Mailart & ArtByMail // open_calls & exhibitions repository


// last review » 01MAY2021

// for further acknowledgement

? mail_art, art_by_mail, [e]mail_art, art_by[e]mail.

yes, ... we acknowledge them all and put them all side by side even if with different meaning concepts, yet we do need the ART part within it overall and a MAILING process of any sort

so, ... take that in mind if any of these writings may seem ambiguous

// identity

? what's the deal with

like it or not, lists active open calls sorted out by due date, as well as exhibitions, artists, links of interest, and so on ... but it may end up being much more

only after starting this listing, at 01_august_2018, we did realize the extraordinary amount of new open calls coming up all the time ... almost 20 new ones per month! and that's only those that we can grasp... from automatic bot searches, constant research, direct emailing, and from those special people that keep us updated on what is going on in the community

so, for all of those like us that enjoy stats and precise numbers ... since it began we're talking of around 500 open calls totaling around 1 new open call every other day

// mail_art, art_by_mail, [e]mail_art, art_by[e]mail

? does mail_art has something to do with postcards.

no and yes, ... we do not refer to the traditional 10 x 15 cm postcards, but to the act of sending by post, addressed to a recipient and stamped

however nothing prevents you from creating typical and personalized postcards with mail_art concepts in mind

? first of all, why the distinction between mail_art and art_by_mail // [ from an interview by Sara Costa ].

analyzing several artists career, I’m able to generalize that most creatives start unconsciously in this area

the one gender I call art_by_mail arose spontaneously by my need to send artworks to friends, artists or galleries, either as an offer or a form of self-promotion

art_by_mail uses postal services only as a means of artwork transportation and does not rely on these services for its creation

in mail_art, the case is rather different, ... in my opinion, mail_art succeeds to art_by_mail when the awareness of such a vehicle is born and the necessity for it

apparent simple actions, as the stamp location and the postal address are now part of the artistic creation, but above all, it is quite important, in its most purist form, to integrate the vehicle, for example the postman, into this joint art co-creation

the entire process and journey, from the sender to the recipient might be seen as a long performance that culminates with the receiver and the act of receiving it and so on

? the idea of mail_art goes through the democratization of artistic creation and dissemination, putting these gestures within the reach of all. has it grown, this awareness that it is possible to create with little means and without a consecrated "name" // [ from an interview by Sara Costa ].

i say in jest that to create mail_art/art_by_mail it is enough to buy the stamps, but it is important to remember that if we withdraw the "MAIL" transport vehicle from mail_art, we should still have "ART", but unfortunately this component is scarce in so many people’s creations

i can’t tell if there has been a growing awareness that it is possible to create with few means, since in reality this is the daily life of consecrated artists or not ... but i do can say that the idea that anyone can be an artist is being incorrectly sold because you just can’t get there effortlessly and without regular exercise

? when art moves from the freer circulation into galleries and collections, it becomes more inaccessible under various aspects. Is there a risk of this happening with mail_art // [ from an interview by Sara Costa ].

i may be misunderstanding the question but considering that mail_art comes from a freer circulation is incorrect

in its purest form, it is a very personal and private way of communication between sender, recipient and transport vehicle and therefore this art form is tremendously inaccessible to the rest of the public

transposing these works into galleries corrupts mail_art concept, in a certain way, as well as its nature, and I do speak against myself

these shows, organized by me, are however essentially pedagogical and are intended to elucidate the public about this art form

// open calls

? what's an open call.

an open call is an invitation to all those who want to send artwork to another artist, organization or curator who will normally perform an exhibition or show with the received artwork

sometimes, open calls have themes that must be followed, maximum or minimum dimensions, and many more specifications

it is still common for the received artwork to be photographed and published and shared online

? where I can know about other open calls.

this platform has an exhaustive and updated list of several open calls that are taking place

there are calls with artwork submission deadlines as well as permanent calls that have no deadline and are open through the entire year

? are these calls secure.

the open calls promoted in were exposed to a selection and validation reason why we believe they are reliable

some of these calls are designed to the general audience and some are strictly more advised for participation and/or to be seen by minors

sometimes some notes are presented and it will be up to each one of us to decide whether or not to submit works for a given open call

// submitting artwork

? what should i take notice when submitting artwork to these open calls.

when submitting artwork to the address listed as SUBMISSION ADDRESS in each open call, all artists are kindly requested to provide, by email or snail mail, the following information

artist > profile picture | name | brief bio | email address | website | address

artwork > title | media details | brief text

while addressing the artwork it is also important to identify it with the #open_call_name since the receiver may be hosting several open calls at the same time

? is there any rule or technique for the creation of mail_art.

consider that there are no rules for mail_art creation

we are talking about drawing, painting, writing, traditional or digital collage, sculpture, etc ...

? for those who never made mail_art before, what can you recommend as an initiation.

get enough stamps for a non-standard postal delivery and accept the challenge of staying within the weight limit using perhaps a kitchen scale

now, use the illustrations of those same stamps as a starting point for your visual composition. if the stamps have people performing water sports, you can always create an ocean or river scenario where those stamps ride those waves. do not type the addresses in a typical fashionable way but rather create patterns with those lines of text or even draw your own waves with the wavy look of the written text. and there you have it ... your first example of mail_art

if you now remove the waving text and the sports stamps ... you are left with a poor, meaningless or even blank work ... and this is how you can realize that you have created an example of one of the purest forms of mail_art

? and now, ... without addresses of other mail_art artists where to will I send my artwork.

until recently, artist's postal addresses were shared through Add&Pass that were sent from an artist to another artist, to another artist, to another artist ... in a long cycle. each artist added something in the composition that was being created by multiple hands and then, on the back, he would add his personal postal address right below the already long list. this was one of the several ways used to access a mailing list of other artists, ... and there are still those who produce Add&Pass, like it or not

you can also visit mail_art exhibitions and "steal" artist's postal addresses from their artwork

a more immediate solution will be to visit the latest and most up-to-date address list created by the American artist Jon Foster »

? do i have to write my own home address as the sender.

it is common for artists to write their own address because in this way the recipient can "answer" back, but there are also cases of those who send anonymous artwork

some artists opted for the use of a PO BOX

// hosting an open call

? i'm hosting an open call and i want it listed.

if you are hosting an open call, do send its info as detailed as possible by email

all information will be provided to the visitant both in English version and Portuguese

? what details do you need to promote my open call.


submission due date [YYYY-MM-DD]

exhibition open date [YYYY-MM-DD]

exhibition end date [YYYY-MM-DD]

exhibition address

submission address


full description

extra details


info email

info website

starter file



kid friendly [true/false]

selection jury [true/false][names]

artwork will be sold [true/false][which cause]

returns [true/false]

maximum submissions [true/false][amount]

minimum submissions [true/false][amount]

required submissions [true/false][amount]

maximum dimensions mm [true/false][size X size mm]

minimum dimensions mm [true/false][size X size mm]

required dimensions mm [true/false][size X size mm]

? how can i increase the number of submissions to my open call.

increase chances and number of submissions by hosting an exhibition of the received work, creating a webpage and online gallery for the open call, sending documentation to all the participants such as a digital catalog or better yet mail_art and/or ephemera by traditional snail mail

// archive & repository

? how can i add content to the repository.

if you consider yourself a mail_artist please send your details [ website | artist bio | scanned artwork ] by email

you can also update this archive by sending your catalogs, essays, videos and others

and if you are hosting an exhibition, do send its info as detailed as possible

? why there's something weird with my website link or why can't i find it listed anymore.

the link including mechanism is somewhat machine-controlled... so it takes a while sometimes to correctly update it

there's also a routine that tries to connect to these websites from times to times and if it finds a broken link it automatically removes it... so check if your website is online and drop me a word if you believe the error is not yours

the text you might find near the link was taken from your website by this bot so there's no manual way for me to change it and you should consider altering it on you own website since it affects all bots, robots and spiders, google included

? my details are incorrect.

drop me an email with the needed correction

? can you take down my personal details from your website.

drop me a line by email if ya please

// features & contributions

? how can i contribute to this archive.

update this archive by sending your personal details [ website | artist bio | artwork scans ] by email or by correcting information you may find here

? i have a few ideas to be implemented on your website, can i share them with you.

please do so, by email

? when browsing the open calls i would like to see the open call's poster or promo image.

nop, there's no intent so far on having imagery next to the open calls

? do you intent to create an app so that i can take these open calls with me, on my phone.

it has been on my mind and some PayPal contributions would be helpful to make it happen

? how can i help you out, by translating the content to my native language.

although all the coding is prepared to have such implementation, ... at the present moment i'm not thinking about having it in other languages but do try to convince me

// random subjects

? my question is not listed here.

drop me a word by email

? i really need to share your website but there's some content that ain't kid-friendly. is it possible to block it.

drop me a word by email