Mail Art @ Buffalo
The Poetry Collection at the University of Buffalo has long recognized the materiality of language and that art's progression is a fact of an individual creating in and for a community of artists.
Mail Art is an example of such an ensemble of individual artists, musicians and poets harvesting the stuff, opinions, emotions, pop-culture icons and the like of our daily living in order to bring it all into an art practice.This art goes contrary to conservative notions and is given away. It is a grand collage created by a community that began with Ray Johnson's New York Correspondence School more than 40 years ago.
"Mail Art is more than just image-bearing mail passing along in the governmental stream. It is a person-to-person attempt to redefine our cultural heritage -- the very way we see and think and feel about the world around us. It represents a new way of relating to one another and creating our own culture, by minimizing the aesthetic and material trappings of the market economy...working with, and when necessary, against the grain of both popular and high culture... maximizing our collective human souls." --The Sticker Dude
The Poetry Collection has several Mail Art Collections that are representative of this progressive form of art, as well as a wealth of associative material and mail art pieces, among them original Ray Johnson collages and his publications.
The John M. Bennett Collection. The John M. Bennett Collection is composed of the archive of Bennett's long running magazine The Lost and Found Times, a large archive of his work sheets and manuscripts, and thousands of letters and pieces of mail art sent to Bennett. The Poetry Collection also holds Bennett's books, chapbooks, tapes, poem cards and broadsides, and the publications from Bennett's own publishing imprint Luna Bisonte Prod. John M. Bennett lives in Columbus, Ohio .
The Sticker Dude Collection. The Sticker Dude is Joel S. Cohen. He is the owner and publisher of Ragged Edge Press, NYC. His press specializes in stickers, notepads and other publications such as the Irreverant Rubber Stamp catalog. He is an avid graphic artist, poet, painter, editor and appropriationist, with a penchant for the generation of easily accessible, low cost art. The Sticker Dude is also a mail artist and an organizer of Mail Art Projects and Exhibitions. The Sticker Dude Collection features a complete set of Ragged Edge Press publications. His Millennium Mail Art Project is part of the Sticker Dude Collection.
The Baron Collection. Baron's Mail Art Collection at the Poetry Collection consists of mail art and correspondence from Ficus Strangensis, Jim Leftwich, John M. Bennett, Scott Helmes and many others. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio. The Baron Collection was donated to the Poetry Collection in 2006. We thank Baron for his generosity.
The Luc Fierens Collection. Luc Fierens has become Belgium 's most active mail artist and visual poet. In 1987 he founded Postfluxpostbooklets. The Postflux books are held by the Poetry Collection as are all of Luc Fierens's books. Since 1984 he has participated in more than 2,000 Mail Art shows. Much of the Mail Art in the Luc Fierens Collection was donated by him, and for this gesture we are indebted. Many of the works in the Luc Fierens Collection were culled from his Youth and Mail Art project.
The Hallwalls Mail Art Collection. The Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center was founded in Buffalo in 1974. The archives of the gallery are held by the Poetry Collection. A facet of the Hallwalls Archive is a collection of Mail Art assembled by Daniel Mark Graham.
For more information on Mail Art, please contact The Poetry Collection.
Libraries and Archives
- Mick Boyle's Mail Art Postcard Exhibition
- Lowell Darling's Mail Art
- Luc Fierens & Annina Van Sebroeck
- Ruud Janssen IUOMA
General Mail Art Web Pages