ESPA North of Nowhere (NoN) Expo

Posted: Tuesday, July 1, 2003
By: Darren Schroeder

* CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: ESPA North of Nowhere (NoN) Expo *
Edmonton Small Press Association (ESPA)
October 9-16, 2003, Edmonton Public Library
DEADLINE: August 31, 2003

The Edmonton Small Press Association (ESPA) is a registered non-profit society with over 600 members artists and collectives from 28 countries, and we are dedicated to all things small-press, underground and under-represented! We are pleased to announce the launch of our first (fully independent) festival of underground and activist art - the 2003 North of Nowhere (NoN) Expo - and hope you will submit!

The ESPA is part of a global Mail Art Network and as such all of our exhibitions are fully open and inclusive - anyone who submits their projects to our shows will be exhibited, and their projects will remain a part of our permanent Small Press Library & Archive. While the NoN Expo has specific themes we are calling on artists to respond to, we also always encourage independent small-press producers to submit their zines, comics and other small projects of ANY theme. To reciprocate, all who submit become ESPA members and receive very cool mail in the form of official exhibition documentation and other fun fodder from us. The ESPA believes the arts to be valuable tools for positive social change and actively foster the notion that small press initiaves are valuable assets to a diverse global culture.

Send your projects to the address below. We're always looking for zines, comics, mail art (in the form of envelopes, postcards, artistamps, artist trading cards, etc.), stickers, buttons and other ephemera, and also encourage independent artists to send in their CDs (music or otherwise) and indie videos - all make valuable contributions to our permanent Library & Archive, open and accessible to the viewing public and otherwise maintained for posterity's sake.

The following themes are specific components of the 2003 North of Nowhere Expo, and we encourage artists to send anything (open format, as above) for inclusion in the following exhibits:

1. FOOD FOR THOUGHT: A RECIPE FOR CHANGE: Artists are asked to submit 'spoof' tin can labels (of any size) on the theme of genetically-modified (GM/GE) food and mass-consumerism issues in general (eg: corporate globalization, non/sustainability issues, etc.). Artists submitting to this component are encouraged to EMAIL us their labels in the form of a PDF, JPEG or TIFF file. * Please write/call in advance to make sure you are sending in an appropriate format and manageable file size. You can also send flat labels via snail mail but don't waste your money sending us the applied tin cans (or other 'packaging', which is also welcome/encouraged) - we will print all labels in full-colour and apply them to cans for the 3-D installation here. We're also accepting other 'open formats' for this component (see below) - please call for more info when in doubt.

2. TRASHMASTERS: Art made form recycled/reclaimed materials, again in open format (zines, comics, illustrations, prints, mail art, etc.). Many submissions will address eco-enviro issues such as environmental sustainability, our ecological footprint, alternative/renewable energy sources, etc., but it's not necessary, remains the artist's choice.

3. X/Y: EXPLORING GENDER IDENTITY: All things related to gender-identity issues (gay/bi/trans/etc.), be they political, personal, etc., again in an open format. We're not looking for graphic 'sex' or 'porn', BTW, but all submissions that are tastefully rendered (as opposed to those with plain shock value alone) will be exhibited. No hate-related submissions please - this exhibit is gay/bi/trans-positive.

4. CARVING CONTINUUM: All things related to 'lo-fi printmaking', again in an open format. These submissions range from traditional prints (linocuts, woodblocks, etc.), experimental (eg: photocopy art, rubbings), but will also include a heavy focus on hand-carved rubberstamping and other forms of 'lo-fi' printmaking (subject matter is open).

* We have prepared nice full-colour handbills and other visual fodder for all of the above, available by email or snailmail on request.


Please be sure to include your NAME, return snailmail address, email address and phone number so that we can add you to our membership database and have the proper info to mail you your post-exhibit documentation. Please also include a VALUE of the work you're submitting for our records, if applicable. Feel free to include an artists' bio and anything else you'd like us to add to your file. We also accept and happily redistribute others' brochures, handbills, calls for submissions, etc., so feel free to send any stuff like that and we'll make sure it gets redistributed to the right people.

As with most Mail Art shows, submissions are generally accepted on a "No fee, no jury, no refusal, no return" basis, but we are also open to considering OTHER PROPOSALS as well (eg - instead of the 'no return' policy we would exhibit it your work and return it after the fact, and endeavour to also provide those artists with a nominal honorarium), but this always depends on our available funding (or lack thereof) to cover shipping, insurance, etc.. At any rate, we are always open to suggestions, so if you think you have a BODY OF WORK that fits well into one of the above themes, by all means please get in contact (the sooner the better)!

** We are also planning FILM SCREENINGS, public forums and panel discussions relating to the GE food/consumerism, enviro-sustainability, and gender-identity themes - if you know of good indie FILMS on these issues that we might want to screen, feel free to pass on info (and provide websites, contacts, etc., if possible). LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS INTERESTED IN TABLING AT OUR INFO FAIR OR GIVING A PUBLIC PRESENTATION OR WORKSHOP RELATED TO ANY OF OUR THEMES ARE ALSO STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO GET IN TOUCH ASAP.


Attn: Postmistress Lyn X
North of Nowhere Expo*
Edmonton Small Press Association (ESPA)
P.O. Box 75086, Ritchie Postal Outlet
Edmonton, Alberta T6E 6K1 CANADA

* Please also specify theme/component if you want your work included in a specific area. Unspecified submissions will be added to the component we deem most appropriate or otherwise be included in the slush exhibition (ie- general zine/small press component, a.k.a. the ESPA Art Guerillery)

FOR MORE INFO: Postmistress Lyn X at (780) 434-9236 /

DOWNLOAD the ESPA'S 2003 NoN Expo Preview here: (PDF format, approx. 4 MB) (ESPA/NoN Expo Website is currently under construction - send your links!)

If you have a comment or question about Small Press then feel free to contact me