2016 was a simple year, it seemed. Art all day, tall whiskey gingers and fried pickles at the Deer Park Tavern all night. But now, during a global pandemic, Bailey and Abby of Unanonymous Project have some different routines. Bailey: bread baking, Crossfit training, online teaching. Abby: burrito eating, online belly dance classes, working from home. Both making art in whatever way they can squeeze into their lives. On the outside looking in, it’s also fairly simple but we all know the elephant in the room of Covid-19 can complicate things.
First, let’s backtrack a bit to answer what you’re probably wondering. “What the F is Unanonymous Project and how do I even say that?”
Unanimous + Anonymous = Unanonymous
It’s a bit of a tongue twister but it gets the job done. The combination of a group being in agreement or collaborating but the group members don’t all quite know each other. A take on “we’re all in this together… but we are nowhere near each other” was the basis of our idea over coffee and bagels at Brewed Awakenings in late 2015, finishing up the first semester of our first year of the MFA program at the University of Delaware. Bailey, a Philly resident commuting daily and Abby, a tried and true Midwesterner trying to understand the flow of the East Coast, were both searching for a sense of community and collaboration among artists throughout the United States. Some we knew, some we’d never met. But we knew we wanted to make things happen without being together in the same place. Thus was born the Unanonymous Project.
Our first project, MAMFAD-X (Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts Drawing Exchange) relied on the United States Postal Service. 25 artists. 7 states. 3 artists per drawing. 100 drawings. Not a single drawing had the same combination of artists on it. It was HUGE. But so worth it and satisfying. The only requirement was that the participants were either currently in an MA or MFA program, or less than 5 years graduated from one. At the end of the project, we had a show at The Metropolitan 250 Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. Thanks to Bailey for curating. You can read more about it ~here~
Flash forward to today. “On Hold” is what it’s called. Covid-19 has put almost everything on hold. Jobs, school, concerts… you name it. For us? Our exhibitions have been canceled, postponed, or our work is up indefinitely in an empty, dark gallery. Our art is on hold until further notice. So, why not take advantage of this weird time and make some collaborative art?
4 artists per drawing.
This time, instead of relying on USPS, we are relying on the internet. Something every single one of us is using at this very moment.
Follow us on IG: @unanonymous.project for updates and WIPs from all the participants!
Let’s make some ART!
Image of completed drawings from the first drawing exchange "MAMFAD-X" 2016