How is the project operated?
WOPOZI is an arts newspaper edited, designed, published and distributed by artists Sarah Ann and Oakley Tapola (both nonprofit and artist-run).
How long has it been in existence?
We began working on the project in the fall of 2011, did a call for the submissions that winter, and had our first issue printed and distributed by spring of 2012. This past September we released our second issue.
What was your motivation?
We are motivated by the community of artists and writers that surround us, and we wanted to see work from them more often and collectively. We also had curatorial interests and the newspaper functions as portable gallery: more people have access to the work because they can pick it up and take it home with them giving the work time to resonate with each reader/viewer.
Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
Two. Oakley Tapola and Sarah Ann.
How is this project funded?
Currently, we fund the newspapers ourselves, saving up inbetween issues. We’re in the process of applying for grants, with hopes of sustaining the production of the paper. In the future we would like to have a donation option on our website for those who would like to help contribute financially.
Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
At this rate, we will be distributing three or four issues per year.
Do you accept proposals/submissions?
YES! We do a call for submissions that is open to the public. We post a deadline, but we accept submissions anytime. If certain submissions don’t make it into the current issue they potentially have a place in future issues.
Please see our current call for submissions. The deadline is November 30th.
What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
We wanted the unifying theme of the papers to be loose, hence our choice to use color – no.1 YELLOW, no.2 CERULEAN, no.3 CARMINE. After a deadline passes, we print out the potential ‘yes’ submissions then begin a mock-layout. We’ve learned to wait to officially accept submissions until we have finalized the layout. Overall, it’s an intuitive process.
What’s working? What’s not working?
Everything is working, our only hope is to receive some funding in the coming year.
What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
We hope to get local artists and writers excited about contributing to the newspaper and taking part of a forum for people to share ideas and images. We hope that valuable connections and relationships between artists can be born out of the newspaper and we want the paper to reflect the interests and talents of our peers. We’re also interested in moving beyond our immediate community. In addition to Minneapolis, we’ve begun to distribute WOPOZI in Chicago, New York, LA, and Paris.
What idea are you most excited about for the future?
Expansion: bigger issues, higher quality, specialized pages!
Images courtesy of WOPOZI.