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Walk Away With Art, Send Me Off With Love

I am so fortunate to be part of such a warm and supportive community.  The last few nights have been incredible - a small send-off party co-hosted by a dear friend and a long-time project supporter on Tuesday night, and then the big Walk Away With Art Party + Fundraiser on Wednesday night.  I am exhausted and glowing and ready to hit the road. Here's the language from the Walk Away invite, to give you an idea of the awesomeness:

Walk away with an original piece of art from one of Atlanta's hottest emerging artists and support an important arts-forward cause at the same time.  

This is your chance to party it up in style and then literally take the art off the walls when you go.  For $100 per person ($125/couple) you can be a part of this unique event.  It's going down Wednesday, March 27 from 7 to 10pm at the W, Midtown.  

Fifty pieces of art (five each from ten Atlanta artists) will be on display and ready to hit the door with you.  Walk Away ticket holders will draw a number that determines the order they can select from the fifty pieces.  (Any white-elephanting or bartering that happens after the selection is on you!)

Walk-Away-Artist-Collage
Walk-Away-Artist-Collage

Supporter tickets are also available at $25 per person.  While you won't be able to snag a piece from the Walk Away, you will being able to enjoy the party, and there will be plenty of amazing pieces of art to bid on during the silent art auction.

On deck are complimentary drinks, live turntable action, and a silent auction, which also benefits Crusade for Collecting.

It was absolutely the most fun.  Since I typically just work with photography, it was really exciting to have a chance to collaborate with Atlanta artists of different mediums, all of whom I have long-admired and in many cases can call myself their collector.  We also were fortunate to have great sponsors - W Hotel Midtown, Binders Art, Cathead Vodka and The Atlantan.  Also a special thank you goes out to Liz Lapidus PR for doing a great job promoting the event and even landing me this tv interview!

All photographs taken by the talented Joey Appie: http://www.joeyappiephotography.com

artist-huddle
artist-huddle
Stuart Shapiro from Binders and his wife check out the silent art auction pieces
Stuart Shapiro from Binders and his wife check out the silent art auction pieces
Cathead Vodka sponsored the event and mixed up the “Crusade Cocktail”
Cathead Vodka sponsored the event and mixed up the “Crusade Cocktail”
More silent art auction lookers
More silent art auction lookers
Guests could sponsor different items for the tour and hang their selection on the nails on this poster (see next image).
Guests could sponsor different items for the tour and hang their selection on the nails on this poster (see next image).
For different dollar amounts, guests could sponsor certain things for the tour. For example: “Choose the theme song for the tour”, “Put a bird on it in Portland”, “Caffeinate me for the tour”, “Sponsor a tow”, etc. (This is an image from my iphone, not one of Joey’s pro shots!)
For different dollar amounts, guests could sponsor certain things for the tour. For example: “Choose the theme song for the tour”, “Put a bird on it in Portland”, “Caffeinate me for the tour”, “Sponsor a tow”, etc. (This is an image from my iphone, not one of Joey’s pro shots!)
Each of the Walk Away artists spoke for a few minutes about their work. Nathan Sharratt gives us some insight here.
Each of the Walk Away artists spoke for a few minutes about their work. Nathan Sharratt gives us some insight here.
Rapt Audience
Rapt Audience
Meghan and I call out the numbers. Background: When guests arrived and checked in, they selected a tile. Each tile had a number on the back, from one to fifty. The number you choose is the order you get to select any of the fifty pieces of original art. So if you chose number one, you are psyched (no trading). If you chose number fifty, not so much (although with such talented artists, you would be lucky to have any of the fifty pieces!).
Meghan and I call out the numbers. Background: When guests arrived and checked in, they selected a tile. Each tile had a number on the back, from one to fifty. The number you choose is the order you get to select any of the fifty pieces of original art. So if you chose number one, you are psyched (no trading). If you chose number fifty, not so much (although with such talented artists, you would be lucky to have any of the fifty pieces!).
I shouldn’t be allowed to have a microphone.
I shouldn’t be allowed to have a microphone.
Another happy collector (with a Kevin Byrd piece)
Another happy collector (with a Kevin Byrd piece)

It was a fantastic night of art, but also for me personally, it was wonderful to experience such an outpouring of support and encouragement.  I intend to do you proud Atlanta!

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New Orleans – Lady Blue’s Epic Adventure

While the Crusade Tour officially, officially launches early next spring, the Atlanta and New Orleans stops were preview stops to build momentum and test the road-worthiness of Lady Blue. This, my friends – this was a really good idea.

While the Lady made it to the piazza of Atlanta’s High Museum of Art from my driveway (also in Atlanta) and back without a problem, the drive to and from New Orleans was a bit more eventful.  Luckily, my co-pilot (who actually ended up doing all of the driving) is a very competent driver and also mechanically-inclined.  Those of you who know us know that David Bram and I give each other a lot of grief (towards him, deserved – towards me, not so much), but I will flat-out say that he rocked this trip, and I would still be sitting on a curb an hour outside Atlanta if it weren’t for him.

David flew in from Albuquerque on Thursday afternoon, and I picked him up in Lady Blue and got right on the road.  The back-roads were taking forever, and we decided to let her loose on the interstate.  Windows down, music pumping – the adventure had begun!  But we were barely into the second song of the road trip mix when she started bucking and decelerating.  And so.

We stopped.  We called the mechanic.  We added gas.  We added oil.  We added fuel injection cleaner.  We started.  We stopped.  We tried to start, and she refused.  We cursed her.  We encouraged her.  We begged her.  David laughed.  I cried.  We carried on.

This pattern continued all the way into New Orleans on Friday night, with several stops to change a fuel filter, an air filter, and give her breaks.  Each time we stopped, people came up to the Lady to admire her and ask, “What are you collecting?” (after seeing the Crusade logo on the side).  It was an unexpected and awesome opportunity to talk a little art along the way.

Once we arrived in New Orleans and got her into the valet line at the W New Orleans (who so generously hosted us), we were able to breathe a sigh of relief (although the valet guys had the opposite reaction).

New Orleans’ annual photography festival, PhotoNOLA, was this weekend as well, and as always I was impressed with the programming, the quality of work (this year may have been the best yet) of the photographers in attendance and the positive, creative atmosphere of this festival.  On Saturday I gave a talk at the Ogden Museum about the Crusade and how photographers can use innovative programming to build an audience for their work.  Thank you to everyone who came out – it was a blast.

And then – the big night!  We pulled Lady Blue up in front of Dirty Coast’s new store on Julia Street and let the crusading begin.  Like at the Atlanta pop-up, we had 6×9 photographs from local photographers to give away in the Local Photographer Showcase, and all of those photographers were present to engage with passerby’s about their work.  And also like in Atlanta, people were blown away that they could choose between ten amazing images for free, and meet the photographer as an extra-special bonus.

Unlike the relatively tame daytime traffic in and out of the High Museum in Atlanta, nighttime on the streets of New Orleans is a totally different ballgame.  We had a great crowd pass through from start to finish and so many people generously donated to the cause or purchased t-shirts and other Crusade swag.  I loved every minute of it, and Lady Blue seemed to like the attention (and her blue mardi gras beads), because she was a little bit less of a diva on the return trip.

Onward!

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