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Amelia Morris

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First Two CSA Photos Released Into the World!

We had another successful CSA sale last month. This is the program where we commission six photographers to create an image in an edition of 50. Then we offer 50 shares for sale for $400, and shareholders receive one original, signed photograph from each of the six participating photographers. This program perfectly fits our mission - photographers get paid in advance to make work and benefit from 50 new collectors, and the lower price point and variety of imagery create a comfortable entry-point to collecting.

The first two photographs shipped to shareholders last week. I think you'll agree that they are pretty spectacular. (And if you didn't purchase a share, you will definitely be kicking yourself!)

Drumroll. . .

Amelia Morris' fantabulous creation for CSA shareholders

Amelia Morris' fantabulous creation for CSA shareholders


Brandon Thibodeaux's haunting landscape image

Brandon Thibodeaux's haunting landscape image

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FOCAL POINT Q2.14 Interview: Amelia Morris

FOCAL POINT surveys the landscape of emerging photographers and selects three talented, driven, and noteworthy artists to highlight each quarter.  Each FOCAL POINT photographer receives mentoring from Crusade for Art to think about their work, their target audience, and how to best engage them.  In this interview series, every FOCAL POINT photographer gets asked the same three questions, and their answers become a jumping off point for the mentorship.

 

Describe the arc of your photography career so far.  (How you got to where you are now, pivotal experiences/accomplishments/influences, etc.)

Photo by Frank Espich of the Indianapolis Star

Photo by Frank Espich of the Indianapolis Star

I became interested in photography in my early teens, and when it came time to think about college, I decided that I wanted to study photography, too. While there I found the drive to make work based on autobiographical incidents and introspective reflection.   Soon after graduating, the financial crisis hit. For about a thousand reasons, I felt incredibly stuck: no one seemed interested in the work I had done in school, local photographers were tightening their belts and didn’t need assistants, and for the longest time, I couldn’t make a photograph I didn’t hate. I didn’t want to become a person who studies art only to drop it when times get tough, but I was becoming incredibly discouraged by my future prospects.

Eventually I was able to move out of my funk. My creative block finally lifted, and I slowly started to make work again. I embraced opportunities to meet new people and learn new skills. I shared my portfolio at the Society for Photographic Education conferences, started exchanging artist postcards in the Postcard Collective, and suddenly found myself connected to the broader photography world.  In 2012, I was awarded an emerging artist fellowship through The Arts Council of Indianapolis. Knowing that they supported my artistic endeavors gave my photographic career a pivotal boost. Last year, I won a scholarship to attend the Photolucida portfolio review festival where I showed an earlier version of An Honest Assessment. Looking back, even though I had been actively showing work and had support from local arts institutions, I still wasn’t convinced that people were actually interested in what I was doing. The Photolucida reviews made me realize that even though I’m still figuring out exactly where I want to be, my work is worthy of being seen.

Over the past couple years, I’ve  realized that I need to meander with a project to see its full potential. I need time (sometimes a lot) to internally process whatever I’m trying to express. An Honest Assessment is now about three years in the making, and it’s still growing. 15 of the photographs are included in the summer exhibition of at The Indianapolis Art Center, and when I see it on the wall, I’m pleased with what I’ve accomplished.

If you were exactly where you wanted to be in your fine art photography career, what would that look like?

I want to find some kind of balance between my art and everything else I do to pay the bills (or heck, find myself in the position that my photography career does play a larger part in paying the bills, all while staying true to how I make my best work…). But overall, I want to keep making quality work that people are interested in experiencing!

What are your goals for 2014?

I want to keep moving forward in a thoughtful way. I need to continue to foster the relationships I’ve made in the photographic community, even if it’s just writing someone I admire a note to tell them to keep up the good work. I also think it’s time for me to try new things. With some encouragement from friends, I’ve decided it’s time to start applying to residencies as a way to devote a period of time to only working on my projects.

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Photolucida Photographer Highlights

Last week the Crusade made a stop in Portland for a pop-up and to attend the Photolucida Portfolio Review event.  At a portfolio review, photographers at the mid-career level register for one-on-one meetings (20 minutes long) with gallery owners, curators, critics, collectors and publishers from around the world.  As a reviewer, I met with 48 photographers over 4 days and was fortunate enough to informally see work from dozens of others. People seem to ask me pretty regularly about current themes I see in photography, and although I don't like to categorize, I will say that I saw a lot of work dealing with contemporary landscape - human intervention, neglect, urbanization. . . And I learned a new word!  "Dross" - ok, now that I used the google, the definition isn't exactly as it was explained to me by one of the many photographers dealing with this topic, but as I learned it, dross is the in-between space in the landscape - places that have fallen away from use or that are coming into use.  Dross.  Photograph that.  (or don't, since lots of others are getting that covered. . .)

So dross aside, I'd like to highlight just a few images/photographers that peaked my interest.  Some of this work is finished and ready to launch, and other portfolios are still working out issues and growing, but these are just few that I keep thinking about.

This image by Amelia Morris made me cry:

I pretty much loved everything about Marico Fayre, including her meditative series, White. Kids With Guns: The Childhood Gravity Games by Kim Campell intruiged me - I think it's going somewhere.  K. K. Depaul's mixed-media collage and assemblage pieces about secrets was wonderfully haunting.

A lot of talent always shows up for this review, and Portland of course is my love, so the whole time there was wonderful, start to finish.

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