Amy Wilson interviewed in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer Arts & Culture section – “For $20, this New Jersey artist will send you art in the mail”

Posted by on Jun 20, 2020 in Faculty, Images, Press | No Comments

This morning, the Philadelphia Enquirer published a profile by Amy S. Rosenberg of VCS faculty member Amy Wilson, focused on an ongoing subscription mail art project that she launched at the beginning of May. Each month, 20 subscribers pay a flat fee of $20 to receive three to five pieces of small handmade art through the mail. To date, artworks have included hand-drawn stamps, foldout drawings, activity booklets, mini-banners, recipes, and an illustrated informational text about Jersey City’s Lincoln Park.

The article is illustrated with images of some of the mail art she’s sent, her Jersey-notorious Bob Menedez quote patch, and photos taken outside Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, where she rents a studio. In addition to the mail art, the piece also talks a little about other aspects of her art practice and her recent COVID-19 mask-making project.

Here are a couple quotes from the article:

For $20, Wilson is sending me art through the mail throughout the month of June.

The mail art, she said, was a coronavirus shutdown solution to the problem of, “How do I get stuff in people’s hands so they look at it?” Galleries were going online, but Wilson’s art is meant to be tactile, held, and pondered. […]

“Basically when the whole coronavirus lockdown happened, I suddenly had what every artist wants, which is lots and lots of time,” Wilson said. “It was also overwhelming. It wasn’t like I could go back to just making my art like usual.”

And so she began a mail art subscription for 20 people, $20 each. She has pondered how to scale it up, whether to charge more, but supplies are nearly impossible to find. She wants to keep expectations low.

“I just don’t want to have unhappy people,” said Wilson, 46. “$20, you take a chance, maybe you see something good.“

The limitations are the point, in a way. “It’s just an interesting thing to do as an intellectual exercise,” Wilson said. “Just every few days, how do I make 20 works of art for really cheap, with supplies that I have or can get?”

You can read the rest of the article here.

Examples of the art that Jersey City-based artist Amy Wilson sends through the mail for a $20 subscription. She began the project during the coronavirus shutdown as a solution to the problem of, “How do I get stuff in people’s hands so they look at it?” (via The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Artist Amy Wilson, 46, poses with one of the masks she designed and created, outside of her Jersey City studio, June 17, 2020. Avi Steinhardt / For the Inquirer (via The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Visual & Critical Studies