The Vagabonds of VESTIBULE proudly support the grassroots Occupy DC community at McPherson Square and the amazing art coming out of its camp — so we are reinforcing solidarity between our local artists and the Occupiers by bringing them together in creating and exhibiting social change art to be shown on fifteen (15) mobile exhibition structures we’re building at McPherson Square.
But it won’t end there.
These mobile exhibition structures, designed and constructed by our latest Co-Conspirator, emerging conceptual installation artist Evan Howell, will be utilized in the deployment of our upcoming #OccupyArt Guerrilla Gallery shows all throughout the streets of Our Nation’s Capital.
Says Evan about his architectural design and aesthetic for the Guerrilla Gallery structures:
The camp at McPherson Square, and those of the other Occupy movements across the country, share many characteristics that reflect the shared values of the Occupiers. They are utilitarian, with a “DIY” mentality. They are piecemeal, made up of individuals committing to bring their lives to a public place to advance their cause. They are communal, with Occupiers working together to utilize space safely and efficiently, to provide basic services for their community, and to work through their many political and social concerns. This is perhaps best signified by the horizontal structure and transparent nature of the governing body, the General Assembly, and the many committees that report to it. The design for the gallery emulates these traits. The materials — 2x4s, wire mesh, plastic sheeting, rebar — reflect the raw, unpolished look of the camp, as well as a movement that focuses on content over image or branding. Each module stands on its own, yet is stabilized by those around it, in the same way that each individual Occupier has her own concerns and reasons for Occupying, yet gains strength through the ability to unite in an activist community. The modules’ obtuse angles of 120-degrees mimic a hexagonal pattern when joined together, reminiscent of the honeycomb constructed through the natural collaboration of a community of bees. The wire mesh, along with the plastic sheeting, creates transparency between the modules, reminding the viewer that there is always someone on the other side, looking differently at things. Lastly, the form of the triads allow people to view art on all sides of the structure, creating a truly open gallery, approachable from all sides, as inclusive as the movement itself. And, just like the movement, it is mobile, ready to Occupy the next space should it be evicted from its current home.
As of right now, each one of the 15 modules will require:
- eight (8) 2x4s,
- 64 sq.ft of wire mesh,
- 64 sq.ft. of plastic sheeting,
- three (3) hinges, and
- one (1) latch.
These materials will come to roughly $50 per module, $150 per triad, $750 total — with an additional $50-$100 for extra material costs and $150-$200 in transportation costs. This comes to the total of $1000, the budget we set for ourselves. (This does not include the costs of other necessities, like lights and locks and providing art supplies to artists at the Occupy DC camp. We are still trying to determine if we can obtain those things through in-kind donations or scavenging. Can you help with that, or transporting everything to McPherson Square? If so, send us a message.)
It’s not easy for a Vagabond to panhandle and ask for your spare change, but if you have anything to donate, please do. Every last cent of your support will help provide art supplies, building materials, and small grants to local artists and activists.
Beginning this winter, with help from your contribution, we are going to #OccupyArt everywhere — from iconic intersections like 14th and U Streets NW, to the steps of Smithsonian institutions.
The Vagabonds of VESTIBULE
Donate to the VESTIBULE #OccupyArt Guerrilla Gallery