This is my first post so let me introduce myself. John Tostado told me about IUOMA a bit back and while I did join at that time I haven’t done much since through this organization. I’m a bit of a mushroom artist - I do my stuff in my basement studio and pretty much don’t get out into the worlds of art. I have been making marks on paper for over forty years now but it has only been in the last decade that I started to socialize as it were with any regularity in the art community where I live. The particular community that I got involved with was the ATC group here in Calgary. How I discovered them is a longer story than I want to relate here so if you’re curious:http://www.whimsyandcolour.com/htm_pages/artist_trading_cards/atc.html
The info is old now but I am heavily involved with the ATC committee and do up the monthly posters for our trading sessions as well as assist with workshops when they arise.
Having lived in Vancouver, BC until the mid 80s I was aware of mailart because of Anna Banana but it wasn’t something I considered for myself. Sometime in the 90s I started making postcards and mailing them out to family and friends on a regular basis. These cards morphed into my major endeavour in mailart which is a quarterly mailout I call “Seasonal Greetings” (SG). Memory not being one of my strong points I am not sure how I came to be mailing cards to people I didn’t know but who were involved in the mailart movement. I think it probably was with postcard exchanges I did on the website “Wet Canvas” after a friend told me about it. Regardless, I began to receive responses in the multitude of ways that mailart works and my mailing list started growing. It seemed like the thing to do. When I first started corresponding with mailartists I was concerned with protocol. Was there one? With my SG I didn’t put my mailing address on the cards as the reason for SG was only to make the recipients smile (hopefully) and a response wasn’t expected. The people that knew me already could call or send a note or tell me to my face if they wanted to. That other people managed to reach me anyway was nice.
I have been becoming more involved in the mailart community over the last few years. First off was meeting Don Mabie (Chuck Stake) in my first trading session at the New Gallery in Calgary. Secondarily (and probably the most significant) was getting a mailing from Ryosuke Cohen - Brain Cell 676. It had a bunch of addresses on it and I added that to my SG mailing list. Because of that I have met (snail-mail -wise) a most incredible bunch of people. People, it turns out, that have been involved in mailart for a long time.
However, to get back to the reason for my finally posting here, I have a question for the collective mind of IUOMA. I have been working on a thematic mailout. It involves, for lack of a better word, postcards. The question I have regards the experiences IUOMA members have had with sending large (for postcards) mailart pieces. I will be sending through the mail, paintings up to 15 x 12 inches in size. The pieces are on quite thick illustration board and gel medium coated on the painting side and varnished on the address side. My question is:
How have you found large pieces to arrive through the mail when sent naked?