Viewing entries tagged
Fraction Magazine


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.



FOCAL POINT Q2.14 Interview: Sebastian Collett

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.

The arc of my photography career has been pretty unconventional, just like the rest of my life!

As a teenager, I was training to become a concert pianist.  I discovered photography in high school, thanks to the local college art library.  I hid books by Friedlander, Fink, Frank and Hockney inside my textbooks, so I could study them during class.  Photography offered an escape from the mundane prison of high school – a portal to faraway worlds. I taught myself to develop film and print in a 50 square foot darkroom cooperative.  As soon as the school day was over, I would run to the darkroom to discover what my camera had captured. Sometime I just sat there in silence, as you would in a sensory deprivation tank. The darkroom was my sanctuary.

I fully intended to major in music at Bard College.  But I was lucky enough to end up in a freshman photo class with Stephen Shore, and I never looked back. After graduating, rather than going to Yale, or interning with a famous photographer in New York, I decided to travel the world.  I spent time in queer alternative communities, did social work, lived in Europe, and played piano.  All the while I photographed prolifically, yet privately, showing my work to no one.  I could have become Vivian Maier, but instead I went to grad school.  I was finally ready to share my work with the world.  Since completing my MFA, I've been putting myself out there like never before.  Online platforms like Fraction Magazine and Crusade for Art have been an awesome part of this "coming out" process...

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

I'm at a very exciting point in my career.  The great thing about being a "late bloomer", is that when you finally decide to step into the spotlight, you have a wealth of lived experience, which adds a depth and breadth to your work.  So in that sense, I'm exactly where I want to be in my career.  That said, I would like to be represented by an ambitious gallery, to have more group and solo exhibitions, to join more private and museum collections, to publish several books, and to have a teaching job where I can share my passion with a group of dedicated young photographers.  I can feel that many of these things are right around the corner –– sometimes I wonder if I will bloom or explode!

What are your goals for 2014?

2014 has been the best year of my life. I've already accomplished more this year than I expected to, and it's far from over!  I was thrilled to be awarded a residency at Hambidge, and grant from Light Work.  I've been included in shows at the Houston Center for Photography, Aperture Gallery, and the Philadelphia Art Museum, and I look forward to more.  I am working on a new book, and I just had a promising meeting with an awesome publisher. I would like to collaborate with other photographers, for both shooting and publishing projects. I would also like to have more editorial assignments and commissions, and so I welcome all suggestions and proposals!



Flash Powder Retreat #6 - Explosive!

August 6-11 marked the sixth Flash Powder Projects retreat.  Five photographers were invited to participate based on the quality of their work and their ability and willingness to contribute to the group.  And these guys? Home run. The five day, four night retreats are designed to help photographers tighten a body of work and develop a strategic plan to release it.  But that's just the tip of the iceberg.  We all leave exhausted, inspired, and ready to rock.  I am so fortunate to get to do what I do.

Take a minute to check out the work of this talented and diverse group:

David Kressler

Shannon Leith

Emma Powell

Nick Shepard

Tristan Spinski

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



LPS Spotlight: Sara Macel

Since the photographers featured in the Local Photographer Showcases in each city are supremely talented and excited about reaching new audiences with their work, we will be regularly featuring them to give you more insight into their work and their experience Crusading. Next up is Sara Macel from the Brooklyn pop-up:

Tell us a little about your background as a photographer and where you are now with your work.

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, I left home to study photography in New York when I was eighteen.  I got my undergrad BFA in Photo & Imaging at NYU in 2003 and my MFA in Photography, Video, & Related Media from SVA in 2011. Between my undergrad and graduate degrees, I worked as Bruce Davidson's studio manager and as a still photo producer at Art Department while working on my personal projects and exhibiting my work around NYC and Brooklyn.  After getting my MFA in 2011, I began teaching photography at Rockland College upstate and shooting my own editorial and advertising shoots to help support my personal work.  My first monograph, "May the Road Rise to Meet You," is coming out in Sept 2013 from Daylight Books.  There's going to be a big launch party and panel talk on Sept. 21, 2013 at United Photo Industries, and I'm kicking off the exhibition and book tour with a show at Daylight's project space in Hillsborough, NC in late Sept-early Oct.

How did you hear about the Crusade, and what were your initial impressions?

I met Jennifer at Fotofest in 2012.  She wasn't on my list of reviewers, but I knew about her and her gallery and wanted to make that connection, so I emailed her before the event asking if she could make a little time for me, and she was so gracious and said yes.  During our meeting, she gave me some of the most helpful and honest advice I got the whole review and helped connect me with David Bram of Fraction Magazine who then featured my work in Issue 39.  In the months that followed, Jennifer and David invited me to their Flash Powder retreat in Astoria, which I attended earlier this year.  I knew about the Crusade from the beginning and followed its adventures, but it was at the retreat that I got to meet Lady Blue and become even more invested in supporting Jennifer and her vision.  I was so happy when Jennifer asked me to take part in the Brooklyn Crusade soon after getting home from Astoria.  I think it's a really creative way to get people into the idea of collecting art and meeting artists.  And most artists I know are eager to build an audience for their work but not really sure where to start.  I knew it might be a little awkward to walk up to a stranger on the street and say "Are you interested in collecting some art for free today?" And it was!  But it was also a great exercise in practicing my "elevator pitch" and hang out more with Jennifer, which is my definition of a win-win.

Were you excited to participate in the Local Photographer Showcase?  Why or why not?

Hell yeah! I love being part of Lady Blue's journey. It taught me a lot about creating your own buzz and finding ways to reach people so that they too become invested in your project.  With my book coming out in September, it was fun to tell random people on the street about it.  I brought a notebook and got names and emails of the folks I talked to about my work.  For the people who walked away with my print, that's just even more incentive for them to check out and hopefully buy the book when it comes out.

How did the event go for you?  Was it like you expected or different?  Better or worse?  

It was disappointing that the van couldn't join us in Brooklyn for mechanical reasons, but overall I was really excited about the people I met and who walked away with my prints.  The first couple I met and shared my work with already collect photography from local DUMBO photo gallery Klompching, so that was great!  And right after I talked with them for a few minutes, I met a female artist and we talked about making work and getting it out in the world.  Despite the heat, I met some great people and really enjoyed hanging out with my fellow artists and Jennifer. The post-Crusade drink with the gang was also a highlight.

What do you hope will come out of the experience for you - personally and professionally?  Do you think those are realistic expectations?

Jennifer is a powerhouse of great ideas, so it was worth it just to talk with her more about my book project and brainstorm ways of spreading the word about that.  By getting contact details for the people I met, I helped grow my audience for future events, books, and shows.  And if a print sale comes from this, that would just be the cherry on top of the sundae.  In the end, I just like being part the Crusade for Collecting family, and if any future collectors come out of it, great!

Tell us about the image you gave away at the event and how to see more of your work.

The image I contributed is from my series "May the Road Rise to Meet You." The project is about my father's life on the road selling telephone poles, and the image, titled "Recognition Lifts the Human Spirit, Spring, Texas," is a bird's-eye view of his desk at home.  The title of this image comes from an inspirational phrase he wrote to himself on his day planner. More info about the book can be found on my website and at The book launch party will be Sept. 21 in Brooklyn at United Photo Industries, and all summer until October you can see images from my series "Rodeo Texas" along The Fence at Brooklyn Bridge Park ( sponsored by Photoville and UPI. Please sign up for my mailing list on my website for more updates and follow me on Instagram and Twitter @saramacel.



Give the Gift of Original Art

. . . the gift that keeps on giving. . . Every year Fraction Magazine holds a Holiday Print Sale, offering special editions of small prints (most are 8.5 x 11) at affordable prices (average of $95) from photographers who have been featured on the online magazine.

Scrolling through the 94 items (both photographs and photobooks) is like a who's who of photographers I adore. I had so many items in my shopping cart, I thought the site would crash. And just like every other year, I over-spent, but felt good that I could put money directly in the pockets of photographers I admire.

So check it out! The sale runs through December 31, and all photographs are shipped within 5 days of purchase.




If you have read a number of my older blog posts, you know that I have a love affair with Oregon (for example: Portland, Will You Marry Me?). But I have just spent over a week in Portland and Astoria, and since I left my husband at the helm of the house to take care of three kids, he strongly suggested that coming home and mentioning how much I love it there would be a serious misstep of goodwill and appreciation. So I won’t do that. . .   . . .

. . .

The reason for my trip to the totally average Pacific Northwest? David Bram (Fraction Magazine) and I hosted the Roundtable Retreat where six invited photographers came to participate in a four-day, five-night retreat on the Oregon coast.

The goal was for each photographer to strengthen and package a portfolio of work and develop a plan to strategically launch a project. We all stayed together in a quirky house, Real World-style – all the cameras, confessionals and late night debauchery but sadly no hot tub.

Photographers were invited to participate based on their work, experience and willingness to share and explore as a group. The intimate nature of the retreat was designed to foster community and create dialog around the work, as each participant brings different perspectives and ideas. And it rocked. Seriously rocked.

The group came together both personally and creatively in the most amazing way.  They became the Astoria Six, replete with a logo and nicknames.  David and I led discussions, critiques and instruction (on topics like social media, writing an artist statement, how to find your audience, what makes a good website and the artist-gallery relationship).  We even managed to scout out various Goonies filming locations and take a spin on a carousel.  You know, serious stuff.

I feel like I sound like an artist statement myself if I talk about the in-between moments being the most salient ones, but after hashing out nearly ten statements in half as many days, I guess that’s understandable. And nevertheless, that is the truth. The times spent informally discussing art and life and fears and successes were some of the most productive and gratifying moments of the week.

Although I was one of the “leaders”, I came away from this experience feeling inspired and recharged in a way I did not expect. So to the Astoria Six – I am grateful for your light and your humor, your talent and your energy. Thank you for giving as much as you got and for being unforgettable.

The Astoria Six:

Sexy Camera (Tatiana Wills), Cookie (Kurt Simonson), Bugle Bill (Bill Vaccaro), 5am Randi (Randi Lynn Beach), Dawnology (Dawn Roe), Fancy Bram (David Bram) and Vaguery (Sean Dana)

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