing artwork" instead of as actual "Mail Art". 

(This is just my own method, not a standard for anyone else.) 

-- Lois

PS: If you'd like to send something, I'm always happy to see what others are doing.

Lois Richter, P.O. Box 7, Davis CA 95617-0007

(AML #255, country = "Napland")

Thanks for the response.  When I finish this semester and finals are done, I'll send something.




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