We’ve come to expect the unexpected with the entries to the Mail Art Bulletin. Today’s addition exemplifies the free-for-all nature of the genre.

A cardboard box was propped up against our door by the mail carrier — who by now is probably thinking, “Why the hell do these people keep getting wacked out mail?” — and inside we discovered the work of artist Mira Gerard and her “Combined Media” class at East Tennessee State University. Our first entry from the “Volunteer State.”

The students (and their mediums) are:

  • Leah Needham (mylar and ball point pen)
  • Liz Layton (paper, glitter, plastic animal, confetti)
  • Joe Singleton (wide ruled notebook paper, ink, graphite, gesso, acrylic)
  • Tiffany Ford (found paper collage)
  • Kyle Blauw (oil on paper)
  • Andrew Scott (crayon, paint pen, felt tip marker, viewmaster, cardboard)
  • and the instructor, Mira Gerard (oil on aluminum).

Unlike some of the other mail art works we’ve featured, this was a grab bag that appeared more concerned with creating portable objects that are meant to be explored one by one. Many of the objects were in envelopes and some were very particular about how we were intended to open them — good mail art (we’re discovering) is all about the dramatic reveal.

Hands down my favorite part of this project was the box itself, not only is the cat-like cardboard sculpture on the box adorable and inviting, the patriot dummer girl and the glitter explosion on the back were unexpected and festive — ok, I’m a sucker for glitter.

Inside, each work had its own personality but don’t take my word for it, check it out yourself …

From inside the viewfinder (left eye/combined/right eye):

If you would like to be considered for inclusion in our Mail Art Bulletin, please send your mail art to:

Hyperallergic HQ
181 N 11th Street, Suite 302
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

3 replies on “Mail Art Bulletin: Box Full of Surprises”

  1. Thanks for blogging our box of surprises. We had a great time creating it for you! MUCH LOVE. -Mira Gerard

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