11 days left: Art Practical’s Mail Art

One of my art heroes, Christine Wong Yap, has written a great blog post about Art Practical and their much anticipated Mail Art subscription. I recently subscribed and extremely excited and enthusiastic about what I’m going to receive. If you’re interested, there is still time to subscribe. Please check out CWY’s post here with details…


Four years ago, the state of art criticism in the San Francisco Bay Area was dire.

Artweek folded. Shotgun Review and Stretcher were inconsistent volunteer efforts. Alan Bamberger diligently documented openings with minimum critique. A few local critics contributed to national monthlies, but they could anoint only one artist from a rapidly expanding fray.

Artists’ and curators’ best hopes for critical reviews were the local dailies and weeklies. But ambitious exhibitions far outnumbered the paltry column inches.

Enter Art Practical.

Art Practical is a different kind of volunteer effort—one with a professional editorial process and a strict publishing schedule. Posted semi-monthly, each free issue includes in-depth features, contributors’ reviews of local and national exhibitions, as well as shorter Shotgun reviews.

Contributors include current MFAs as well as established curators and critics. Grassroots Bay Area art initiatives can be art-school-partisans, but AP’s contributor base is wide enough to constantly expose…

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By Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina American writer, artist, and educator whose academic and research interests include feminist media histories, critical medical anthropology, technology, race, and ethics. She is a Ph.D. student in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow. She received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts and holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco. Her work as been exhibited at Ars Electronica, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the GLBT Historical Society.

Her writing appears in art21, Art in America, Ars Technica, Hyperallergic, Rhizome, Vice Motherboard, and SF MOMA’s Open Space. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture. She is a co-founder of REFRESH, a politically-engaged art and curatorial collective and serves as the Executive Director for the Processing Foundation.

2 replies on “11 days left: Art Practical’s Mail Art”

I read it. Pretty impressive stuff. You guys deserve the exposure and support; through your generosity,industry, etc. by the artworks you contribute- like planting an oasis in a barren land.

Art Practical has really, truly, helped me with my writing and find my voice. As a Shotgun Reviewer, I’ve made contributions to the art community that have been instrumental in my writing practice. It’s been an extremely eye opening experience. I feel more than happy to contribute to anything that promotes art, art writing, art criticism, critical thinking, and community engagement.

Again, Art Practical, deserves the help and the promotion. It’s a wonderful organization that really aims to help people (not only art folks) but anyone interested in the arts to learn how art can really widen one’s perspective. Great organization and I will be blogging about my Mail Art subscription experience. So excited about this and ACTUALLY getting the opportunity to respond to the artists is EVEN better. Super stoked about this!

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