Events > Mail Art

01 Jun. 2020 - 30 May 2021


Lorna Brown, Cathy Busby, Garry Neill Kennedy, Maria Fusco, David Horvitz, and Rolande Souliere
Jonathan Middleton

Art Metropole is pleased to announce Society, a year-long group exhibition through the postal system, featuring works by artists Lorna Brown, Cathy Busby & Garry Neill Kennedy, Maria Fusco, David Horvitz, and Rolande Souliere. From June 1, 2020 to May 30th, 2021, every piece of mail leaving the offices of Art Metropole will be stamped with one of five artworks by one of the above artists. Each will also be numbered in sequential order, creating open-ended editions that collectively tally the organization’s postal correspondence over the year.

Society takes cues from Art Metropole’s history and early association with correspondence art, as well as its long dedication to collecting and circulating documents and ephemera related to conceptual art and related movements. The project’s title comes from an imperative felt by many artists to offer critiques of contemporary society, as well as to form associations and institutions that reflect their political and social ideals. The works in this series were all conceived of and developed in 2019, but continue to take on new meaning as the global context develops, notably under the current COVID-19 pandemic.

There are a variety of ways to receive an envelope in the mail from Art Metropole: writing us a letter will get you one back; sending us a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) will have it stamped and returned to you; and all web orders, new memberships or renewals, and any normal postal correspondence will also receive a work on the envelope or packaging.

Lorna Brown is Vancouver-based visual artist, curator, writer, educator and editor. She is currently Associate Director/Curator at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia. Brown has exhibited her work internationally since 1984. She served as Director/Curator of Artspeak Gallery from 1999 to 2004 and is a founding member of Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, a collective of artists, architects and curators presenting projects that consider the varying conditions of public places and public life. She has taught at Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Simon Fraser University. Brown received an honorary degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2015), the Vancouver Institute for the Visual Arts Award (1996) and the Canada Council Paris Studio Award (2000). Her work is in the collections of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, the BC Arts Council, the Surrey Art Gallery and the Canada Council Art Bank.

Cathy Busby is Canadian artist based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has a PhD in Communication (Concordia University, Montreal, 1999) and was a Fulbright Scholar at New York University (1995-96). She has an MA in Media Studies (Concordia University, 1992) and a BFA (1984) from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She has been exhibiting her work internationally over the past 20 years.

Garry Neill Kennedy is a senior Canadian artist. In addition to an active career as an artist, Kennedy taught studio art at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University) for over forty years where he also served as president for 23 years (1967 – 1990). He was visiting professor at California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) and Ēcole des Beaux Arts, Paris (ENSB-A). His most recent solo museum exhibitions were held at The National Gallery of Canada, The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, The Owens Art Gallery and Portikus (#86, Frankfurt am Main). In 2003 he was a recipient of the Order of Canada and in 2004, the Governor General’s Award in the Visual and Media Arts. In 2011 he received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from NSCAD University.

Kennedy recently had solo shows in Toronto at Diaz Contemporary, 2012 and in Vancouver, BC at Or Gallery in 2013 and The Apartment in 2014. He has also recently completed two books — one for MIT Press, The Last Art College: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1968 -1978 and a second, a catalogue raisonne of his printed matter published by the Library and Archives of the National Gallery of Canada, both in 2012. Kennedy team teaches part-time with his wife, Cathy Busby at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC where they make their home.

Maria Fusco is a Belfast-born writer based in Scotland. She works across art writing, fiction, performance and theory, and is Professor of Fine Art at the University of Dundee and was Director of Art Writing at Goldsmiths, she’s currently Visiting Professor at University of Art & Design Offenbach am Main, Germany. Her work is translated into twelve languages and she is founder of The Happy Hypocrite, a journal for and about experimental writing. Her latest books are Legend of the Necessary Dreamer (2017) described by Chris Kraus as “a new classic of female philosophical fiction” and Give Up Art: Collected Critical Writings (2018) of which James Elkins had written “after a book like this, most nonfiction seems curiously unaware of what writing can be.” She is working on a new project with the Royal Opera House, London.

Playful and poetic, the works of David Horvitz, an ocean romantic, based in Los Angeles, California, meddle with the systems of language, time and networks, hyper-paced Zoom calls, emails, and images transmitted through screens. Eschewing categorisation, his expansive nomadic body of work, traversing the forms of photographs, word of mouth and physical movement or distribution, artist books, performances, memes, mail art, sound, rubber stamps, gastronomy, weather, travel, walks, and watercolor, is presented through examining questions of distance between places, people and time in order to test the possibilities of appropriating, undermining or even erasing this distance. Harnessing image, text, object and flows which he mobilises to circulate and operate independently from himself, penetrate ever more effectively the intimate sphere. Left face to face with his works, in the postal system, libraries, and airport lost and found services, even engaged into action, our attention to the infinitesimal, finding loopholes and alternative logics within them, to the minute but important details and to the imaginary comes to the fore. As lullabies imprinted in our head, Horvitz deploys art as both object of contemplation and as viral or systemic tool to effect change on a personal scale. David Horvitz makes fictions that insert themselves surreptitiously into the real. Shifting seamlessly pebbles often possess a naturally frosted finish.

Rolande (Wassay) Souliere was born in Toronto, Ontario and is Anishinaabe and member of Michipicoten First Nation. Souliere became a contemporary artist when she migrated to Australia in the late nineties. Prior to this her artistic knowledge was grounded in her First Nation heritage. She pursued her artistic endeavours and engaged in the arts community by becoming art school trained at Sydney College of the Arts (SCA), University of Sydney.

Working across painting, sculpture, photography, collage and recently screen printing, Souliere’s practice is primarily installation that combines the organic, hard edge abstraction and the hand-made with the assisted readymade.

Souliere was a finalist in the Helen Lempriere Traveling Scholarship and a recipient of the Nava Marketing Grant in 2006, and 2007. In 2008 Souliere was a finalist in the Fauvette Lourerio Memorial Traveling Scholarship and had her first international solo exhibition at grunt gallery, Vancouver, Canada.

Jonathan Middleton is an artist, curator, and publisher working between Toronto and Vancouver. Middleton served as Executive Director of Art Metropole between 2019 and 2024. He previously worked as Partner and Editor-At-Large at Information Office, a Vancouver-based design and publishing studio. He served as Director/Curator of Vancouver’s Or Gallery from 2007 to 2017, during which time he established the Or’s bookstore (2011-) and Berlin satellite space (2010-2015). Middleton also served as Director/Curator of the Western Front Exhibitions Program (1999-2005), and was a founding member of the art periodical Fillip in 2004, serving on its editorial board and as its first publisher until 2008. He maintains an active art practice and has exhibited and screened his work at the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), VIVO Media Arts, Vancouver International Film Festival, Inside Out, Moving Pictures, the Chicago International Film Festival, Dazibao (Montreal) and Konsthalle 323 (Stockholm). He was a founding member of the Artist Run Centres and Collectives Conference (ARCA).


Collection of envelopes featuring works by artists Lorna Brown, Cathy Busby & Garry Neill Kennedy, Maria Fusco, David Horvitz, and Rolande Souliere. Photo by Cason Sharpe.

  1. Society (collection)