Open Call for International Mail Art Exhibition and Fundraiser

August 01, 2023 - August 31, 2023


Organized within the framework of the exhibition Sonja Ahlers: Classification Crisis, this call is open to artists from anywhere in the world (18 years and over) who wish to contribute one original piece of Mail Art in response to the theme of collecting and reassembling.

Mail Art, also known as postal art and correspondence art, is an artistic movement centered on sending small-scale works through the postal service. While originally Mail Art had no rules, it generally operates as artistic experimentation combined with humour, spontaneity, and simplicity of materials.   For many Mail Artists, the process of exchanging ideas and collaboration within a global community is valued above the aesthetic merits of the finished product, differentiating the Mail Art Network from the world of commercial postcards and of simply “mailed art”. (See history and definition of Mail Art HERE)

This call is inspired by the work of Sonja Ahlers known for her zines, chapbooks, collages, and mixed media works. Artists are invited to respond to this theme by collecting and reassembling their own stories, images, and ephemera into a postcard-sized artwork, and to mail their artwork to the Richmond Art Gallery.

  • All artworks received will be documented and included in an online exhibition and fundraising auction. (One entry per artist)
  • All works received before the postmark deadline of August 31, 2023 will go on display in the Richmond Art Gallery’s Art Lounge during Sonja Ahlers’ exhibition, from September 9 to November 5, 2023. (space permitting)
  • All works will go to online auction after November 5, 2023, and proceeds raised will be used to support the Gallery’s free public programming.
  • Any 2-D media accepted that is sent through the postal service. Must be original, one-of-a-kind artworks by artists over 18 years of age.
  • The organizers reserve the right of admission in the event that some of the images are considered inappropriate (that appeal to intolerance of discrimination or that contradict the artistic objectives).

Guidelines for Submission to Mail Art Exhibition and Auction Fundraiser:

REQUIRED ARTWORK DIMENSIONS:  13 cm x 17.5 cm (5 in x 7 in)

THEME:  Collecting and reassembling.

MATERIALS: Original, one-of-a-kind 2D artwork must be composed of collage and/or mixed media, including but not limited to painting, drawing, printmaking, fabric, and more. NOTE – Digital artworks sent via email will not be accepted, physical works sent via the mail only.

MAIL TO:  Richmond Art Gallery Mail Art Exhibition, 7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond BC, V6Y 1R9, Canada.

Please write your name, address, e-mail address and Instagram handle or website (optional) on the back of the postcard so we can use this for gallery labels and to keep in touch.

CONSENT: By sending in a Mail Art work, the artist consents to having their artworks sold for the Richmond Art Gallery Association auction.

DEADLINES: Artwork must ARRIVE by August 31, 2023 via the postal service to be included in our gallery exhibition.
Artwork received after this date, but  POSTMARKED by August 31, 2023 will be included in the online exhibition only.

AUCTION OF ARTWORKS: All works received will start with a minimum bid of $10.

QUESTIONS? Contact the organizer –

Submissions Deadline
August 31, 2023

August 01, 2023 - August 31, 2023
12:00 am - 6:00 pm

Richmond Art Gallery
7700 Minoru Gate
Richmond, BC, V6E 1R9
Lower Mainland