When the audience makes the art to promote an exhibit.

The Way We Work was an exhibit that featured artist collectives whose work was about the facilitation of art in various communities, often involving the public in the making of the actual finished work. Looking at this as an opportunity to question the traditional approach to the design of gallery announcements, we developed an ongoing graphic “event” that included the public in promoting the show.

(Created with MendeDesign)

Stencil-invitations were mailed to the SOEX mailing list (about 5000 people). Besides primary show information a list of sites was included on the invite showing where the stencils could be used.
Printed on inexpensive paper, the posters displayed the basic exhibition information and also became the substrate that would showcase the public’s stencil art.
The poster backs were printed with the exhibition catalog in printer-spread format and included information on how to assemble a catalog for the exhibition. Tools were provided at the gallery.

A wheat-pasting company was retained to poster the entire city in the specific locations printed on the stencil-invites. For the next four weeks the citizens of San Francisco went on night raids stenciling their own work across the pre-placed banks of posters. Each bank of wheat-pasted posters needed to include at least one “prepared” poster to encourage the public participation. Since this meant that over 300 posters with original stencil-designs had to be created, sixty-plus friends, fellow designers, and students were assembled at Southern Exposure’s one warm August evening to create the needed designs.

  • Eye
  • Pasadena Museum of California Art / California Design Biennial 05
  • Step Inside Design / STEP 100 Awards