[NetBehaviour] fyi Postcard Protest

Catherine Daly c.a.b.daly at gmail.com
Thu Aug 11 05:09:55 CEST 2011

Open to all struggling US self-identified professional visual artists.*

Mat Gleason posted: "I want to curate a show of artists with 50 grand or
more of student loan debt that they are behind in paying. Oh wait, there is
not a gallery big enough for this exhibit...." That got a lot of us talking,
and got me thinking... I ran my idea past Mat, broadened the scope; this
project is the result.

1) Make a postcard
The aim is to make a powerful, unified, statement; to that end:
• Don't deviate from any of the guidelines please, consistency is key.
• Use a standard postcard size: 4x6" or 5x7".
• Keep it flat, it's a postcard.
• Don't be hostile, we want them to listen.
• Make it good, we're saying art is worth supporting, show it.

2) Write: *

• "Artists and the Economy"
• A statement or two related to your finances (suggestions below)
• "Please donate to the Smithsonian American Art Museum."

* A lot of people have asked to broaden this even further, comprehensively
in fact. Support is lovely, so, yes, absolutely - BUT - in order to keep the
message clear, please write:
• "Support Artists and the Economy"
• A statement clearly defining your relation to struggling artists:
- what art means to you as a viewer
- the fact that you are another (non-visual) type of artist, etc...
- the fact that you are a RARE example of a thriving artist
• Use your judgment- does your work belong in the Smithsonian?

3) Address it to:

President Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

4) Take a photo of the front and post it to this page.

5) Drop it in a mailbox for POSTMARK: Friday, 2 SEPTEMBER 2011.
(Prior completely my fault- forgot PO is closed Labor Day. Thanks!)


• Your degree, your school, your student loan debt
• Your day job(s)
• Self-supporting or being supported?
• "Artists are generally more educated than the workforce as a whole." NEA
• "Artists generally earn less than workers with similar levels of
education." NEA
• "Artists are 3.5 times more likely than other workers to be
self-employed." NEA
• "About 60 percent of artists and related workers are self-employed." BLS
• "Only the most successful fine artists are able to support themselves
solely through the sale of their works." BLS
• "Most fine artists have at least one other job to support their art
careers." BLS
• "[A]rtists advance professionally as their work circulates and as they
establish a reputation for a particular style." BLS
• "[T]he demand for artwork is dependent on consumers having disposable
income...." BLS
• "Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2
billion in economic activity every year" Americans for the Arts
• "To remain competitive in the global economy, America needs to
reinvigorate the kind of creativity and innovation that has made this
country great." Barack Obama
• "[A]rts education is the most important known factor in influencing arts
participation trends." NEA
• "If [the decline of childhood arts education] continue[s], the health of
the arts ecosystem will be in jeopardy." NEA
• "Ensure Tax Fairness for Artists: Barack Obama supports the Artist-Museum
Partnership Act [amending the Code regarding charitable contributions]...."
Barack Obama
• "American artists, performers and thinkers - representing our values and
ideals - can inspire people both at home and all over the world." Barack

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