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Papergirl San Francisco

Papergirl is a mail-art and delivery systems art project that is participatory, analogue, non-commercial, and impulsive. Submitted artwork is distributed like newspapers - rolled up into bundles and thrown to passers-by from bicycles. Submissions are sent in by mail or dropped off and are exhibited before being sorted, rolled up, and distributed. The project is open to all - there are no guidelines as to format, subject matter, or quantity one can submit, so originals, prints, photos, copies, etcetera come together making each roll unique. Anything can be submitted so long as the art is flexible enough to be rolled up.

The Papergirl project has the potential to generate refreshing, unique, and meaningful interactions among local art and bike communities and perhaps more interestingly, among strangers. Papergirl can create numerous opportunities – for artists, for bikers, for pedestrians – if given the generous support of the Awesome Foundation. The project is a creative process, a cathartic culmination and a seed – the nature of the project is a perpetual reinvestment in art, community, and the analogue. Papergirl directly engages the people of this city and invites them to be part of a larger and ever-growing DIY artist community that thrives on word of mouth communication, small favors, connections between strangers, and the “you can do it, we can help” mentality.

After hearing about Papergirl-Berlin, the concept immediately struck me as an amazing way to connect to the community (locally and internationally) through art and to do it in a unique, unconventional, and participatory way. I quickly became engaged with the project and corresponded with the Berlin and Santa Cruz organizers. Currently, Papergirl SF consists of a core team of students and artists: Heather Tompkins, Colleen Stockmann, Jessie Chernetsky (of Papergirl Santa Cruz), Molly Goldberg, and Nazir Agah. We have a few great community collaborators including two bike companies based in the city and we are working on reaching out to the myriad community- and art-based organizations that might enjoy what we’re doing. With the support of the Awesome Foundation, we will be able to see this project through and become a catalyst for dynamic interactions and the potent intersection of art, bikes, strangers, and community convergence.

Funded by San Francisco, CA (September 2010)