This is Sarah Moore again, reporting to you from my little casita in Santa Fe, NM. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts about the end of the Crusade for Collecting tour, which already seems like so long ago. Sigh. The rest of our stay in Brooklyn was…interesting. I mean, you have to understand that I’m not really a city girl (born and raised in South Dakota), nor am I used to the humidity anymore (currently living in the desert). So, to be in the throes of a large city during an incredible heat wave was not necessarily my cup of tea. I remember spending hours upon hours holed up in my Hotel Indigo room (which, might I say, was absolutely lovely!), sheltering myself from the heat and the people. That being said, I did enjoy a few lovely nights out in Brooklyn, a stroll through Prospect Park, a few entertaining subway rides, fun confusion in DUMBO, and an afternoon with two of my favorite photographers. So all in all, New York was a success.
Spending an afternoon with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris-Webb was definitely my favorite part of the New York stop, possibly of the whole trip. I’ve been a long-time fan of their work, particularly Rebecca’s My Dakota. It’s not often I meet another person from South Dakota (outside of that state, that is), not to mention a talented photographer. It was a pleasure to talk to Rebecca about our home state. Though we grew up under different circumstances and in different landscapes, we both can relate to the vastness and solitude of South Dakota. Talking to her definitely put a few things about my own photography in perspective.
It was also a pleasure to see many of the Norris-Webb books, both ones they’ve made individually and ones they’ve collaborated on. These photographers are clearly passionate about telling stories, and they do it with such grace. Plus, they were just delightful people to spend a hot summer day with. But enough on that…let’s get back to the Crusade!
The Brooklyn Pop-Up event was one for the record books…the heat record books! Ha. No but really, it was a balmy, sweaty, sunshiny day spent by the river in DUMBO. Our photographers were all awesome and outgoing, but it was still pretty tough to get the passersby to take the free photographs. Some people would claim that they “already had art, so didn’t need any more”, and one guy even said “well, I’d hate to take that and then just throw it away.” Fair enough, I guess. Despite some hesitations, we managed to get 50 new collectors in Brooklyn that day, and many connections were pure and joyful. It was a good day, even if many of us almost got heat stroke.
All in all, as exciting as parts of New York were, I was quite happy to set sail to Washington DC. I was a bit weary on how our Nation’s Capitol would take to the free art campaign, but excited to see how it would end up.
DC was another unexpected (for me, at least) breath of fresh air on this trip. What a lovely, tree-lined, art-loving, high-security city! Perhaps the high security part wasn’t quite as fun. But really--DC was swell. Jennifer and I stayed with her college boyfriend, Sam, in a cute old brownstone in a nice quiet neighborhood. The architecture around DC is really stunning, which is something I hadn’t noticed the last time I was in DC (which was on an 8th grade field trip to see all the great monuments and museums, of course). And the dappled light in the evening was warm and welcoming.
Jennifer and I spent one afternoon driving Lady Blue around the city, both so she could see it and so we could get photos of her in it. This went well for the most part, except for one minor hiccup when we were getting a photograph of Lady in front of the White House. The police officer wasn’t thrilled that we were parked in a “no parking” zone in “that vehicle” during a state of heightened security. Needless to say, we moved right along (after getting our photo). I must say though, Lady Blue looked really nice in Washington DC.
For our DC Pop-Up, we stationed the Lady and our five local photographers right in front of the National Mall. I thought perhaps we’d get some angry business folks or security guards that day, but it actually went smoother than I could’ve ever imagined! We got a huge variety of people to stop and talk to us about photographs and the art world--ranging from eager tourists (including a troop of middle school boy soccer players) to coffee-clutching businessmen to people who heard about us online and sought us out. Nearly everyone who stopped was excited, inquisitive, and thrilled to walk away with art. We left the Mall that day feeling like we had hit our East Coast high note in an unexpected place. It was definitely a good way to end the Crusade journey.
We finished our DC stop with some delicious pizza and wine with a few photographers before heading back to Sam’s place. I slept about four hours that night, due to an early bird plane ride back to the Southwest. The next thing I really remember was being nestled in my Santa Fean bed, wondering if the Crusade had been just a delightful dream.
Thanks again to Jennifer for including me on her East Coast Crusade tour. I know as time goes on I’ll grow more and more grateful for the experience and more and more conscious of all the things I learned while traveling with her and Lady Blue. It was a remarkable trip, filled with laughter and tears. I met so many incredibly people and have a renewed sense of what it means to be a photographer and a collector in today’s Arts Ecology.