"I'm sure he thinks I'm smuggling something," the Puniho woman says.
But if the rural postman pieced the evidence together, he would realize
that Copeland has been receiving works of art for the 8th International
Collage Exhibition and Exchange.
And earlier this week, he delivered the 10,000th collage to her door. This
after years of running the art exchange.
However, Copeland is not certain if that significant mark can be claimed
by Joao Colagem, of the Netherlands, or Marcelle Guidry, of New Orleans.
"Never trust a mathematician," Copeland said yesterday.
But she did know that until yesterday, she had received 142 collage
pictures for this year's exhibition to be held in the new Real Tart
Gallery on April 1.
Last year she received 175 works.
"The deadline was on Monday, but lots of people have said they have sent
them," she said.
"One package I'm worried about is coming from Romania – she sent it over a
One thing that has been lost is the exhibition's name. It used to be known
as the Baker's Dozen, but that title has been reclaimed by the man who
began the exchange.
Copeland took over the exhibition in 2000, after its originator in Mexico
had mail go missing.
The man had now moved to Texas and took the name back, planning to run his
own exchange, she said.
But Copeland, who has made friends all over the world through the
collages, will continue running her own exchange.
What happens is that each artist sends 13 collages to her. Two of these go
to art institutions around the world and the rest are swapped with other
"This is how world peace can happen – real people just co-operating," she
Not only does Copeland have to receive the artworks, scan each one and
exhibit them online and in reality, she also has to post packages out to
people all over the world.
"I wear myself ragged when it's in full flow. I've been doing 17-hour
days, getting up at 5 or 6 in the morning and going until I drop at
On April 1, the real and virtual collage exhibitions open.
Taranaki folk can see the the works at the new Real Tart Gallery, in the
old Masters building, while those further afield can see the show on the
Virtual Tart website.