Victoria artist creates character to be the queen of autographed portraits in Canada – Sooke News Mirror

Shiny felted portraits adorn the walls of a tall heritage brick building in downtown Victoria. The fiber work of artist Dale Roberts fills the central space, surrounded by rooms filled with a variety of objects and art.

But portraits – self-made felt pieces and autographed photos – are in the spotlight.

Doris Day’s black and white is a good example. Roberts created an 8 × 10 felt tip portrait of Rock Hudson and sent it to the famous late actress who replied that she liked the job and included an autographed portrait of herself.

“I push it into the art realm because it’s a great way to connect with people,” said Roberts.

The courier, the art and the lady are leading the campaign to become the queen of portrait and autograph in Canada.

An idea started in 2000, when Roberts first arrived in Victoria. On the recommendation of a friend, the artist headed to the Moss Street Paint-in. Once there, he felt the need to connect artists with each other and enhance the performance value of popular painting.

One year, he photographed each artist and created postcards which he then mailed them to them.

But by far the longest-running performance piece is an entire character – Dame Mailarta – as obsessed with various forms of postal art as Roberts himself.

Already a bit of a queen – Dame Mailarta has an ever-changing flair for fashion, makeup and hair – has attended conferences in Seattle, San Francisco and even broadcast live on a forum in Italy.

Roberts and the Dame has a collection of over 2,700 signed self-portraits that span the gamut of entertainment, sports, local culture and even the secular realm. Most are listed alphabetically in binders, others in sorted boxes and awaiting classification. The best are hung on the walls of the studio in the Duck Building.

By the way, the building is being redeveloped and Roberts is looking for a new studio space (email [email protected] with leads).

The coup would be an autographed portrait of another queen – that of England. After all, they have been corresponding for years.

“The queen and I are like taffy,” he laughs. Although more precisely, it may be Her Majesty’s Maid of Honor. Roberts has two double-sided portraits of Queen Elizabeth (they come with a current image and one from her early years on the throne) signed by her maid of honor. He expects it to be as good as it gets, but appreciates the back and forth.

Everyone is welcome to send their autographed self-portrait to Mailarta’s Portrait Palace, 1324 Broad St., Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 2A9.

Don’t be surprised if there is a little return mail.

[email protected]


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