Reminiscent of old-time paperboys, Papergirl is an art project in which cyclists distribute free art to random passersby. The art consists of rolls of donated, unframed work on paper—paintings, drawings and photographs.
Art student Aisha Ronniger brainstormed with her peers about unique and legal ways to show art in public urban spaces when in 2005, her city of Berlin decided to fine anyone pasting posters on public spaces. Thus, the Papergirl project was born, spreading to both coasts of the United States, Manchester, UK and Kelowna, Canada.
Papergirl art is distributed like a newspaper, but not edited or printed like one. The art pieces are rolled up together and bound with a Papergirl logo and contact information so viewers can offer feedback or share comments.
The facets of Papergirl include the artists’ donations of artworks on paper; a show that exhibits the artworks; the distribution of the rolled art; and a celebratory party for all involved. Papergirl projects in other cities adopt these components by following the original Berlin model, with some unique twists.
To Hold Your Own Papergirl
Is your city right for a Papergirl? Contact Berlin at [email protected] and ask to view their do-it-yourself grassroots blog for practical tips on holding a Papergirl. Visit their website at www.papergirl-berlin.de.
Contact the Papergirls at the addresses below for show dates:
Donna R. Dolan is a freelance writer living in Albany, New York.
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