MAYWORKS 2013: Mail Art Exhibition

"The Artist at Work/Self Portraits”

May 1 to May 25, 2013

Reception: Saturday, May 4, 2 to 4pm Downtown

Mayworks is a month long festival celebrating the role labour plays in our social fabric. The Mail Art Exhibition component was added to the festival by curator Ed Varney. Over the last eight years, submissions for this annual exhibition have been compiled to form the largest archive of labour-related art in the world, containing over 1000 pieces from 350 artists from 35 countries.

Mail Art, the exchange of artwork between artists via the postal system, developed as a unique art movement in the early 1970s. The first exhibitions of Mail Art were in artist's studios, garages, abandoned buildings and other underground venues. All art that was sent was displayed, there were no entry fees, there was often a general theme and documentation with all the artist's names and addresses was sent to all participants. The Mail Art Network expanded as artists saw the opportunity to meet, correspond and participate in an open-ended social and professional network.

The theme for this year's Mayworks Mail Art Exhibition is "The Artist at Work/Self Portraits." Taking the time to look at each of the 270 works reveals both how artists work and a how they see themselves. The self-portrait is one of the most interesting and challenging subjects that artists through the ages have tackled. As a whole, the exhibition provides a fascinating cross section of international art and artists' working processes, concerns and contemporary media. At the end of the exhibition, a complete catalogue will be produced and mailed to all the artists.

Curated by Ed Varney



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