Currently, the Downtown Nanaimo Gallery is featuring 2012 Mayworks Festival of Labour and the Arts: Mail Art Exhibition until May 22, 2012. What is mail art? It is art sent through the mail.
Artists from 25 countries have mailed postcard sized art to the curator, Ed Varney of Courtenay, on the theme of “Hard Work – Work & Labour.” There are 125 artists from around the world who have mailed in their art and the artworks feature painting, printmaking, drawing, collage, photography and other media.
“Mail art began in New York in the 1950s by art professor Ray Johnson and was seen as one of the new “communication arts”, a form of media aesthetics that evolved alongside video art. It is in this precise sense that mail art could be said to only have “a present” – a present of communicational events, of uncontrollable exchanges, of things arriving and departing at unforeseen times and places, thanks to the medium of postal system, which, just like television, could be seen to distribute “signals” across the boundaries of time and space.”