I live nearby and I’m delivering to you a hand-made, one of a kind work of art made by me. You are the only person who has this original piece. I am creating art and giving it to people who live in my community, as part of a larger artistic concept. I’m doing this because as an artist, one of the most important things to me is community access to the arts. For me, art making cannot be an activity that is isolated from the other areas of my life, it must be part of a larger process encompassing more than just the art itself and I want it to be part of a conversation with my greater community. However, one of the most challenging aspects of being a working artist is getting your art work seen by the community. Traditionally this happens through a gallery accepting your art into a show or by selling your art at pop-up markets. I’ve never been very traditional. Doing it this way means I can connect with my community, bypass the galleries, and I get to share my art with the world.
At this point you may be wondering if I’ve considered the possibility that my art may get thrown away or just not seen and not appreciated. By sending my art out into the world, there is actually a greater possibility that it will end up in someone’s hands as opposed to being kept eternally in storage. As Roland Barthes says, “The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author.” People don’t have to like my work; acceptance isn’t the point. I’m more interested in you as a viewer having your own authentic reaction to my art through the lens of your many influences. Sending this letter is also part of my artistic vision and I am interested in your reaction to this aspect of what I’m offering as well.
If you do happen to like what you see please come to my website to take a look at some of my other work. If you have a social media account please take a picture of the art in its new location and interact with me! You can tag me in it #samanthagaw and #birthoftheaudience. Thank you very much for being a part of this exciting process with me regardless of your reaction to it.