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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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CSA Photographer Interview: John Brinton Hogan

In our Crusade Supported Art program, we commission six photographers to make an image in an edition of 50, and we sell 50 shares. Shareholders receive an original, signed and numbered photograph from each of the six commissioned photographers. We have had two CSA cycles so far, and they have been a huge success. Photographer John Brinton Hogan's image (below) was part of the second round CSA. We asked him a few questions to let you get to know him a bit better.

Climber on the ascent, Palo Verde Mountains Wilderness Area, near Blythe, California, 2013 (Yellow Dot) by John Brinton Hogan

Climber on the ascent, Palo Verde Mountains Wilderness Area, near Blythe, California, 2013 (Yellow Dot) by John Brinton Hogan

Had you heard of an art CSA before? What were your impressions of the idea?

No. I was familiar with the concept with regard to farming, but not pertaining to art.  Right away, though, it struck me as a good idea, and was happy to participate.

What about the program made you interested in being one of the participating artists?

Many of those who'd like to purchase contemporary art face the obstacle of price.  The CSA seemed to me a democratizing force.

How has your experience been so far, and what else do you hope will come as a result of participating?

The experience has been rewarding, in that I'm able to connect with an audience I might not have been able to reach through my current network. I hope people can connect with the work they purchased, whether on an emotional or intellectual level; ideally both.

Please tell us about the piece you created and how it fits within your larger body of work?

From a practical standpoint, this project forced me to change my normal workflow when it came to creating the object itself. 

Visual Aphasia, the body of work I've been producing for the last couple of years, has been comprised principally of mixed-media pieces, and their physical composition makes them impossible to replicate.   The CSA was going to require a fairly substantial edition, and in order to create it I had to design an efficient process for producing the work. 

For some background, construction of Visual Aphasia pieces involves various embellishment techniques which are performed by hand. The works start as somewhat straightforward documentary photographs of figures and equipment in landscapes, which are then transformed into otherworldly tableaus via software manipulation. 

Once a print has been made, the human elements are "redacted" (see below) using various ingredients normally associated with lighthearted craft: glitter, gold leaf, holographic foils, etc., which by their nature require painstaking efforts both in application and handling.

For the CSA, I needed to formulate a system wherein I could deliver an edition that included the elements of the more complex Aphasia pieces, while still being practical from a time/cost standpoint. So, with a wink at Baldessari, I covered the figure of the Palo Verde Climber with a simple yellow dot, and created a glitter "paint" that could be applied in a just a couple of coats (image above). Hand-painting a small circle consumes less time than an intricate human figure, so, by employing a makeshift production line (last image below), I was able to deliver a picture that fits in well with other contemporaneous pieces.

Creating work in this manner allows me a small but meaningful tactile reward, which, with the demise of darkrooms, scanners, etc., I'd come to miss in my studio practice. 

To view more of John's work, please visit his website.

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CSA Photographer Interview: Kurt Simonson

In our Crusade Supported Art program, we commission six photographers to make an image in an edition of 50, and we sell 50 shares. Shareholders receive an original, signed and numbered photograph from each of the six commissioned photographers. We have had two CSA cycles so far, and they have been a huge success. Photographer Kurt Simonson's image (below) was part of the second round CSA and was just shipped to shareholders a couple of weeks ago. We asked him a few questions to let you get to know him a bit better.

Fireworks  by Kurt Simonson

Fireworks by Kurt Simonson

Had you heard of an art CSA before? What were your impressions of the idea?

I hadn't specifically heard of an art-related CSA, but I am always drawn to creative solutions for making and sharing art.  I've loved all the various out-of-the-box projects that Jennifer has done before, so I was up for this idea instantly.   As a teacher, I love to create and assign projects that push the students to look beyond the expected audience and codes of the art world, often encouraging students to think about art that operates in modes of partnership and collaboration, inside and outside of the gallery system.  I also loved the idea of getting to wait and see what each of the artists would create and offer!   

What about the program made you interested in being one of the participating artists?

I love the idea that the collectors were choosing to participate based on us as artists, not just based on a single image or theme.  It's very encouraging to be reminded that there are viewers and collectors out there who want to invest in us as artists, with a bigger-picture view of our entire body of work.   I was also honored to be included in some pretty exciting company, as I've enjoyed the work of all of the other photographers involved so far.     

How has your experience been so far, and what else do you hope will come as a result of participating?

I look forward to having my work reach a new set of collectors, especially 50 collectors at a time!  It's exciting for me to think that these new collectors have 6 images to either begin, or add to, their collection, and six new artists to follow and get to know.     

Please tell us about the piece you created and how it fits within your larger body of work?

Fireworks is a new addition to the Northwoods Journals project, a body of work that explores the myth and memory of my upbringing in Minnesota.  I enjoy how this image brings a slightly different season and tone to the larger series.  

Fireworks are technically illegal in Minnesota, but you would never know it.  Every year it’s standard practice to go across the border to Wisconsin and stock up for your own little Fourth of July extravaganza.  My brother has delighted in this relatively harmless practice ever since he was a child, and not surprisingly, he has carried on the tradition with his children.  I can’t help but realize that there’s something about the curious blend of playful mischief and overt transgression in this practice that is quintessentially Minnesotan.   

To see more of Kurt's work, please visit his website.

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First two photographs for the second round CSA are out in the world!

The CSA (Crusade Supported Art) program perfectly fits our mission. It cultivates new collectors and connects emerging photographers to them. BAM! We were thrilled that this second round sold out in days, just like the first. And we couldn't be more excited about the six photographers who are creating work for the 50 new shareholders.

Last week we shipped out the first two photographs (shareholders receive two photographs every other month for half a year), and I think you'll agree that they are beauties!

Winter's Breath, 2014  by Angela Bacon Kidwell

Winter's Breath, 2014 by Angela Bacon Kidwell

I Was There With Her, 2014  by Amy Friend

I Was There With Her, 2014 by Amy Friend

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Final 1st Round CSA Photographs Shipped!

And we wrapped this up with a bang! The final two (out of six) photographs for the first round Crusade Supported Art program shipped on Friday. Thomas Jackson created one of his awesome in-the-landscape installations, and Joshua Meier made a stunning photogravure.

Tape no. 1  by Thomas Jackson

Tape no. 1 by Thomas Jackson

Only So Much  by Joshua Meier

Only So Much by Joshua Meier

And then, just because he's a rockstar, Joshua created these unique folios with sealed leaves on the cover. 

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CSA Photographer Interview: Jennifer Greenburg

In June we launched an art CSA, which sold out in just two days. Six photographers were commissioned to make an image in an edition of 50, and we sold 50 shares. Shareholders receive an original, signed and numbered photograph from each of the six commissioned photographers. A few weeks ago we shipped the second two photographs to shareholders, and last week we sold out of shares for our second round CSA, again in just days!! 

The above photograph, Of course we all wanted to look like Peggy Castle at the Wagons West Party, 2014 by Jennifer Greenburg, is one of the two most recent shipped to shareholders. Jennifer talks briefly about her CSA experience in this interview with us:

 

Had you heard of an art CSA before? What were your impressions of the idea?

I had heard of an art CSA but only within the confines of the history of early 20th Century photography.  Breathing the breath of the 21st Century into the concept excited me instantly.  I am delighted to have been part of this first incarnation. I am interested in participating in almost anything that moves the way we think, use and interact with photographs forward!  

 

What about the program made you interested in being one of the participating artists?

I make work in order to facilitate a conversation with my audience.  If my work only exists in a flat file drawer in my studio,  then I might as well have not made anything in the first place. I own the work of other artists for the same reason.  I want to wake up in the morning and be reminded, visually, of something that I find important.   One of my most cherished possessions is a print of Wall Street,  New York, 1915 by Paul Strand.  It was my first art purchase.  I had been studying and teaching the work of Paul Strand for fifteen years when Aperture made an edition of an image that most resonated with me available for sale.  I jumped at the chance knowing that, even though it felt a little expensive,  all I had to do was skip a few meals out and a pair of shoes I probably did not need in the first place to make it happen.  That photograph had held an important place in my development as an artist, adult and educator.  It warranted a physical place in my daily life.  I hope that my work will be owned by someone who will find it meaningful, and this program opens up the door for that to potentially happen. 

 

How has your experience been so far, and what else do you hope will come as a result of participating?

The experience has been fantastic.  I was so pleased when the shares sold out so quickly– the instant demand really gave the program incredible validation. 

I hope that participating will allow my work to get into the hands of new collectors who might not have been familiar with my work or into the hands of those who have previously worried about the idea of collecting. Buying art is an extremely intimidating process due to a variety of factors, not the least of which is the expense!  I hope that this program will encourage new buyers to support artists through collecting.  The CSA has made it both affordable and painless for many to begin.  And sometimes offering a first step is all it takes!

 

Please tell us about the piece you created and how it fits within your larger body of work.

The piece I created for the CSA is called,  Of course we all wanted to look like Peggy Castle at the Wagons West Party, 2014.  It is part of my larger series,  Revising History.  Revising History is a series of manufactured images created by replacing the individuals in vintage found-negatives with images of myself. I reference the gestures within the original image as a means of taking ownership of that moment. I appropriate the mood and emotions of each event, becoming a musician, a mother, a corpse– even though I am none of those things. My work is a performance that results in a series of manufactured photographs that are inherently counterfeit.  

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CSA Photographer Interview: Kerry Mansfield

In June we launched an art CSA, which sold out in just two days. Six photographers were commissioned to make an image in an edition of 50, and we sold 50 shares. Shareholders receive an original, signed and numbered photograph from each of the six commissioned photographers. A few weeks ago we shipped the second two photographs to shareholders, and next week shares for our second round CSA will go on sale! 

The above photograph, Multiple Red Spines by Kerry Mansfield, is one of the two most recent shipped to shareholders. Kerry talks briefly about her CSA experience in this interview with us:

 

Had you heard of an art CSA before? What were your impressions of the idea?

Prior to working with Jennifer I hadn't been exposed to an art-based CSA before the opportunity arose.

 

What about the program made you interested in being one of the participating artists?

It's such a great idea in general, and when applied to photography it's a brilliant recipe for both the artists and Jennifer to share and sell work affordably. In addition, as one of the initial participants I was really delighted with the caliber of company for the first CSA round. It's always an honor to work with peers that you respect individually and along with their work.

 

How has your experience been so far, and what else do you hope will come as a result of participating?

The CSA program was a great experience across the board, and Jennifer made it as easy on the artists as possible. I've gotten some additional recognition from new collectors and also had a print purchase inquiry from a share holder regarding more imagery from the same series featured in CSA. 

 

Please tell us about the piece you created and how it fits within your larger body of work?

The Multiple Red Spines piece represents a much larger series about ex-library books and their expired beauty. While the series is quite large and showcases many different angles and tomes, the overall look and feel of the CSA selected image reflects the Expired work with it's detail and evidentiary presentation quite well.

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New CSA Photographs Shipped (Plus: how do we pick the photographers?)

If you were one of the lucky fifty who snagged a share of the first Crusade Supported Art (CSA) round, start checking your mailbox. The second shipment of prints are heading your way! And if you didn't pull the trigger quickly enough (the shares sold out in two days), here's a peek at what postal workers around the country are delivering.

What is this CSA you may be asking? This should explain it:

Back to the art! This Kerry Mansfield photograph was one of the two just sent to shareholders.

from Kerry Mansfield's "Expired" series

from Kerry Mansfield's "Expired" series

I have been asked a lot about how the photographers are selected for the CSA. Fortunately, I see a lot of photography! Between portfolio reviews, online resources and photography festivals, I am able to keep a running list of photographers to watch and hopefully work with. (Have I told you I love my job?) 

Kerry Mansfield is a photographer I originally saw on Fraction Magazine and then met at a small portfolio review in San Francisco. As a result, I began representing her at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery. Since closing the gallery at the end of 2013, I still keep close watch on my people, and Kerry is a superstar. I mean, just look at this insert she included with her CSA photograph:

I first met Jennifer Greenburg in Lishui, China in 2011. I was one of the curators for a photography festival there, and Jennifer was an artist one of the other curators put in the show. But it wasn't until last year at Filter Photo Festival in Chicago that I got a deeper look at her work. She gave a fantastic artist talk at Schneider Gallery, who was doing a big exhibit of her Revising History project (the same project this CSA photograph is part of). The work is clever and fun and technically exceptional. From her project description, "Revising History is a series of manufactured images that I have created by replacing the individuals in vintage found-negatives with images of myself". I have loved working with her (she's the blond below).

Of course we all wanted to look like Peggy Castle at the Wagon West Party, 2014  by Jennifer Greenburg

Of course we all wanted to look like Peggy Castle at the Wagon West Party, 2014 by Jennifer Greenburg

If you missed the first two photographs, check them out here. And if you want to get in on the action for the next CSA round, keep your eyes (and inbox) peeled next month. Not on our email list? Shame. Run and do that here.

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CSA Photographer Shane Lavalette Interview

In June we launched an art CSA, which sold out in just two days. Six photographers were commissioned to make an image in an edition of 50, and we sold 50 shares for $350 each. Shareholders receive an original, signed and numbered photograph from each of the six commissioned photographers. A few weeks ago we shipped the first two photographs to shareholders.

Ready to Roll  by Shane Lavalette

Ready to Roll by Shane Lavalette

The photograph above, Ready to Roll by Shane Lavalette, was in the first shipment. We asked Shane to give his thoughts about being involved with the CSA and to explain his piece in the interview below.

1. Had you heard of an art CSA before? What were your impressions of the idea?

Though I've seen similar subscription services for art, I think it's the first time I've seen something branded as an art "CSA." It's a smart idea, community supported art. I've supported farms that way, and it's fun to get a selection of new veggies with each delivery. I think that same sort of sense of wonder and surprise is inherent in this project too. 

 

2. What about the program made you interested in being one of the participating artists?

I like the idea of affordable and unique print editions. When I was asked to participate, I instantly thought of doing a limited-edition poster—a beautiful printed object that could be framed and treated like a gallery print but might also inspire someone to treat more informally, and pin up on the wall. 

 

3. How has your experience been so far, and what else do you hope will come as a result of participating?

It was fun to create the edition specifically for the CSA, so I really hope that folks enjoy it. I think it's a great way to start collecting, so I hope to connect with many of the 'shareholders' who purchased the edition and perhaps keep in touch about other work and prints. I enjoy selling work, but more importantly I like to know someone truly enjoys a piece. That's all I can hope for.

 

4. Please tell us about the piece you created and how it fits within your larger body of work?

The image comes from the project I have been working on for the last few years, that began as a commission for the High Museum of Art in Atlanta in 2010. The work is about the relationship between music and the landscape of the American South, seen broadly. That photo was made at a car lot, and reminds me of the feeling of being on the road. If you look very closely, one of the balloons reads "Ready to Roll." 

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Photographer Heather Evans Smith Tells Us What It's Been Like to be Part of the First Crusade Supported Art (CSA)

In June we launched an art CSA, which sold out in just two days. Six photographers were commissioned to make an image in an edition of 50, and we sold 50 shares for $350 each. Shareholders receive an original, signed and numbered photograph from each of the six commissioned photographers. A few weeks ago we shipped the first two photographs to shareholders.

Reliquary  by Heather Evans Smith

Reliquary by Heather Evans Smith

The photograph above, Reliquary by Heather Evans Smith, was in the first shipment. We asked Heather to give her thoughts about being involved with the CSA and to explain her piece in the interview below.

 

1. Had you heard of an art CSA before? What were your impressions of the idea? 

I had never heard of a CSA in an art context. I was immediately drawn to the idea as an artist and beginning collector. I often come in contact with people who are interested in collecting but don't have the finances or know where to begin finding the right art for them. The Crusade for Art CSA is a wonderful way to affordably start a collection and introduce oneself to six very different photographers.

 

2. What about the program made you interested in being one of the participating artists?

I am honored to be included in the same program with the other five photographers. The idea of having 50 new collectors of my work is appealing. I also want to, if even in a small way, help introduce a new generation to collecting.

 

3. How has your experience been so far, and what else do you hope will come as a result of participating? 

So far the response has been positive. My hope is that more collectors will become familiar with my work and that the CSA shareholders will continue collecting as a result of the program.

 

4. Please tell us about the piece you created and how it fits within your larger body of work?

My CSA image, Reliquary, depicts religious type acts we perform with our children. Whether it be collecting those first locks of hair, teeth, or scribbles, they are treated as archival relics, symbols of a time that is all too fleeting. This image is part of my series Seen Not Heard.

Seen Not Heard takes its title from the Old English adage “To Be Seen and Not Heard”, a term often used in reference to the desired behavior of children. These images are silent, but they create a voluble visual narrative on the relationship between parent and child. They explore  cycles that are passed down through generations and the tension between tradition and forging a newer, and perhaps stronger, path. As strong as the bond between mother and daughter is, there also exists a distance inherent between two different individuals.

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The Big Reveal: Art CSA's First Photographs!

If you were one of the lucky 50 shareholders of the first round of Crusade Supported Art, you got some awesomeness in the mail last week! We shipped the first two original photographs, one by Shane Lavalette and the other by Heather Evans Smith. It was mighty challenging keeping these beauties under wraps, but the surprise is part of the fun!

Now that the secret is out, we can let everyone in on the big reveal:

"Reliquary" by Heather Evans Smith from the series "Seen Not Heard". Created for the CSA as a 12x18" image printed on 13x19" paper.

"Reliquary" by Heather Evans Smith from the series "Seen Not Heard". Created for the CSA as a 12x18" image printed on 13x19" paper.

"Ready to Roll" by Shane Lavalette. Created for the CSA as a 15x12" image printed on 19x15" paper.

"Ready to Roll" by Shane Lavalette. Created for the CSA as a 15x12" image printed on 19x15" paper.

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WonderRoot’s CSA for Art – Um, Yes Please

Oh WonderRoot, you so fill this advocate’s heart.  I was blown away by the Imaginary Million event which encouraged the collecting culture between Atlanta’s artists with an art exhibit and auction exclusively for artists (only the 100 participating artists were allowed to bid on the exhibited art with $10,000 imaginary dollars each).  And then!  Then they go and create a CSA – Community Supported Art. A traditional CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is also known as “subscription farming”.  You buy a subscription from a local farmer and in return you receive a “share” of fresh, locally grown or raised produce – most often a weekly box of goodies.

WonderRoot’s CSA works like this:  50 shares are made available to the public at $300 each.  This money is used to commission nine local artists to create a piece of art in an edition of 50.  Each shareholder will receive nine original works of art (one from each artist) throughout the year.

The artists are paid in advance to create work, 50 people receive beautiful original art, and invest in their local art ecology.  I think my head is going to explode.

WR_CSA_infographic3
WR_CSA_infographic3

This is a model that should be replicated all over.  In this case a community arts organization led the charge.  A group of artists could also collaborate and create their own CSA.  It is a win-win for everyone.  Go.  Do this.  Right now.

Looking for help creating your own innovative ideas to connect new audiences to your work?  That's what Crusade for Art is all about.  Read more here.

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