Montag, 28. September 2009

Almost There

It is interesting to see how every city that takes on PaperGirl has a different result. Albany has less than 2 weeks until we exhibit our work.
I have a question about submissions: Not everyone gets the concept of PaperGirl. The idea that you are giving original, one of a kind pieces of art work to strangers on the street. I have received some submissions which, I find, are not in this criteria. However another concept of PaperGirl is that there is no turning away art. Correct? Perhaps I should be more articulate next year? I mean do digital photographs on regular printer paper meet the qualifications? But perhaps the people who recieve the art will be just as happy to get it.
This is probaly the only problem that I have come accross. It is a bit difficult to get the word out about PaperGirl in a short message, but the articles have helped a lot, and I also really think that Albany is a city that resists such a project. This is a city dominated by the government buildings, so it'll be intersting how this is received. The art scene is making it's way into the light, so it'll be excited to see what happens in the next weeks.
Thank you Berlin for the idea on such a great project!!

Sonntag, 20. September 2009

Random Acts of Creativity

Paper Girl delivers a new brand of public art to Albany
By Josh Potter

Modesty comes quick to Sina Hickey, but when the artist and University at Albany student defers to the many people who make her current project, Paper Girl, possible, it’s not self-effacing—she literally wouldn’t be able to do it without them.

This spring, Hickey happened upon a Web site created by an artist in Berlin, Germany, that documented a project she’d undertaken for the past four years. In response to legislation that would have equated bill posting with spray painting, the artist devised a new method for creating and distributing public art. The idea was fourfold: First she’d solicit submissions of artwork from friends and begin accepting donated work from whoever wanted to take part. Having culled the desired amount of art, she’d display the work in a standard gallery show. Then, with the help of friends, she’d roll the work into portable scrolls that could be delivered via bicycle in the manner of a paper boy/girl. After the work had all been passed out at random, all over Berlin, she’d throw a party for everyone who had been on either the giving or receiving end. Playing with ideas of public art, gift economy, social networking and urban beautification, the original Paper Girl project adopted as its motto: “Anyone who picks up a roll is lucky, and money can’t buy luck. Something is most fun when you don’t expect anything in return.”

Since its inception, the project has been taken up all over the world in places like Portland, Ore., and Northampton, Mass., with plans for similar events in New York City and South Africa.

As soon as Hickey learned about the project, she knew she’d love to replicate it in Albany. All summer, she worked on the project’s first leg by collecting submitted work in a box she keeps in the trunk of her car. It’s meant a huge time commitment, all without the promise of monetary compensation.

“Paper Girl is about doing art for art’s sake,” she says. “It’s not about money, but it is about networking, making friends.” She says the project has been a great way to meet artists in the area and that the later stages can provide an opportunity for local artists to collaborate on something larger than their own personal work.

Through Sept. 28, Hickey will continue accepting submissions. Anyone who’s interested in donating work can drop it off at the UAG Gallery (247 Lark St., Albany) or at the Existing Artists table this weekend at LarkFest. So far, contributions have run the gamut from drawings to paintings, photographs, origami, seed bombs, and even a sheet upon which an artist printed photos of her home birth. The only requirement is that the work be handcrafted (no photocopies, etc.) and rollable.

Project collaborator Melanie O’Malley says that this, unfortunately, prevents her from submitting her (obviously unrollable) hand-built guitars, but it’s the project’s social component that most excites her. “The networking part is an art on its own,” she says. “Sina’s using a network to do Paper Girl, which itself creates an even broader network.”

Through this network, Hickey found Ken Jacobie, who was looking for artists to take part in a local show called Flux (Oct. 9-11), for which he secured access to the breathtaking 153-year-old St. Joseph’s Church in Arbor Hill. “The show’s about change,” Jacobie says, “and the project she’s working on caught my attention as something that imminently made sense.” Over the course of three days, Flux will display the work of a host of local artists, accompanied by music in the sonorous space. The proceeds from the show will benefit the Historic Albany Foundation; HAF owns the building and requires large sums for its upkeep. Before the work for Paper Girl is rolled and delivered, it will be strung and displayed underneath the grand columns and dazzling stained glass at St. Joseph’s.

“It’s such a pure idea,” says Jacobie of Paper Girl, “giving something beautiful to people who don’t expect it at all, for no reason other than happenstance. Person-to-person is the missing ingredient in our society today, and if the rest of the world could work this way it would be kinda cool.”

After the show, Hickey, O’Malley and others will roll the work and plan a set of days over which to distribute it. “We’re going to make sure to get every neighborhood, including the state Capitol on lunch break,” says Hickey. She says she hopes to enlist the help of the Troy Bike Rescue and has expanded the parameters of participation to include skateboards and other human-powered transportation.

Approaching strangers with a gift is a bold gesture, and Hickey realizes that some people might not appreciate the offering. “If somebody thinks it’s shit, they might turn the corner and throw it out, and that’s unfortunate. But we’re hoping that doesn’t happen, and I don’t think it will.” Inside the scroll will be information about the work included, as well as contact info and details regarding the open party to follow.

O’Malley is especially enthused about the project’s later stages and says she’ll definitely be one of the bikers. “It’s really exciting to see stuff like this going on in Albany,” she says. “I was born in Arbor Hill, and I’ve lived in the Center Square area since I graduated [from UAlbany], but it’s just in these past six months that the buzz [in the local art scene] has really picked up again. There’s just all these people, with really quality stuff, who want to get their stuff out there, and without all the pretentiousness.”

From the point of view of the Paper Girl project, art is only as good as it is significant and useful to the community in which it exists. The more people that get involved, the more useful it becomes. “Some people use the term ‘Smallbany’ in a negative way,” says O’Malley, “but it can simply mean living in a community,” which is what Flux and Paper Girl are all about.

Samstag, 5. September 2009

Papergirl Northampton Closing reception and distribution net Weekend!

A quick reminder for anyone in the Area. The hours below are the possible times and places to view the donations we have collected thus far

The Basement of Thornes: Tues-Sat, 4-8 pm
The Dirty Truth: Mon-Fri 4pm-close, Sat & Sun, 11am-close
Sticks and Bricks: Wed-Sat 12-5
Glamourama: Tues-Sat, 12-8 pm
The Guild: Window Front, viewable any time.

The response has been amazing! we have been met with great enthusiasim so far and have been offered space in 5 venues to show the 400 pieces we have collected in the past two Months. Most of which is viewable here, on the project website. Or keep in touch with us on Facebook.

The closing reception to view almost all of the donated work will be this Friday, Sept. 11th from 6-9pm at the basement of Thornes Market. There will be a keg, cheep food and Live music. Come down and show some support for everyone who participated!
There has been an online article written on PaperGirl. Check it out here:

Mittwoch, 2. September 2009

October PaperGirl-Albany

Yay! Portland! I received 5 pieces of art from some of the Portland PaperGirl people! It is soo cool that this project is going all over the world! Yay!

PaperGirl-Albany has a new art deadline: September 28. 
The exhibition will be at this wonderful Cathedral in Albany that is being renovated for a weekend show! St. Joseph's Cathedral is a grand structure that will be hosting the FLUX weekend of music and art experience! PaperGirl is going to have some kind of a wing in this Cathedral: October 9,10,11. 
The distribution day is TBA. Hopefully the weather will stay decent! 

Good luck to N. Hampton who has their exhibit coming up soon!