Call for Entries from Visual Voice Gallery, Montreal

CALL FOR ENTRIES - A LETTER TO THE UNIVERSE
We want your cosmic mail!

Send us you mail art! We'll exhibit every entry on the walls of the Visual Voice Art Gallery from April 29 - May 3, 2009.
The theme: "Things I Found in the Sky". Any medium, any size, any number of entries. If it your mail makes it to the gallery before Friday, April 24, 2009 you're in!

Logistics:
Unlike other mail art exhibits, we'll sell your entries - all mail art pieces will be priced at CAN$20 (each). We don't take a commission, but we ask that you pay "gallery postage" of CAN$2 per entry.

Mail your entry to:
Visual Voice Art Gallery
372, Ste-Catherine Street West
space 421
Montreal QC H3B 1A2
Canada

Dates:
April 24, 2009 - deadline to receive mail art at the gallery
April 29 - May 3, 2009 - mail art exhibition
May 2, 2009 - public art event "The Painted Universe"
May 5, 2009 - if you included an SAE we'll return your mail art pieces to you.

Gallery Postage:
You can pay by cheque (made out to "Bettina Forget" - and remember to put it in a separate envelope, don't include it inside your mail art!), or you can pay by PayPal. (Go to http://www.visualvoicegallery.com/VVG-submit-E-MailArt2009.html and click on the PayPal button)

Sales:
In case of a sale we'll send you a cheque after May 5, 2009 (in CAN$), or if you have a PayPal account we can transfer the funds to you directly.

Questions?
If you have any questions regarding this mail art exhibit or how to enter, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us at
info@visualvoicegallery.com

Views: 8

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Comment by Carla Cryptic on April 17, 2009 at 1:39am
BTW, Bettina, I think the problem is that mail artists are (understandably) shy of any commercial application of mail art. That you sell something you also use as mail art of your own is one thing - but if you sell it, it's no longer mail art. Mail art is, intrinsically, not sold but exchanged or given free. That's what makes it possible for most of us - we feel okay about that but not about it being sold.

I agree that it's a good thing if artists can get paid but why not just ask mail artists to participate in a show which is not mail art but a gallery show featuring art by mail artists - it's quite a different proposal. Mail art can't be valued at $20CAN (or $1,000,000CAN). It has no price. It demeans the concept and the practice either way. The thing is, though, it would be more of a temptation to let someone pay $1,000,000CAN than $20CAN.

Many of my friends who are artists coming up in the current art scene are used to selling their art for small amounts of money. Some of us who've come up in the art scene at other times in history are used to selling art for large amounts of money. Still others have never sold their art at all. I totally see your point in wanting to do this but I think it's a hard sell (sic!) for most mail artists. It will be interesting to see who participates and what ages they are and/or how they view the art they send to you.
Comment by Carla Cryptic on April 17, 2009 at 1:28am
What in the world is poutine!? It sounds quite close to a very bad word. :)
Comment by Gik Juri on April 16, 2009 at 9:12pm
It's strange to read... Why not make usual mail art show without any fees and auctions? If people don't know about mail art, why they will buy mail art for $20? In any case, it's bad idea to be familiar with "non-commercial enterprise" by means buying... I don't believe that anybody interested in mail art in potention don't know about mail art... Today is 2009... If people don't know anything and it's interesting for them - they will check Internet first... Mail art has very long history, from the middle 1950s, it's well-known phenomenon for all interested, and a lot of mail artists live in Canada, a lot of projects were there, in Montreal too, first artistamp exhibition was in Canada in 1974. Mail art has need for promotion, has need in new mail artists, but it's not "new".
Comment by Bettina Forget on April 16, 2009 at 5:46pm
Hi guys,

thanks for your feedback. Right off the bat I'd like to acknowledge that Mail Art lives outside the gallery environment and is a non-commercial enterprise. This call for entries is venturing into commercial territory for the following reasons:

One of the Visual Voice Gallery's mandates is to encourage "regular" people to buy original works of art, to get them used to owning a piece of visual culture. Montrealers tend to spend more money on skates and poutine than on art, so an art show with original art at entry-level prices does tempt many to dip their toe into the practice of collecting art. I've been selling a lot of my "Starmail" series at $20 a piece (I have them pinned up in my studio), so that seems to be the magic number. Everyone has a 20 floating in their back pocket. So, if this works for my mail art, it should also work for everyone else's. I don't think there's anything wrong with putting money into artist's pockets, so I created this opportunity to both show and sell other mail artist's work.
The $2 "gallery postage" is to help cover the gallery's expenses (since there's no commission on sales). The price guide here was Etsy who charge $2 per post, and that seemed like a fair price.
The idea here is to promote mail art and mail artists to a wider audience, and to help artists earn a little money. The Visual Voice Gallery is situated in Montreal's Belgo building which hosts over 30 galleries and artist's studios, so the foot traffic for this show should be good. Sadly, few people know that mail art exists. Let's show them.

If you have any suggestions for this or further shows, please share them - I've only been involved with mail art for a short time and I'm happy to learn more.
Comment by Gik Juri on April 16, 2009 at 10:51am
Wonderful! But why 20CAN$, not 200CAN$ or 200 000CAN$ ? They don't know what they will receive, but they already know price of this - 20CAN$ ! And if I'll send some gold stamps - they will sell it for 20CAN$ too? Don't believe!

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