Wednesday, October 18, 2006

MM2 . . update

Greetings Mailartists

Thought it was time for another check-in . .
As you can see some of the pieces that arrived after the opening have now been posted.
Thanks to all that have participated. I'll begin the electronic documentation in the days ahead. The community has had such a positve response to the show. I continue to get emails and responses from people that I meet on the street. A special Thank You to all that sent mail making this show so memorable. I am hoping to get the show to move around the province and perhaps even the country. I'll let you know if it gets to travel.

Mailmania 3 will happen in 2008! I'll keep you posted.

Mailmania Opening . . Dale Roberts and Janet Jones

Mail art and a few degrees of separation . . .
22 years ago while hitchhiking my way around Scotland I was given a lift by an artist (James Murdoch), a few words and an exchange of address and we began a correspondence that has lasted these 22 years (recently exppanded into the realm of email). At the opening of mailmania2 I had the opportunity to meet Janet Jones. It seems this resident of Victoria, BC, is the first cousin of this long time correspondant . . . Mailmania2 has been filled with lots of these kinds of connections to people, places and events.

Torben Doose, Paris, FRANCE

Valerie Elliott, Victoria, BC, CANADA

Valerie at the preview before opening night.

This sound piece (tube below) had a delightful tinkling sound as it was rotated. The postal clerk spent considerable time with it deciding which stamps would work best and exactly where they should be placed.
Valerie's amazing calligraphy can be seen on the box (below) her other artistic talents can be seen at:

Ritha Mason, Victoria, BC, CANADA

In 1987, Ritha coined the word etings for the artwork she makes from found objects or recycled material. The term originated when she was invited to participate in a group art show at the McPherson Playhouse Gallery in Victoria, British Columbia, and a typographical error in the program stated that she would be displaying "etings" instead of "etchings." When she seized on this typographical error as a definition of her recycled art, etings became synonymous with her work.

See more at:

A special delivery by husband John

Tiziana Baracchi, Venezia-Mestre, ITALY

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Simon Redekop, Vancouver, BC, CANADA

Via Portugal

See more of Simon's work at:

Elgin Carver, Paint Rock, AL, USA

Seeking Part 8

Victoria News-Don Denton Photographer

"Art is in the mail"
News Clipping from the Victoria News Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Gillian Gravenor, Victoria, BC, CANADA

Augustina Ricci, Santa Rosa-La Pampa, ARGENTINA

Mike Mosher, Bay City, MI, USA

See more of Mike's work at:

Elgin Carver, Paint Rock, AL, USA

"Seeking" Part 6

Eric Coraboeuf, Paris, FRANCE

Check out his blog at:

Carole Reid, Nanaimo, BC, CANADA

Gillian Gravenor, Victoria, BC, CANADA

Gillian Queen of Travels in Carcross, Yukon

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Danielle Walker, (Artist and Writer) Victoria, BC

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

By -Danielle Walker
Sep 20 2006
Published in Monday Magazine September 21-27, 2006
Mailmania 2 takes mail art to a whole new level

Mail art is the art community's version of reality TV: it creates common ground and makes the mundane profound. For his second biennial show, Mailmania 2, local artist Dale Roberts sent out an open call welcoming "whatever will mail." This was the green light for artists in an international forum to send in the visual poetry of their lives-and it arrived not only in traditional two-dimensional format, but also in collage and balls of clothing wrapped in tape.

"I got into mail art in grad school, after reading a book by Ray Johnson, the 'father' of mail art," says Roberts, whose first Mailmania exhibit was back in September, 2004. "I also got into artist journaling and sending that out to friends because of Dan Eldon, a Reuters photographer who was killed in Africa in 1993." Just 22 years old when he died, Roberts notes that a book published after Eldon's death showed what he was going through before he died. "It was an inspiration for me to create something out of 'current sight' with my immediate environment," he explains. "Not only is mail art political, it heightens pedestrian objects and makes them precious."

For her part, fellow artist Gillian Gravenor says, "I got into mail art through Dale. I had met him in the bookstore where I worked, in 2000, and sent him a card. He reciprocated my card, and also invited other friends to participate." The friends who participated in this little group-now called "mailarta"-are still active.

Art movements in the past century inspire "a time other than this" in an art piece. Art that revolves around chance and the psyche-such as dada and surrealism-and art made of found objects (early cubism), are a few examples. Mail art's artificial history is achieved in two ways: the use of found objects, and the art piece passing through many hands in order to reach its destination.

And while it may seem mundane, the actual act of mailing is as much a part of the art as creating it. Gravenor breaks mail art down into a three-part process. "Mail first has to be made and then you have to go to the post office," she explains. "The second part is actually putting the mail in the box; I always look at it before I close the drawer, just to see it one last time. The third part is the other person receiving it." There is also a sense of satisfaction in seeing an image of the received art piece posted online. It completes the process of bringing art into being.

There is a general feeling of intimacy in the mail art community that echoes back to waiting for letters home from the war. This intimacy is what makes true art come alive.

Fran Willis, Victoria, BC, CANADA

A special Thanks to Fran Willis, Gallery Owner for her generous support of this show.

Friday, September 22, 2006

OPENING NIGHT OF MAILMANIA 2 at the Fran Willis Gallery

21 September 2006 Victoria, BC. Opening night of Mailmania 2 welcomed an incredible turnout with local TV and print media attending. Response was overwhelmingly positive and it generated much interest in mail art and the global community. Several people copied addresses and said they would write to the artists directly in hopes of further coresspondence.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Your talent and industry made for a very interesting and diverse grouping of works. Last nights opening indicated how very much your efforts are appreciated. Stay tuned for information regarding Mailmania 3 scheduled for 2008.