Megan Wilson is an American visual artist based in San Francisco. Known for her large-scale installations and public projects, she incorporates a broad range of pop culture methodologies and aesthetics to address conceptual interests that include “home,” "homelessness," social and economic justice, challenges to capitalism, impermanence and generosity. Notable projects include:
“Better Homes and Gardens”, a public project included in San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 75 Years of Looking Forward, that featured 250 signs hand-painted by the artist with the word “Home” and a flower given for free to the homeless and those facing eviction in San Francisco during the dotcom boom.
Clarion Alley Mural Project: Wilson is one of the primary organizers of the mural project, including initiating and co-organizing the international exchange “Sama-sama/Together.”
“Flower Interruption”, a four-part public installation series through which Wilson filled traffic intersections in San Francisco, Tokyo, Yogyakarta and Ubud Indonesia with giant “Technicolor flowers” that passersby were invited to take for free.
“Sama-sama/Together,” the first international mural exchange between artists in the United States (San Francisco) and Yogyakarta Indonesia. Wilson initiated and co-organized the project with Apotik Komik of Indonesia and Intersection for the Arts. The project was the catalyst for the mural and graffiti movement in Yogyakarta. The SF Bay Guardian awarded the project “The Best Transnational Art Undertaking” in 2004.
Wilson’s use of textiles and quilling to create large-scale non-traditional mural installations. She is one of the first artists to use quilling as a contemporary art form outside of its historical use as a decorative craft on paper or household objects.
“Home 1996-2008” was in part inspired by artist David Ireland (artist). From 2004-2008 Wilson transformed her home into an installation that she opened up to the public in 2008.
Wilson is the founder of the artists' collaborative "Capitalism Is Over! If Your Want It," a collective of artists from around the world who have created artistic actions in response to the impact of capitalism on the global economy.
Wilson has been one of the core organizers active in the response to San Francisco's economic and technology booms 1999 - present. In 2000, she co-organized the project "Art Strikes Back," an 8-week series of performances along the Valencia corridor in San Francisco's Mission District. In 2014 she called out University of Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism's project "Mission Loc@l" for disrespecting the wishes of artists involved with the Clarion Alley Mural Project by selecting an image of the Alley for their contest to decorate the highly contested "tech buses" that use the city's public bus stops. The winning artist, Elinor Diamond, ultimately withdrew the image and submitted a new one. Wilson and artists Christopher Statton, and Mike Reger created the mural "Wall of Shame & Solutions" on the Clarion Alley to call out San Francisco's city government officials on current policies that are impacting the city's changing character.
"Tax The Rich" by Megan Wilson on Clarion Alley, San Francisco
Wilson grew up in Montana. She received her BFA from the University of Oregon and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has been exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Intersection for the Arts, and Southern Exposure. She has created public projects and murals in San Francisco California; Tokyo Japan, Yogyakarta 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, San Francisco Foundation, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Wilson’s work is included in FRESH 1: Cutting Edge Illustrations in 3D and 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 is also a writer and art critic. She co-founded the San Francisco based arts Website www.stretcher.org. Her writings have appeared in stretcher.org, afterimage, Digitalcity, Public Art Review, and Art Practical; and in the book Street Art San Francisco Mission Muralismo (edited by Annice Jacoby with Forward by Carlos Santana).