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Bio



Megan Wilson is a visual artist based out of San Francisco. Wilson’s large-scale installations and public projects utilize a broad range of pop culture methodologies and aesthetics as a point of entry and engagement for the issues she addresses conceptually. She's used traditional crafts, interior design, and sign painting to explore the meanings of “home” and “homelessness;” public murals and street art as a strategy for challenging corporate values and the surface aesthetics of capitalism; public video projections as an alternative to corporate messaging; and performance through the embodiment of a bright pink, cuddly pig with a big grin to represent corporate criminals, doling out their “Lies,” “Toxic Debt,” and “Dirty Tricks.” Her project 99% used hand painted signs as a form of viral messaging in support of the Occupy movement, as well as a model for providing a livable wage for labor. In addition to the United States, Wilson has created projects in Bali, Indonesia; Tokyo, Japan; Yogyakarta, Indonesia (transit project); Yogyakarta, Indonesia (mural project); Jaipur, India; and Manila, Philippines.






In 2000 Wilson co-organized the performance/protest series Art Strikes Back in response to the unprecedented and unrestricted level of gentrification and displacement in San Francisco during the "dotcom boom." In 2003 she curated and co-organized the international exchange and residency Sama-sama/Together, a collaboration between community arts organizations and artists from San Francisco (USA) and Yogyakarta (Indonesia) designed to foster understanding of Muslim and non-Muslim cultures following 9/11. From 2004 – 2008 she transformed her 1,600 sq. ft. living space into an installation that explored and challenged the meanings of “home” and “homelessness” through her project Home 1996-2008. Wilson has been a core organizer of the Clarion Alley Mural Project since 1998 and is one of the organizers of CAPITALISM IS OVER! If You Want It, an ongoing movement of interruptions/actions by artists from around the world in response to the need for a fundamental shift in our approach to Capitalism and the negative impact it has on the environment, health, and wellbeing of all. Wilson is also a writer and recently published The Gentrification of Our Livelihoods on Stretcher.org in June 2014. The article addresses how public-private partnerships between developers and the arts in San Francisco are affecting the gentrification of the city and our livelihoods.



Wilson
received her BFA from the University of Oregon and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has been exhibited at the Oakland Museum, Museum of Craft and Folk Art (S.F.), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Southern Exposure, Montalvo Art Center, Intersection for the Arts, The Luggage Store, the San Francisco Arts Commission, Sun Valley Center for the Arts (ID), Stephen Wirtz Gallery (S.F.) Tinlark Gallery (Los Angeles, CA) thirtyninehotel (Honolulu, HI), Green Papaya (Manila), Print It! (Barcelona), and LIP (Yogyakarta). She has created public projects in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tokyo, Japan; Yogyakarta & Bali, Indonesia; Jaipur, India, and Manila Philippines. Wilson is a recipient of grant awards from the Gunk Foundation, Artadia, the Asian Cultural Council, the Ford Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, and the San Francisco Art Commission. Wilson’s work is included in FRESH 1: Cutting Edge Illustrations in 3D and FRESH 2: Cutting Edge Illustrations in Public edited by Slanted; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 75 Years of Looking Forward, edited by Janet Bishop, Corey Keller, Sarah Roberts; Street Art San Francisco Mission Muralismo, edited by Annice Jacoby; Mural Art: Murals on Huge Public Surfaces Around the World by Kirakoss Iosifidis; Illustration: Play - Craving for the Extraordinary, Published by Victionary; Sama-sama/Together: An International Exchange Project Between Yogyakarta and San Francisco, Published by Jam Karet; and The Gallery at Villa Montalvo: Selected Exhibitions from 1996-2000, edited by Theres Rohan. Wilson's work is featured in the book Street Messages by Nicholas Ganz that will be published in April 2015 by Dokument Press.



Statement

My current work addresses the need for a fundamental shift from free-market Capitalism that puts profit before all else and negatively impacts the environment, health, and wellbeing of all (see my Points to Consider on the State of Free Market Capitalism 2014). We’re all active and/or passive participants in Capitalism. However, it’s not helpful to approach the existing system from a place of polarity - either you live completely off the grid or you’re a Capitalist. I’m interested in creative forms of engagement for provoking deeper considerations of these issues. Influences include philosopher and activist Dr. Cornel West, environmentalist Vandana Shiva, cultural critic and historian Thomas Frank, journalist and social activist Dorothy Day, economist, Raj Patel, social activist Naomi Klein, philosopher Slavoj Žižek, economist Richard D. Wolff, and economist Robert Reich.



Additionally, I’ve been a practitioner of Buddhism and Vipassana meditation since 2003. Both are closely tied to my art practice. I often create art that is conceptually rooted in elements of these practices and that is intentionally ephemeral or that I give away. Much of my work is no longer in existence because it was never meant to be permanent - forcing the viewer/consumer, as well as myself, to let go of any expectations of its monetary worth. This is not to say that I don’t appreciate or create work that’s collectible and/or consumer-based; I do create and appreciate such work. However, it is integral to my practice to challenge myself in ways that are always pushing me to evolve, including the creation of work that's impermanent or gifted.

Recent, Current & Upcoming Projects/Exhibitions & News:
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San Francisco Magazine
Clarion Alley’s Long-Vanished Street Art Lives On in New Web Archive

by Caitlin Harrington
June 16, 2016


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Curbed SF
See 23 Years Worth of Clarion Alley Art

by Adam Brinklow
July 15, 2016


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KQED
Clarion Alley Mural Project’s Decades of Dissident Artwork Now Online

by Sarah Hotchkiss
June 15, 2016

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Welcome to Clarion Alley Mural Project’s New Website
June 15, 2016

Happy to announce the launch of CAMP’s new Website. Over the course of 6 months I worked with Web developer Ari Salomon to design our new site and archive. Enjoy!

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Triple Dog Dare
Talking Walls: A Conversation with Megan Wilson

by Marie Tollon
May 31, 2016


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Press Conference Hosted by the Coalition On Homelessness:
San Francisco Campers and Neighbors Speak Out
About Luis Gongora Murder and Continued Sweeps of Encampments

April 21, 2016



Where: Clarion Alley “Housing is a Human Right” mural- one third of the way down The Alley from the Valencia side.
Mural painted by Megan Wilson & Christopher Statton as part of the Clarion Alley Mural Project.

San Francisco, CA- A shooting by police officers of Luis Gongora, a Mayan Speaking man and father of three children from the Yucatan last Thursday, April 7th was met with a response from both Supervisor Wiener and Mayor Lee calling for homeless sweeps city wide. The Coalition on Homeless, with Supervisor John Avalos as our champion, is calling for a humane response to encampments that truly solves the issue. Earlier this year, a recent widely publicized removal of an encampment containing approximately 300 people along Division Street received broad media attention as the City only provided temporary lodging for about half the residents. The Coalition on Homelessness is concerned that the relocation efforts of homeless people from encampments on Division Street and more recently on Shotwell Street in the city have only further de-stabilized the homeless community, have simply pushed homeless people, in most cases, a very short distance away, and in the worst case scenario have resulted in police-involved murders of homeless individuals such as Luis Gongora last week.

“Homeless and street-based San Franciscans have been surviving these on-going sweeps for months, and in some cases years,” said Bilal Ali, Human Rights Organizer of the SF Coalition on Homelessness. “Instead of actually addressing the issue, the city is continuing this failed policy of displacement rather than listening to us every single time we state the logical solution to the growing crisis which is: HOUSING. Luis Gongora would not have been murdered had he been inside. Bottom-line.”

Homeless people suffer from sleep deprivation, absent a right to rest, they are woken frequently by police and security. Their voices have been nearly eliminated from the discussions currently before San Francisco elected officials today. We invite press and media makers to listen to the voices of and ask questions directly to those who have been surviving the sweeps, witnessesing the violence, and have sustainable, logical solutions to share.
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Housing Is A Human Right
Collaboration with Christopher Statton

New Mural
Clarion Alley, San Francisco
April 2016


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Dazed
This tech bro wants to see homeless people ‘vanish’

Shirin Kale
February, 2016

Follow-up Article - Being a broke young creative in San Francisco
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Peninsula Peace & Justice Center
The Illusion of Freedom

December 28, 2015


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Pameran Dokumentasi Geneng Street Art Project #3
"Gemah Ripah Lohjinawi"
Minggu, 27 Desember 2015 Pukul 19.00 wib
BALE BLACK BOX INDONESIA BUKU


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Satu Harapan.com
Festival Geneng Street Art Project # 3: Gemah Ripah Loh Jinawi

by Moh. Jauhar al-Hakimi
Friday, November 27, 2015


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Brillo
30 Artworks Geneng Street Art Project on the walls of houses, cool!
The theme of this artists 'Gemah Ripah Lohjinawi'

Nafilah 26 November 2015 08:05



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FESTIVAL GENENG STREET ART PROJECT #3 "Gemah Ripah Lohjinawi"
Opening Ceremony 23 November 2015 |
Gallery RJ Katamsy ISI Yogyakarta | Visual Exibhition & Live Performing | Officiated Drs. Bambang Legowo, M.Si


 
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SFGate
Street Art San Francisco - Clarion Alley kaleidoscopic explosion of color

November 24, 2015


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Menjamin Kesejahteraan Untuk Semua
Geneng Street Art Project #3

In October / November 2015 I was honored to be invited to participate in the Geneng Street Art Project in Yogyakarta Indonesia, organized by Ruang Kelas SD

Introduction to Curatorial Process
By Rain Rosidi 2015

The Geneng Street Art Project uses the umbrella of street art to be applied to township residents in the area Geneng, Panggungharjo, Sewon, Bantul. Street art is slipped in public spaces, and presents itself in a form that is different from the conventional indoor art galleries. Techniques commonly used in street art include graffiti stencils, murals, wheatpaste, art posters, sticker art, street installations and lock-on sculpture. Additionally video projections are being seen more frequently in street art production.

Geneng Street Art Project invites artists from Yogyakarta and surrounding areas to work together with the township residents and to communicate and interact creatively with the villagers. Geneng villages are primarily agriculture-based, with the majority of its longtime and former residents who are, or were farmers. Over the past several years the community has undergone a shift in land use of the area, resulting in longtime members of the community who have begun to sell their land to new residents or developers for the construction of housing complexes, colleges, restaurants, and shopping centers. With the advent of these new developments the residents who have moved into the area are often from different cultural backgrounds, languages, and ethnicities. Many who rent a house in the village also rent a dorm room as students at the nearby ISI (Institut Seni Indonesia). Additionally, some of the villagers in Geneng are creating new businesses to serve the arrival of the newcomers. As rice farming has begun to decrease, the plots of land have been replaced by houses, shops, boarding houses, restaurants, and so on. In general the culture of the people of Yogyakarta is very friendly and open to newcomers, including the new relationships that have developed with the artists and organizers of the Geneng Street Art Project.

The Geneng Street Art Project is using as much wall space as possible - on homes and businesses - for artists to work with the community / residents to convey messages that reflect the hopes and concerns of the villagers and to provide an opportunity to cultivate dialogs within the existing and new communities and amongst disparate groups.

Artists who have participated in the Geneng Street Art Project have included: Ahmad Idham, Alex TMT, Anagard, Angga/ Ngelangut, Bio, Chitra Ananda Lasalle College of the art Singapore, Christopher Statton, Christophorus Andika Tungul Yuda, DDF (Diskom Drawing Foundation), DS 13, Eggbal Alditio, Farhan Siki, Guerrilas, HereHere, HMJ Kriya, FSR, Ismu feat Dodi, Kukomikan Land, Listiono, LoveHateLove, Media Legal, Megan Wilson, Methodos, Nano Warsono, Naufal Abshar Lasalle College of the art Singapore, NK Enka, Oka Randy Mahendra, Reza Aryanda, Rizky Akbar, Ruang Kelas SD, Sasenitala, Subekti Suban, Santoso, Taring Padi, Uno Cask, Wahyu Eko Prasetyo, Wormfomb or Ied, and Zent Prozent
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CBS Arts & Culture
Best Street Art In The Bay Area
Oct 19, 2015


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HUFFINGTON POST
21 Best Things To Do In The San Francisco Bay Area, As Explained By Locals

Oct 15, 2015



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Street Messages
Pop Show in Dortmund Germany
September, 2015


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Philippine Daily Inquirer
by Nicole Go Thorp
August 29th, 2015


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HUCK
Five Postcapitalist Projects That Offer a Blueprint for a New World Postcapitalism:
A Guide To Our Future

By Alex King
August 15, 2015


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Projects / News in 2015


Megan Wilson, Menjamin Kesejahteraan Untuk Semua, Geneng Street Art #3, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 2015