Visual

Mary Welcome

(Palouse, Washington) Artist Website November/December Residency Year: 2023

Biography

Mary Welcome (Palouse, Washington) is a cultural worker collaborating with remote landscapes and rural communities. Her investigations into the American landscape are a chronicle from years on the road. She uses conversational research, publications, performance, picnics, and play to express and understand the places we situate ourselves within. As an artist-activist, her projects are rooted in community engagement and the development of intersectional programming to address hyper-local issues of equity, cultural advocacy, inclusivity, visibility, and imagination.

Mary Welcome will use her time in residence to expand the creative research already spanning over a decade in “God Bless the USPS,” a performative endurance research project which she began with a spontaneous photo of the post office in her hometown of Palouse, Washington in 2012. By meticulously photographing and archiving post office buildings across the country (with special attention to remote, rural, and neighborhood posts), she is building a vernacular map of our communications commons as a nation. She thinks of them like “a fingerprint of the place.” Surel’s Place gives her an opportunity to explore, research, interview, and photograph post offices across Boise, Ada, Elmore, Canyon, and Gem counties.

This programming is supported in part by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and the National Endowment for the Arts