How to Host

Are you interested in being a guest host here at MMSA?  
Handling other people's art is a responsibility and privilege.

1.  You must have a way of taking photographs of the art (camera or scanner)
2.  You must know how to attach an image to an email
3.  You must be willing to post your address on the blog
4.  Good organizational skills are very helpful for this endeavor.

(NOTE:  new members are encouraged to participate in group swaps for a while, becoming familiar with the process, before assuming responsibility for a swap themselves.)

A group-swap host:
1. Picks a theme/media/technique and makes samples so pictures may be included in the swap description.
2.  Writes up a description of swap requirements
3.  Sets a date to announce the swap, and a date for participants to send in their pieces
4.  Receives the swap art pieces through the mail
5.  Photographs each piece
6.  Sends photos of each separate piece of art, attached to email message sent to the MMSA group administrator who edits them and posts pictures online for the group to see
7.  Records who sent what and when and forwards that info to the MMSA group administrator for her records.
8.  "Shuffles and Deals" - redistributing the art to those who participated
9.  Makes sure each swap piece has an address label and correct postage affixed (or if outer envelope is needed to protect delicate art- provides that)
10.  Takes swapped pieces to the post office to be checked for proper postage and sends them out 

  • Choose a theme and decide what form you want the art to take  (postcards, ATCs, bookmarks, etc.)  The theme could be based on a subject matter (rusty automobiles?), a technique or medium (watercolors), or a color. (Our monochromatic color swaps have been some of our most popular.)  Feel free to look through the archive for ideas.  It's okay to repeat themes we've done in the past as long as it has been a year or more.
  • Email me your idea, your address, and a suggested time frame.  I'll work out the details with you via email and then write a blog post announcing the swap.  It would help if you can send a picture of examples of art that fits the theme you have in mind. 
  •  Expect to get 10-20 envelopes containing a total of 40-50 pieces of art.
  • You will need to photograph each piece of art (lying flat) separately in good light against a white background please,  then email the images to me as attachments so I can import them into an MMSA swap folder.

    • Send me one email with photo's per artist and write the artist's name in the subject line of the email.  
    • So if Jane participated in aTREES themed swap, you'd send me an email with the subject line "Jane 4 TREES SWAP" and attach pictures of all of Jane's art to that email.  This is hugely helpful to me 
    • in keeping all the art images organized
    • and properly labeled.
    • You can send me the emails as the art arrives, 
    • which makes it easier on me...  
    • Once I have a good number of images for a given swap I will post those images on the blog 
    • for all the world to enjoy!
  • Wait about 3 weeks after the "Postmark By" deadline before completing the exchange.  Most of your mail will show up within a few days of the deadline, but I always wait a generous period of time to allow for postal mishaps.   Or holiday delays.

  • Now it's time to do the actual swap.  If Jane submitted four pieces of art, you need to choose one piece from four different artists to mail back to her.  You'll put the mailing labels Jane sent you onto those four postcards and drop them in the mail.  You can read all about the system Karen used to organize and swap the hundreds of pieces of mail that came through her house each month in this blog post.  You certainly don't need to use her system, but it might give you some ideas
  • Some mail will require the protection of envelopes as mentioned above.
  • You, as host, are welcome to create your own art and submit it for the swap.  This allows you to cherry pick your favorite pieces of art to keep - just one of the nice perks of hosting.
  • I am available throughout the day to answer your questions via email and to give you whatever remote support you may need.
email me: 
Honi Chassin

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