You are cordially invited to the opening of my mail art project.
this is where i go opens Wednesday, November 6th. The reception is 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Britannia Art Gallery
1661 Napier Street
Wheelchair accessible parking is available off the back alley parallel to and West of Commercial Drive. Please check out this map for parking options and directions to the gallery. The gallery is #40 which is inside the public library (#37).
All postcards will be available for sale for $5 each to raise funds to mail catalogues to participants.
This project consisted of a worldwide call (primarily online) for 4 by 6 inch original postcards addressing the theme this is where i go. Participants were free to interpret the theme as they wished. 110 participants, both adults and children, from 25 countries sent in more than 110 mail art pieces. Materials employed ranged widely and spanned the whole gamut from traditional artist materials to band-aids, foil, and muffin wrappers.
My intention for this project, which culminated in an exhibition in Vancouver, was to introduce the mail art movement to my local community, as well as make children feel that they could participate in “The Eternal Network.” Inclusivity was an important aspect. Artists and non-artists, adults and children participated and are displayed along each other. The egalitarian ethos of mail art is celebrated here. I believe that anyone can be creative and that it is up to you to decide what is creative rather than have someone else validate your creativity. Creative expression can play an important role in one’s life but often times people don’t allow themselves the pleasure of creative expression because they have been told at a young age that they were not good at art, or that art is not worthy of serious consideration or that art is only art if it’s on the wall.
To introduce mail art to my local community I held workshops (some free) through Britannia Art Gallery and the Richmond Art Gallery. I am grateful to both of these institutions for the opportunity.
My privileged position as the organizer/curator was quite interesting and gave me insight into the peculiarities of running projects. As is typical for mail art projects I set some ground rules, some of which were: 4 by 6 inch postcards, one submission per person, all postcards must bear postage and go through the postal system. What I received sometimes, were cards that were larger or not postcards at all, multiple submissions, and postcards in envelopes. Understandably, Some participants wanted to protect their work, but alas, this meant that postal workers would not be part of the audience. I love the idea of sharing the work while it is in transit.
It was also quite interesting to see how 110 mail artists approached the theme. Some were literal, some were definitely expressing mental states, and some were abstract and obscure. All were a delight to see in my mailbox and provided me thoughtful moments throughout the day.
Thank you to Britannia Art Gallery for accepting my proposal for this exhibition. Thank you to my partner, Lenny LeBlanc for all the hard work with display and hanging. Thank you all for participating in my first mail art project! It has been a year of really good mail!