Artist Uniforms Fake FAQs
Q: Does this project address the notions of philanthropy and ethical consumption under late capitalism, the ubiquitous aesthetic of contemporary art/design/fashion, the archetype of the starving artist, and the dynamics of a patron-artist relationship?
Q: Is this lovingly facetious?
Q: Is this earnest?
Q: I’m a working artist! How do I sign up to receive a free shirt?
A: Complete this form
Q: When will I get my free shirt?
A: When your wealthier designer, creative-entrepreneurial, curator, collector friends buy one for themselves
Q: What are your labor practices?
A: All Artist Uniforms are handmade in Portland, Oregon, by the artist behind this project, Jea Alford
Why is this important?
This project aims to spark a conversation around what it means to give and to get, what it looks like to work as an artist, the role of art and aesthetics in class dynamics, and the art world’s relationship to structures of wealth and inequity. This project also builds community by directly connecting working artists to one another, and to art supporters. With your contribution, Artist Uniforms can launch from the ground up, while generating a conversation about economy and aesthetics, and outfitting artists to do the culture-making work they do, in style.
What will your contribution support?
By commissioning an Artist Uniform, you are directly supporting the work of two artists - the artist receiving a free Uniform, and me, the artist making these pieces. By contributing to this campaign, you will ensure the success of my launch. Every contribution doubles my reach! This artwork is, by design, incomplete without your participation!
About the artist
Hi! I’m Jea. I am an interdisciplinary artist interested in class, work, the role of aesthetics in economy, and the role of economy in the artist’s studio and the art world. Growing up in a trailer park in suburban Oregon, I developed a critical eye toward what our economy values, and an adept ability to class-pass, mainly done through the careful presentation of self, a skill I use to navigate the worlds of academia and art. I am interested in how art can work to not only subvert, but regrow existing structures of economy. I create ephemeral and poetic performative work, objects, and media, co-run a sustainably-minded and body-positive clothing cooperative, and have stewarded projects, such as an artist residency run out of my home, that are based in generosity.
Artist Uniforms is inspired by contemporary forms of consumptive philanthropy, such as Tom’s Shoes, Warby Parker, and Kickstarter itself. What does it mean to be motivated by a reward in order to give? What does it mean to rely on the generosity of individuals rather than broader public support and funding for the arts? What does it mean to feel that a purchase rewards, or does good? What better means could there be to bring this project to a wider audience and to toe the line of sincere and disruptive, than the platform of Kickstarter?
The Artist - a postcard featuring information about the artist whose work you helped support, and a handwritten thank you note from Jea ($10 or more)
The Supporter - Limited edition wall hanging handmade by Jea from Au scraps ($50 or more)
The Martyr - An artist receives a free Uniform, and you receive a postcard ($150 or more)
The Patron - Give a Uniform, get a Uniform! One for you, one for an artist ($300 or more)
The Collector - Get one Uniform of your choice, and give TWO Artists free Uniforms of their choice! ($450 or more)
The Collector Experience - Come to my studio to learn how to put the finishing touches on your very own Artist Uniform, PLUS TWO artists receive smocks of their choice ($500)
The Patron Saint - SIX Artist Uniforms!!!!!! At least three of the six will be sent to practicing artists, and the further division is up to you! PLUS come to my studio for a mini sewing demo and to talk about art and fashion, PLUS post cards featuring info on artists receiving Uniforms, PLUS my undying love and gratitude PLUS a special thanks/surprise from me <3 <3 <3
Risks and challenges
One challenge of realizing Artist Uniforms has been to bring it to a wider audience. Marketing this work the way you would a traditional clothing line doesn't feel true to the project. By launching Artist Uniforms on Kickstarter, I am able to get it out into the world in a way that feels more aligned with the interests of the project! This artwork and clothing line also relies on generosity to function as intended. Without buy-in and participation, it’s just an interesting proposition. So, to get the ball rolling, for the limited time of this Kickstarter campaign, people are invited to participate at any level of contribution, still helping to support artists without the barrier of high cost.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)