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Joshua Meier

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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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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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Flash Powder Projects Retreat #8!

from left:  Jared Soares, Sarah Pfohl, Sean Carroll, Joshua Meier
from left: Jared Soares, Sarah Pfohl, Sean Carroll, Joshua Meier

THIS group.  Whoa.  David and I just continue to be blown away by the photographers we work with.  Sure, we select them, so we know their work is strong.  But they are passionate and driven and creative, and when they come together, sparks fly.

We spent five days holed up in our cozy house and rode out the Polar Vortex by the fire.  It was kind of blissful.  We worked hard and well into the night, but we managed to squeeze in some rowdy fun too, especially if the ‘90s tunes were spinning.

We strongly encourage you to check out these flashers websites (redone as a result of the retreat or well on their way to being redone).  But if you don’t, we’re sure you’ll be seeing plenty of them soon.

Sean Carroll

Joshua Meier

Sarah Pfohl

Jared Soares

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