'Mail art' (or correspondence art) is art sent through the post office (or these days via e-mail). It encompasses a variety of media and methods including postage stamps designed by artists, postcards, and other art forms generally considered marginal by the main stream art world.
While some say 'mail art' started when Cleopatra had herself wrapped in a blanket and was delivered to Caesar. However, the article says,"According to Doris Bell in Contemporary Art Trends 1960-1980, "mail art began by Marcel Duchamp in 1916 when he sent his ideas by postcard, has grown into a worldwide network. The mailing of ephemeral material to friends, begun by Ray Johnson in the 1950's, mushroomed into a kind of dadaist pen-pal club that circumvents the gallery system and so is an alternative to accepted ideas of art."
You can become a mail artist by sending a piece of your own creativity through the snail mail to names and addresses you find through links to current mail art invitations by searching for "mail art exhibition" and "mail art invitation" using an Internet search engine or on mail art message boards such as www.plexus.org/chalkboard/oneworld.
To read the the Herald-Tribune article, click here.
To learn more about 'mail art,' click here.