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Artist Uniforms is a conceptual clothing project. For every Uniform purchased, one is sent for free to a practicing artist.
Artist Uniforms is a conceptual clothing project. For every Uniform purchased, one is sent for free to a practicing artist.
44 backers pledged $3,244 to help bring this project to life.

About

Artist Uniforms: Buy-One-Give-One Smocks for Artists and All project video thumbnail
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$3,244

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www.artistuniforms.com, @artistuniforms
www.artistuniforms.com, @artistuniforms

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?

A: Yes

Q: Is this lovingly facetious?

A: Yes

Q: Is this earnest?

A: Yes

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

Wear your Artist Uniform in the studio, with big pockets to catch all your tools. Or wear it to the opening reception for an effortlessly chic look.
Wear your Artist Uniform in the studio, with big pockets to catch all your tools. Or wear it to the opening reception for an effortlessly chic look.

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.

Still from a performance, DAYDREAMJOB, wearing an Artist Uniform prototype
Still from a performance, DAYDREAMJOB, wearing an Artist Uniform prototype

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! 

Work Costume diptychs - a series that led to the idea for Artist Uniforms
Work Costume diptychs - a series that led to the idea for Artist Uniforms

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.

bill+jay clothing cooperative / @billandjayclothing
bill+jay clothing cooperative / @billandjayclothing

Why Kickstarter?

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?

Rewards

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.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Artist (Postcard)

    If you want to help Kickstart this project I am truly grateful for any level of support you can provide. for every $150 donated at this level, I will send one artist an Artist Uniform! You’ll receive a limited edition artful postcard with info on the artist who’s Uniform you helped fund, and a special thank you note from me!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The Supporter (Unique Wall Hanging)

    For your contribution you'll receive a piece of this project in the form of a wall hanging made from fabric scraps. Each piece will be unique. Limited edition of 25. PLUS for every $150 donated at this level, I will send one artist an Artist Uniform! You’ll also receive a limited edition artful post card with info on the artist who’s Uniform you helped fund, and a special thank you note from me!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The Martyr (One Uniform for an Artist)

    You selfless, generous, wonderful human! For every donation at this level, I will send one working artist a Uniform of their choice. You’ll also receive a limited edition artful post card with info on the artist who’s Uniform you helped fund, and a special thank you note from me!

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    The Patron (Get & Give a Uniform!)

    THANK YOU!!! You’re participating in the project in its intended form - for your donation you will receive any Artist Uniform of your choice, AND one Uniform will be sent to a working artist. You’ll also receive a limited edition artful post card with info on the artist who’s Uniform you helped fund, and a special thank you note from me!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    The Collector (Buy 1 Give 2!)

    WOW! For every donation at this level, I will send TWO working artists Uniforms of their choice, AND you will receive one Uniform of your choice, along with two limited edition artful postcards, with info on the artists you funded Uniforms for, and a special thank you note from me!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The Collector Experience

    OH MY! So you like art! and fashion! you rule! Come hang out with me in the studio and talk about these topics while I show you how to put the finishing touches on your very own Artist Uniform. PLUS two artists will receive Uniforms of their choice, AND you will receive two limited edition artful postcards, with info on the artists you funded Uniforms for, and a special handwritten thank you note from me!
    (Studio visits will take place in Portland, Oregon.)

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    The Patron Saint (6 Uniforms!!!!!!)

    Oh benevolent forces of the universe, how you conspire to shower the arts with blessings. SIX Artist Uniforms for you, Glen Coco! At least three of the six Uniforms will be sent to practicing artists, but beyond that, the division is up to you (two for you, four for artists; one for you, five for artists; or all six for artists!) PLUS an invitation to my studio for a mini sewing demo and to talk about art and fashion, PLUS artful post cards with info about the artists receiving Uniforms, PLUS my undying love and gratitude PLUS a special thanks/surprise from me <3 <3 <3

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Funding period

- (30 days)