Two College Students + Kickstarter = Socially Focused Art
There’s just a few days (and $750) left for Nicholas Curry and Tucker Pierce’s $10,000 Kickstarter campaign, which is set to shine light on issues surrounding LGBT issues, gender identity and diversity in St. Louis via their studio, Westminster Press. ALIVE caught up with the recent Wash U graduates to learn more about their upstart project.
ALIVE: Tell us a little bit about yourselves.
Tucker Pierce: I am from Virginia—I moved here for school. I do a lot of printmaking and photographic/performance art that incorporates gender and drag.
Nick Curry: I’m the other half of Westminster Press. Tucker is the artistic director, and I’m the business manager. I am 22, and my major is women’s studies.
ALIVE: Where did the idea for Westminster Press come from?
Pierce: I guess it was about a year and a half ago. It was a loose idea, like “I make prints and Nick is really good at selling things.” We went to Grove Fest and we were pretty blown away with how excited people were about what we were doing. That was a turning point for us, to make this into something bigger and more serious.
Curry: We realized there was totally a market for this really identity-based work. We were making this stuff and there was a market for it, but not really a marketplace. So we wanted to create that place in St. Louis for artists to be able to really engage with their identity and their work and be able to profit from it.
ALIVE: What does Westminster Press sell?
Pierce: The stuff that we personally make, like prints on paper and some fiber work. But moving forward, when we move into our space, we are hoping to have work from different makers and artists in the area.
ALIVE: You have a Kickstarter fund to help raise $10,000 to get this business going. What are your plans if you reach this goal?
Pierce: Our plan is to move into our place over the summer and have Aug. 1 be our opening day. The plan for the money is to help us purchase the equipment we need and for the first few months of rent until we get situated.
ALIVE: How has this project changed you?
Curry: I think it has made me a lot more resourceful and made me more comfortable asking for help and receiving help from people. We had this idea that we brought out into the world, and it has been really well received by people.
Pierce: It has helped me come to terms with myself as an artist, thinking about how I’m graduating with a degree in fine arts and what do I do with that. Figuring out how to support myself while still doing what I love. They say most artists are doing something else 80 percent of their time and making their art 20 percent of the time. I would like to make that percentage more in my favor.