Viewing entries tagged
Joseph Wilcox


While You Were Out: Keeping up with .LDOC

It's been an exciting summer so far for Crusade for Art with the unveiling of our newest Engagement Grant recipient and the recent success of former winners. We decided to check in with 2015 Crusade Engagement winners Danielle and Joseph Wilcox to get caught up with the current happenings of their program LDOC.

LDOC boc, Chicago, IL. Image Source:  LDOC Blog

LDOC boc, Chicago, IL. Image Source: LDOC Blog

Since its inception and winning of last year's Crusade for Art Engagement Grant, LDOC has received a variety of recognition in various forms, as well as flourished as a platform for artists and writers to publish work for an audience outside of their typical circles. We have printed and distributed ten issues featuring twenty different individuals who have also received opportunities as a result of LDOC, including representation contacts, additional features of their work, and collaboration opportunities. In addition to our print version of LDOC, we publish each issue on the Issuu website which has already received hundreds of views.
Image Source:  LDOC Facebook Page

Image Source: LDOC Facebook Page

Our main goal when starting LDOC was to get photography and writing into the hands of Chicagoans who might not typically encounter either on their daily commute. This we have overwhelmingly accomplished. With the help of our LDOC newspaper boxes, and the volunteership of our photographers and writers through person-to-person distribution, LDOC has made its way into new homes and unexpected hands.
It has been a rewarding experience seeing the excited faces of commuters who have become regular readers of LDOC and hearing stories of success from our contributors. We look forward to the continued collaboration with artists and the evolution of LDOC as a publication and organization, and we are grateful to Crusade for Art for their financial support and confidence in the project.

- Joseph and Danielle Wilcox

Learn more about LDOC at their website
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Crusade for Art Chicago Mixes Pork and Photography

Reposted from the Crusade for Art Chicago blog (original post, October 15, 2015)

The members of the Crusade for Art Chicago Chapter held their first-ever Art-B-Q event on Sunday October 4, 2015. Taking over Heritage Bicycle General Store’s picnic area, the chapter’s members hosted a well-attended outing that included food, drinks, prizes and art photography.

The lot across the alley from Heritage was transformed into an outdoor installation of 34” vinyl prints from each of the chapter’s members. Artist and Crusade for Art Chicago member, Garrett Baumer dedicated nearly the entire 48-hour period before the event reducing more than 40 pounds of pork into about 15 pounds of pure barbeque gold.  The pork was served with sauce and homemade seasoned potato chips. When asked about the quality of the food, invited guest Nolan Narut, executive chef for the Windsor Restaurant summed it up in one word, “awesome!”

The Art-B-Q attendees purchased raffle tickets which also granted them free food and beverages. Each ticket was placed into a box next to editioned prints, yearlong postcard subscriptions and a bottle of Brand X, Baumer’s delectable barbecue sauce. Many of the guests stayed to see crusade member, Joseph Wilcox use his “teacher’s voice” to announce the winners. Matthew Crowther, who leads the Crusade for Art Chicago chapter remarked that the first Art-B-Q was a success and “it was so fantastic to see so many people getting together on a Sunday to have a good time and talk about art."

Crusade for Art's mission is to engage new audiences with art. Our work is about developing and supporting innovative initiatives that create demand for art and opportunities to collect it. The members of Crusade for Art Chicago include Garrett Baumer, Matt Crowther, Barbara Deiner, Jonathan Lurie, Julie Weber and Joseph Wilcox.



2015 Engagement Grant Winner Launches Project

Danielle and Joseph Wilcox won our $10,000 Crusade Engagement Grant for their installment-based newsprint publication, which pairs artists and writers in each issue and is distributed to commuters on Chicago's Red Line train. The post below gives the inside scoop on last weekend's project launch.

Project Launch and First Issue Debut

by Danielle Wilcox
originally posted October 9, 2015 on the LDOC blog

This week LDOC sees the light of day, or, the light of Chicago’s Red Line.

Last Saturday we launched with a celebration among friends, colleagues, photographers and writers in Chicago’s own CHI PRC. We had a blast, drank custom-made Red Line Rye-PA, listened to the words of our featured writers, and previewed photography from issues to come.

Eric Hazen reading from Issue 01.01

Eric Hazen reading from Issue 01.01

Left to Right: Sahar Mustafah, Danielle Wilcox, Eric Hazen, Joseph Wilcox, Amy Giacalone

Left to Right: Sahar Mustafah, Danielle Wilcox, Eric Hazen, Joseph Wilcox, Amy Giacalone

Thank you all who came out and supported LDOC! We feel lucky to have garnered such a large network over the last three years. Check back here for future events pertaining to the publication.

Monday the 5th marked the first distribution of LDOC, featuring artist Nathan Pearce and writer Eric Hazen.

Joe and I started at the Red Line’s 69th St. station on Chicago’s south side at 7am. There’s nothing like handing out something, for the first time, to a stranger. Luckily after two issues were delivered to hands, the job was a breeze.

Joseph at 69th St. Red Line Stop

Joseph at 69th St. Red Line Stop

All of our volunteers were warmly received at their locations and look forward to next Monday when we’ll distribute the second installment of October’s artist and writer.

Last, missed an LDOC? We’ll be publishing a list of coffee shops near the Red Line stops where you can pick up an LDOC if you miss a distribution, and, as always, subscriptions are available for purchase here.  



Crusade for Art Announces 2015 Engagement Grant Winner

Jennifer Schwartz, Executive Director of Crusade for Art, is excited to announce the winner of the second year’s $10,000 Crusade Engagement Grant, awarded annually to the applicant with the best idea for engaging new audiences with fine art photography.   


Jennifer said, “Last year’s project has been so successful that I am especially pleased to have another grant project this year with the potential to achieve that level of attention and overall success.”   

The 2015 Crusade Engagement Grant winning project is called “.LDOC,” the centerpiece of which is a free weekly newsprint publication developed by Danielle and Joseph Wilcox. .LDOC will put 2-part photo essays and creative writing directly into the hands of Chicago Red Line commuters, creating an accessible, installment-based art experience for the Chicago commuter. “Our target audience, the 9-5 Chicago employee, would have .LDOC with them on their way to and/or from work, creating for them a moment of respite, artistic awareness, and as Picasso says, a moment to wash away the dust from everyday life.”

Out of hundreds of initial applications for the grant, a group of ten finalists were selected.  These finalists all proposed promising and innovative projects.  The entire list of finalists can be seen here. These finalists’ proposals were reviewed by an esteemed jury of photographic professionals, including Alison Zavos (Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Feature Shoot), Brian Sholis (Associate Curator of Photography at Cincinnati Museum of Art), and Ann Jastrab (Gallery Director at RAYKO Photo Center of San Francisco). .LDOC was selected was selected for its wide scope of engagement, giving a large number and variety of people exposure to art on an on-going basis.

Juror Brian Sholis says, “LDOC was the proposal that best balanced effective cost management and distribution with artistic quality. It imagined a captive, repeat audience for the publication and has the potential for long-term sustainability. It is an ambitious but exciting project.”

The Crusade Engagement Grant was created to foster the exploration of innovative programs to connect new audiences to photography. The grant will underwrite the full execution of the Wilcoxs’ idea. Danielle and Joseph say, “We are humbled to be given the opportunity to showcase Chicago photographers and writers to such a wide audience, and we look forward to helping the 9-5 commuter find time in their daily life for art.”

Sample .LDOC publication that will be distributed to Chicago Red Line commuters

Sample .LDOC publication that will be distributed to Chicago Red Line commuters



2015 Grant Finalist Interview: .LDOC

.LDOC is proposed by Joseph Wilcox and Danielle Wilcox

How did you hear about the grant, and what inspired you to propose this specific project for the Crusade for Art grant?

I originally heard of the grant last year through the Chicago Artist Resource. I thought it was really cool that an organization was donating $10,000 just to help artists engage audiences with artwork. I really enjoyed the DIY grassroots aspect to the organization and this fit with my ethos. I applied last year, and was ultimately unsuccessful, but came back this year with an even better proposal. My wife and I have always appreciated accessible and unpretentious art efforts and had discussed doing some kind of public distribution of a publication geared towards art and writing. When the grant cycle came up for this year, we jumped on the chance to pitch our idea to Crusade for Art.

What is the most engaging art event/collecting event you’ve been to?

One that immediately comes to mind is an Art Battle held in Detroit, MI that we participated in. At this event, organizers rented out a huge warehouse space, split the space up amongst artists, and then allowed artists to create live for viewers. The viewers voted on their favorite art piece at the end of the event and that artist or team won $1,000. This was a great way to turn art into a live event where people can watch the artistic process. It gave the audience ownership over the value of the artwork.

How do you think artists should play a role in educating the public or their audience about their art or art in general?

It depends on the artist. If you are an artist that benefits from the idea that art should be expensive and elite, then you probably shouldn’t educate the common public about art. This could hurt your profit margins. But if you are an artist who believes in the idea that art should be accessible, both financially and conceptually, then it is important for artists to engage the public in a way that fits into each individual’s understanding of what art is and what art means.

Why do you think many people find art intimidating, and how can we lower the perceptual barriers to entry for collecting art (and specifically photography)?

Art can be intimidating for a lot of reasons. The places where art is held often feels exclusive, like you need to be part of a club to go there. Artists are portrayed as geniuses knowing something we don’t. Also, a lot of art doesn’t make sense. At least not until you understand the language of art. And every media has its own rules: brush strokes have meaning in a painting, a camera angle in film. It can be hard for someone who hasn’t learned or studied art to have a point of entry to engage with work.

Our project tries to create this point of entry. By using photography, a media many people are familiar with; text, a linguistic tool people communicate through; and newsprint, a familiar and unintimidating material, we hope to create an experience where people can start to develop an understanding of what art means, both to them and at large.