Artists from across the nation and around the world are displaying their works at Saginaw Valley State University’s Art Department Gallery as part of the “POST(AL) PANDEMIC” mail art exhibition on display through Wednesday, Sept. 15. A reception will be held Thursday, Sept. 9 from 4-6 p.m. in the gallery, which is located in the Arbury Fine Arts Center. The university’s health and safety protocols will be observed, and face coverings are required.
The exhibition explores the questions: Is there life—or an artistic vision of it—after gloomy 2020 and 2021? Is the infection demon (Covid-19 & variants) now defeated, battling us, or simply lying in wait to spring again?
Sara Clark, studio art technician in SVSU’s department of art, said the mail-in art exhibition was conceived as a means to welcome students to campus. Calls to send artwork were issued through groups that engage in mail art, an artistic movement dedicated to sending small-scale works through the postal service.
The University Art Department Gallery has received submissions from students, alumni, faculty, staff and artists in nine states and eight countries outside of the United States.
Submitted works represent artists’ reflections of disease and melancholy, lifestyle, hope and optimism, as well as expressing appreciation for the world’s postal systems that have helped keep people connected while socially isolated.
The term “mail art” was coined in the 1960s to identify a form of artistic practice in which an international network of participants uses the mail to make art and share it with others. Also called “postal art” or “correspondence art,” mail art has been used by artists as an alternative means of producing, distributing and receiving art. With letters, postcards, and packages—as well as material that tests the limits of what can be posted—mail artists circumvent traditional elite modes of display and distribution (such as museums and commercial galleries) in favor of the more accessible spaces of the modern post.
SVSU is pleased to share the works of artists from around the world through an exhibition that creatively sidesteps the art market and political censors to gauge the pulse of society.
All gallery exhibitions, lectures and receptions are free and open to the public. Click the following link for open gallery hours or call (989) 964-2291. The University Art Gallery is in the Arbury Fine Arts Center on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University, svsu.edu/go/visit/maps/.