I am sending painted envelopes to strangers around the world to lift spirits during the Covid-19 crisis. On March 19th I posted a call on my Instagram and website, inviting strangers to send their address to receive a free piece of mail art. I have 11.6K Instagram followers and my website hosts 500 unique visitors each month. I received 432 addresses within hours of the post, and 10 additional submissions trickle in each day.
I work through addresses in the order they were received and permanently delete addresses once complete. I share an image of each envelope online and identify its country of destination so viewers can keep watch. Each parcel carries a project summary, business card, and PO Box return address. I ask participants to use the social media hashtag #postalartforall to share an image of the envelope they receive, or their own creations. Other artists are joining in the project each day, and a mail art movement is growing.
There is nothing more delightful than receiving a lovingly-crafted letter in the post. It is a small gesture with a big impact. I encourage participants to submit the address of a friend in need, en lieu of their own, and am flooded with stories of friends struggling with illness, elderly friends in isolation, lost jobs, business closures, and more. I was not expecting so many calls for help. My creation rate is a daily routine because I feel a sense of urgency to fulfill requests and spread joy wherever it is needed.
The aims of my project are simple and achieved with each mailing. I wish to spread joy, make art accessible, help us connect in a time of isolation, and inspire others to do the same. Even viewers who do not participate can enjoy the project by watching the procession of artwork online.
Covid-19 is a global experience that reaches across age, gender, race, and income level. To combat Covid’s far-reaching gloom, I want my project to be accessible to everyone—and so it must be free for my participants.
Funded by Boston, MA (May 2020)