Megan Wilson is a visual artist based out of San Francisco. Wilson’s large-scale installations and public projects utilize a broad range of pop culture methodologies and aesthetics as a point of entry and engagement for the issues she addresses conceptually. She's used traditional crafts, interior design, and sign painting to explore the meanings of “home” and “homelessness;” public murals and street art as a strategy for challenging corporate values and the surface aesthetics of capitalism; public video projections as an alternative to corporate messaging; and performance through the embodiment of a bright pink, cuddly pig with a big grin to represent corporate criminals, doling out “Lies,” “Toxic Debt,” and “Dirty Tricks.” Wilson has been a director of Clarion Alley Mural Project 2001-2005, and 2010-present.
In 2003 Wilson curated, co-organized, and raised the funds for the international exchange and residency Sama-sama/Together, a collaboration between community arts organizations and artists from San Francisco (USA) and Yogyakarta (Indonesia) designed to foster understanding of Muslim and non-Muslim cultures following 9/11. From 2004 – 2008 she transformed her 1,600 sq. ft. living space into an installation that explored and challenged the meanings of “home” and “homelessness” through her project Home 1996-2008. Wilson and Christopher Statton launched the public project Better Homes & Gardens Today in fall 2014, creating a limited edition of 300 pairs of hand-painted signs with the word “Home” in different languages accompanied by a flower. Wilson and Statton state the project’s goals to: “1) Heighten awareness around 'home' and the realities of homelessness; 2) Cultivate a dialog within communities and amongst disparate groups about the realities of homelessness; and 3) To raise money to benefit the Gubbio Project, the Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco, and At The Crossroads, organizations working to address homelessness in San Francisco. In 2015 Wilson and Statton were invited to participate in the Geneng Street Art Project #3 in Yogyakarta Indonesia, organized by Ruang Kelas SD. The theme of the project was "Gemah Ripah Loh Jinawi," which translates to a critique of the unprecedented levels of development and displacement, impacting farmers and the natural resources in the areas surrounding the city of Yogyakarta. Wilson and Statton were two of the 30+ artists to paint murals on the facades of the homes in the farming community of Sewon.
Wilson has also worked in non-profit development, planning, and management for over 15 years, ranging from in-depth strategic planning and organizational development to grant writing and research. In addition, she has extensive experience with program development, community organizing, and social and economic justice activism.
Wilson received her BFA from the University of Oregon and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has been exhibited at the Asian Art Museum, Oakland Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Craft and Folk Art (S.F.), Southern Exposure, Montalvo Art Center, Intersection for the Arts, The Luggage Store, the San Francisco Arts Commission, Sun Valley Center for the Arts (ID), Stephen Wirtz Gallery (S.F.) Tinlark Gallery (Los Angeles, CA) thirtyninehotel (Honolulu, HI), Lazarides Gallery (London UK), Pop Up (Dortmund Germany), Green Papaya (Manila Philippines), Print It! (Barcelona Spain), and LIP (Yogyakarta Indonesia). She has created public projects in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tokyo, Japan; Bali, Yogyakarta, & Sewon Indonesia; Jaipur, India, and Manila Philippines.
Wilson is a recipient of grant awards from the Gunk Foundation, Artadia, the Asian Cultural Council, the Ford Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, and the San Francisco Art Commission. Wilson’s work is included in the publications: Flower Power: The Meaning of Flowers in Asian Art by Dany Chan with forward by Jay Xu, Public Works: Artists’ Interventions 1970s – Now edited by Christian L. Frock and Tanya Zimbardo; Street Messages by Nicholas Ganz, Dokument Press; FRESH 1: Cutting Edge Illustrations in 3Dand FRESH 2: Cutting Edge Illustrations in Public edited by Slanted; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 75 Years of Looking Forward, edited by Janet Bishop, Corey Keller, Sarah Roberts; Street Art San Francisco Mission Muralismo, edited by Annice Jacoby; Mural Art: Murals on Huge Public Surfaces Around the World by Kirakoss Iosifidis; Illustration: Play - Craving for the Extraordinary, Published by Victionary; Sama-sama/Together: An International Exchange Project Between Yogyakarta and San Francisco, Published by Jam Karet; and The Gallery at Villa Montalvo: Selected Exhibitions from 1996-2000, edited by Theres Rohan.
Wilson, as co-director of Clarion Alley Mural Project is currently directing and organizing Bangkit/Arise, a second international exchange and residency between artists from the Bay Area (Jose Guerra Awe, Shaghayegh Cyrous, Jet Martinez, Kelly Ording, Keyvan Shovir, Christopher Statton, Megan Wilson) and Jogjakarta, Indonesia (Nano Warsono, Bambang Toko, Harind Arvati, Muhammad Yusuf (Ucup), Wedhar Riyadi, Eko Didyk Sukowati (Codit), and Vina Puspita.) The project's institutional partner in San Francisco is the Asian Art Museum. The Bay Area artists will be in Indonesia July/August 2018 and the Jogjakarta artists will be in the Bay Area September/October 2018.
All Images are property of Megan Wilson unless otherwise stated. Please do not reproduce in any form.