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Brandon Thibodeaux

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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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Collecting Stories Part 6: To Theme or Not to Theme?

This series chronicles my (and I hope soon others') journey to becoming an art collector, with the goal of demystifying the whole concept of collecting. As you will see, I do not have an art history background, and I do not have Picassos covering my walls. There are just pieces of art that I love, and I buy them. That is collecting. See? Not so scary.

Previous installments in this series discussed how I started buying art, some embarrassing early purchases, how I learned about editioning, and building relationships with the artists I collect. In this post, I'd like to talk about themes in art collections. Many collectors I know have themes they collect within as a way to narrow their focus - photographs of musicians, black and white street photography, still lifes. . . anything really. Some may focus on a very specific time range and origin (1890-1920 American paintings, for example). But can you collect without a theme?

Hells yes. My theme has been the "everything I love" theme. And it is diverse, because my tastes range from straight documentary-style portraits to dreamy, etherial images to just about anything that makes me feel something. However, over time I have realized there are some types of images I am drawn to over and over again. My former gallery manager once pointed out my over-the-top affinity for forlorn women and birds. I also love beds and windows and intense portraits, often of rough-around-the-edges men. I don't only collect these things, I just tend to be drawn to them. I do have a bird room though (after my husband said, "can you at least put all of that bird sh*t in one place?").

an recent image of a wall in my bird room (rearranged constantly),   featuring Joshua Meier , Rachel Chabot, Tristan Spinski, Christian Bradley West, Angela Bacon Kidwell (x2), Kathleen Robbins, John Bohannon,   not pictured: Keith Carter, Randi Lynn Beach

an recent image of a wall in my bird room (rearranged constantly), featuring Joshua Meier , Rachel Chabot, Tristan Spinski, Christian Bradley West, Angela Bacon Kidwell (x2), Kathleen Robbins, John Bohannon, not pictured: Keith Carter, Randi Lynn Beach

I love white on white or mostly white images, and I recently realized I had quite a few of these and/or snow photographs. Recognizing a mini-theme, I decided to hang several of them together, similar to my bird room.

clockwise from top left: Ben Huff, Sarah Moore, Sarah Moore, Daniel Coburn, Maureen Drennan (waiting on another piece. . .)

clockwise from top left: Ben Huff, Sarah Moore, Sarah Moore, Daniel Coburn, Maureen Drennan (waiting on another piece. . .)

And then when I purchased my beloved David Hilliard, Anna Walker Skillman (owner of Jackson Fine Art) suggested I hang other photos with kids in them (seems I had a bunch of those too) on the wall with it.

counter-clockwise from the top left: Brandon Thibodeaux, Mark Steinmetz, Daniel Coburn, Daniel Coburn, Joshua Meier, Mark Steinmetz, David Hilliard

counter-clockwise from the top left: Brandon Thibodeaux, Mark Steinmetz, Daniel Coburn, Daniel Coburn, Joshua Meier, Mark Steinmetz, David Hilliard

So don't get hung up on rules. Just buy what you love!

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FOCAL POINT Q1.14 Interview: Brandon Thibodeaux

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.

Brandon Thibodeaux
Brandon Thibodeaux

I kind of see my photography career akin to how a country uses natural resources for energy, you have some coal, some wind, some hydro, and a lot of oil. With photography for me it's one part editorial, one part corporate advertising, and one part exhibitions.  I began my career as a small time newspaper photographer.  If I had graduated three years earlier than I did in 2006 I most likely would have worked my way up from small to large newspaper.  Fortunately or not that model didn't exist when I got out of school, the newspaper industry turned up side down and suddenly I was forced to go freelance.  I've spent the past 9 years freelancing in some capacity and over time the clients have just gotten bigger, better, and more diverse, thanks to an internship, or going to NY and DC for meetings with prospective clients.  The end goal is essentially to work less and get paid more, thus having sufficient time to work on my personal projects like I am today with When Morning Comes.  That's where the gallery world comes in.  It's been a way for me to have a broader and longer lasting platform for projects where I can talk about my ideas and the subjects that appeal to me.  Whereas in the editorial world that message has a shorter half life upon publication.  My growth in this area has come largely through the connections I've made at the various reviews like Santa Fe, PhotoNola, Photolucida, and FotoFest.  Before those I had literally no idea about what the art world was other than paying admission to see a show at a museum.  These reviews have spawned connections to galleries, museum curators, content generators like Crusade for Art, Fraction, Lenscratch, SXSE, and LPV Magazine, and most importantly a solid base of mentors that have guided me through it all.  What a blessing.

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

Again, I kind of see the fine art world being just one part of the greater thing for me, so in that respect I think I'd just be happy with it continuing to foster my growth and offering me avenues to get my work out to a larger audience.  Everyone wants great shows, more print sales, and books, that's a given.  I'm just humbled by having the appreciation I'm experiencing now and hope I can continue to produce work that touches folks.

What are your goals for 2014?

Goals for 2014, hum, as a freelancer the goal for every year is to end with more than you started. The goal is to stay in the black, start some new projects, finish some old ones, and keep my wife happy.

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ArtsAtl.com

Kate Koti: Bubblegum.

Katie Koti: Bubblegum.

Jennifer Schwartz is no stranger to out-of-gallery galleries. She took to the road in a van filled with photographs in her ten-city Crusade for Art. Now the Atlantan has launched an online exhibit, replete with curator’s notes and artist statements.

The first edition of FOCAL POINT showcases the work of Katie KotiDorothy O’Connor, and Brandon Thibodeaux. O’Connor’s surreal tableaux and tableaux vivants are known around Atlanta, her home base; its a pleasure to see them again here. Koti has focused on a family with the disturbing intimacy of Sally Mann and Tierney Gearon. Thibadoux’s portraits dig deep into the soul of the Mississippi Delta.

Brandon Thibadoux: When Morning Comes.

Brandon Thibadoux: When Morning Comes.

In February, Crusade For Art will solicit applications for a $10,000 grant that will be awarded to an individual photographer or group with the most innovative plan for increasing  audience and collector base, and it will soon launch a version of the CSA (community-supported art collecting), similar to the established by WonderRoot, which sells prints by local artists. In Crusade’s version, 50 collectors will pay $350 and receive six photographs over the course of a year.

Dorothy O'Connor: Tornado.

Dorothy O’Connor: Tornado.

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Ones2Watch with Atlanta Celebrates Photography

Atlanta Celebrates Photography is an organization that kills it year round for photography. Not only is the MONTH-LONG (which actually starts in September and goes into November, because there is so much programming) festival overwhelmingly stellar, ACP programs year-round and it a huge reason Atlanta's photography culture is so robust.  Ten years strong. . . hot damn. While ACP is celebrating it's 10th year, the annual gala auction benefit has been happening for five. There is an exciting live auction, led by Denise Bethel from Sotheby's, where inevitably you get swept up in the moment and wave a paddle you previously had no intention of raising.  There is also a silent auction with a variety of items (was so bummed to be outbid on the Martin Parr faces paperweight) and a selection of ten framed photographs from the Ones2Watch section.  For years I have poured over this part of the auction and bid mightily, and this year I was beyond honored to be invited to curate it.

I was asked to select ten photographs from ten photographers who are on the front lines of awesome.  Yes please!  The selection process was so much fun for me, but then seeing all of the pieces lined up on easels with each one framed to best showcase the image (thank you Myott!) was beyond, beyond.  And then to see all the bids flying!

Want an up-close peek at the images?  I thought so. Click on the image to visit the photographer's website.

Heather Evans Smith

Heather Evans Smith

Jeff Rich

Jeff Rich

Brandon Thibodeaux

Brandon Thibodeaux

Clay Lipsky

Clay Lipsky

Bill Vaccaro

Bill Vaccaro

Kurt Simonson

Kurt Simonson

Aline Smithson

Aline Smithson

Kelly K. Jones

Kelly K. Jones

Elizabeth Fleming

Elizabeth Fleming

E. Brady Robinson

E. Brady Robinson

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Astoria Retreat (Season 4!): #flashersforlife

When David Bram and I started planning our first invite-only retreat for photographers over a year ago, we never could have imagined how powerful these experiences would be - for everyone.  David and I leave each and every one completely blown away by the talent, energy and drive of these artists.  And then there's the bonding. . . something about living all together in a house for five days, talking non-stop about your art and life. . . it easily makes the retreats one of the most special and rewarding things I do. I have often said that living in the house together is like The Real World without the hot tub, and when I started my tour, so many of the photographers who have participated on the retreats either came along on a leg of the trip or participated in a pop-up or just showed up in a city for an in-person high-five. It started to feel like The Real World-Road Rules Challenge, with photographers from one retreat meeting photographers from another and sharing stories from what they all knew was a completely unique experience.  "What retreat were you on?" sounded very much like "What Season were you on?".  

Sean Dana and Kurt Simonson (Season 1 - aka Astoria 7/12, aka #Astoria6) drove with me from San Francisco to Portland, where we met up with Bill Vaccaro, who was also Season 1 and participated in the New Orleans pop-up (so did Kurt!) and met up with the Crusade in Cleveland.  In Portland I saw Julia Vandenoever (Season 2, aka The Cat Cave) and Elizabeth Clark Libert (Season 3, aka The Bone Collectors) and Brandon Thibideaux (who was soon to be Season 4, aka Flashers).  Sarah Moore (Season 2) was my co-pilot from Chicago (where we met up with Matt Crowther - Season 4) to Cleveland (enter Bill Vaccaro and Matthew Conboy - on Sarah's season) to New York (where she reunited with Muema from Season 2 and met Sara Macel from Season 4 and Charlotte Strode, who will be Season 5 in July).  And to bring it all home, Heather Evans Smith (Season 3) met me in Richmond to celebrate the final Crusading days.  Whew.  Confused?

In all of the traveling excitement, I have not written up the last retreat (Season 4 - held in Astoria, Oregon in April).  This group bonded straight out of the gate.  It was almost alarming.  We always try to put together people from different places, photographic experiences, types of work, etc. so that the participants learn from each other as much as they learn from us.  And although this group had the usual amount of diversity, they were besties nearly instantaneously.

We had the usual agenda of intensive work on portfolios, sequencing, artist statements (my favorite!), and hours and hours of more, followed by after-hours bowls of Butterfinger ice cream and more photo talk.  We also explored Canon Beach (Goonies rock!), made friends with some locals, rocked the DQ,  and became flashers for life.

This crew. . . damn special.  They all are, honestly.  David and I say it constantly - we are so lucky to do what we do.

Make sure you check out the work from this talented group: Matt Crowther, Elizabeth Fleming, Sara Macel, Brandon Thibodeaux and Annick Sjobakken.

Are you a photographer interested in getting a project ready to launch? Check out Flash Powder Projects here.

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