Art goes completely postal

The Oberlin Review

Art Goes Completely Postal

Envelope Collective Encourages Creation of Mail Art

Sent on their way: Envelope Collective received this writing mail art from an art therapy patient at the McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA

By Robyn Weiss

As the use of postal mail moves further toward becoming a lost practice, two College senior art majors are working to create a new perspective on the mail. Garrett Miller and Adam Morse recently began the Envelope Collective, an ongoing experiment that involves sending art, in envelope or other forms, through the mail.

“There aren’t really any rules [to the project],” said Morse. “But essentially what we ask is that you decorate an envelope, but not necessarily an envelope, because an envelope is a very ambiguous term, but send something — a letter, a box — through the mail.”

They encourage all people to become involved in the collective, calling for submissions in any form.

“You don’t have to be an artist to send something. People are so self-conscious about doing art, but anything is art,” said Miller. “It can be anonymous if you want, too. [Whatever you send is] art in itself.”

The two received sponsorship to set up a P.O. Box through the Oberlin post office as a place to receive submissions for the collective. At this point in the project, they have made a call for submissions through their website, which will eventually serve as an online gallery of the pieces that they receive.

“The greater cause is to make a series, a collection of the envelopes that come in and be able to auction them off to independent galleries and charities that are committed to spreading art in a positive way — for example, ones that would deliver art materials to those who don’t have the means, or artists affected by Katrina,” said Miller. “We don’t know where the project is going to go, other than seeing how the website goes and how the community itself responds to it.”

So far, the art community is responding very well. Last week, the Envelope Collective was featured on three popular websites. In addition to filled e-mail accounts, the actual P.O. Box is already beginning to fill as well. Though the project is based in Oberlin and they encourage local participation, their hopes are for the collective to become international.  Continued here: http://www.oberlin.edu/stupub/ocreview/2005/11/18/…

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