What do you get when you combine SF's community of rad artists, bands of bike lovers and spirit of "free" in a big pot of awesome? Simmer with a dash of salt until hot, and you've got Papergirl SF. It's a community art project that distributes submitted art pieces by bicycle, freely and at random, to people in the streets of San Francisco, and it's coming your way with a series of events ramping up this fall.
Originated in Berlin, Papergirl works by soliciting pieces from artists and creatively minded civilians who want to participate, with anything from screen prints to paintings to sketches and textiles: the only rule is that it has to be flexible enough to roll up into Papergirl's signature delivery rolls. After all, these packages of art are going to be delivered across the city by bike, so it pays to make them portable (no packages stuffed with glitter or wet paint, please!).
First organized by Heather Tompkins in 2010, Papergirl SF has grown with a lot of help from friends (shoutout to co-organizers Nazir Agah and Andrew DeCoriolis), and now partners with galleries and bike shops around town to connect art with bikes. This year, Papergirl has grown to include a DIY Art Brew at the De Young this Friday, a steamroller printing festival at the Center for the Book on Sept. 22, and bike maintenance workshop at Sports Basement on Oct. 13. All this leads up to the Incline Gallery Show opening reception Nov. 2, when the art that's been rolling in goes on display for a full week of enjoyment before being thrown to the masses at Papergirl's grand finale, the Roll + Ride.
Imagine a bike mob freewheeling through the streets, then add the element of free art tossed at random to unsuspecting (or suspecting) strangers. Heather says it's all in the name of engaging and inspiring people to get creative and involved in art-making. Plus, that piece of art you left in the closet or under your bed? It can have a second life bringing someone else a smile (oh, and be included in a legit gallery showing. NBD.).
The call for entries is open now, so you've got until Oct. 20 to send in your stuff, or leave it at a series of drop-off points around the city. So get those creative wheels spinning (pun intended), and be sure to hit up Papergirl's art-making events in preparation for the big day. We'll be there with bells on at the Roll + Ride, and we hope to see you out Scouting the scene.