One weekly lesson was an introduction to the history and development of "Mail Art" as an artistic genre. I was surprised to discover how the development of the modern postal system brought about an entirely new means of personal communication.
Since the beginning of time, people have been communicating with one another through some form of mail. Whether the correspondence was in the form of a story, letter, parcel, or picture, it carried a meaningful message. Throughout the ages, mail has gained power in its ability to make a statement to the masses. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, envelopes and postcards became tools for social, political, cultural, artistic, and personal expression.
|Vincent Van Gogh's letter to his brother is an example of mail art. The drawing likely depicts a subject in a Van Gogh painting.|
One assignment was to design and assemble our own piece of mail art. My interpretation of "mail art" represents a story or event from my childhood to be shared with someone who had shared the experience with me. For instance, picking fruit in an orchard when we were kids -- a nice memory!
|Watercolor Notecard insert|
|Envelope made from junk mail|