Crusade Conversations is an interview series featuring artists, curators, gallerists, and collectors who are innovating and working to build new audiences for art.

Originally an audio podcast series, Crusade Conversations has expanded to include short videos and Google On Air Hangout interviews.

Know an innovator to be featured? Please send us your suggestion!

#weloveatl: October 9, 2013

Crusade Conversations:  #weloveatl

Last week I had the opportunity to sit down for a Google Hangout On-Air with the creative foursome behind #weloveatl - an instagram hashtag turned populist movement.

The goal of #weloveatl is to bring the citizens of Atlanta together to tell simple and authentic photographic stories of their love for the city and the people that inhabit it. Founded by local Atlanta photographers Tim Moxley, Aaron Coury, Keith Weaver, and Brandon Barr as a community-driven mobile photography gallery show, #weloveatl is a celebration of Atlanta's streets brought to Atlanta's streets with a "food truck for photography."


Around the Block Series

In this series we asked noted photographers, collectors, writers and curators this question: "What are the qualities that make an image really stick with you?" And we asked while they were driving Lady Blue around the block. (Or if the drive was not an option, we had an adorable miniature to be involved in her place.)

Around the Block with Fred Bidwell

This "Around the Block" features Fred Bidwell - Cleveland-area contemporary photography collector, generous patron of the arts, and mastermind (along with his wife, Laura) of Transformer Station - a new contemporary art space in Cleveland's West Side, built to house and exhibit the Bidwells' extensive collection.


Around the Block with Brian Ulrich


This "Around the Block" features photographer Brian Ulrich. Brian Ulrich was born 1971 in Northport, NY. His photographs portraying contemporary consumer culture reside in major museum collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography. Ulrich earned his MFA in photography at Columbia College Chicago and a BFA in photography at the University of Akron. He is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Photography and Film department.

Around the Block with Rebecca Norris-Webb and Alex Webb

This "Around the Block" features Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb - photographers, collaborators, book-makers, spouses, and all-around talented pair.


Around the Block with Phil Toledano

Phillip Toledano was born in London to a French Moroccan mother, and an American father. He believes that photographs should be like unfinished sentences. There should always be space for questions. Phillip’s work is socio-political, and varies in medium, from photography to installation.


Michael Schmelling: October 10, 2012

Crusade Conversations: Michael Schmelling

Michael Schmelling is the author of three photo books, Shut Up Truth (New York: J+L Books, 2002), The Week Of No Computer (New York: TV Books, 2008), and The Plan (New York: J+L Books, 2009). Schmelling was also the principal photographer of The Wilco Book (New York: Picturebox, 2004). The Plan (New York: J+L Books, 2009) which Schmelling also designed, was a book award finalist at both Photo Espana, Madrid and Rencontres d’Arles, France in 2009. His newest book, about hip hop in Atlanta, will be published by Chronicle Books in 2010. Schmelling’s work has been included in numerous group shows internationally. He lives and works in New York.


Chris Appleton: October 6, 2012

Crusade Conversations: Chris Appleton


Chris Appleton is co-founder and Executive Director of WonderRoot. WonderRoot is an Atlanta-based non-profit arts and service organization with a mission to unite artists and community to inspire positive social change. Through his work at WonderRoot, Chris works to use the arts as a means of building community while affecting issues of health, social justice, environmental justice and youth development in Atlanta.

Chris is an Atlanta native and alumnus of Georgia State University where he studied Creative Writing. Chris currently serves on the Board of Directors for Atlanta Celebrates Photography as the Governance Chair. Additionally, he serves on the Atlanta BeltLine’s Public Art and Historic Preservation Advisory Board.

A leader and voice for progressive change in Atlanta, Chris is a member of the 2013 Class of LEAD Atlanta, a fellow with the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers program and in the 2013 Class of New Leaders Council. Previously, Chris served as the founding Board President of Burnaway, an Atlanta-based arts and culture publication. In 2011, Chris received the Emory Center for Creativity and the Arts Community Impact Award. Additionally, he was named Top 30 Under 30 in 2009.

Beyond Chris’ professional work, he is an avid supporter of animal rights, lover of the outdoors and amateur vegan chef.


S. Gayle Stevens

Gayle Stevens

Crusade Conversations: Suburban Wet Plate with S. Gayle Stevents

S. Gayle Stevens has worked in antiquarian processes for over fifteen years. Her chosen medium is wet plate collodion for its fluidity and individuality; she especially delights in the flaws. Using modified Holgas and cameraless photography; she produces small wet plate tintypes. She exhibits extensively across the United States.  Stevens received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. Stevens, named one of the Critical Mass Top Fifty Photographers for 2010; received second place in the Lens Culture International Exposure Awards in 2011. Stevens has been featured in Fraction , Square, Shots ,  Diffusion  and Fuzion magazines.  A member of the When Pigs Fly photo collective, she divides her time shooting in Pass Christian Mississippi and Downers Grove, Illinois where she currently  resides. Stevens is represented by Tilt Gallery in Phoenix Arizona.


Tristan Hummel: August 29, 2012

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Crusade Conversations: Tristan Hummel

As an undergraduate student at SAIC, Tristan Hummel (BFA 2009) read an article about how anyone can charter a CTA “L” train, and an idea took root. Hummel debuted Art on Track during his junior year, turning a chartered “L” train into an alternative art venue and bringing the work of more than 200 emerging artists to the Chicago Loop for one day in the fall.



Crusade Conversations: Jonathan Blaustein


Jonathan Blaustein is an artist, writer and educator based in Taos, New Mexico. He studied Economics and History at Duke University, before receiving an MFA in Photography from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He has exhibited widely in the US, and his photographs reside in several important collections, including the Library of Congress, the State of New Mexico, and the Brooklyn Museum, MOPA, the UNM Art Museum, and the New Mexico Museum of Art.

Jonathan’s work focuses on the intersection of Economic Theory, Globalization, Commodification, and Culture in the 21st Century. His most recent project, “The Value of a Dollar,” was published by the New York Times in 2010, and subsequently went viral on the Internet. Ultimately, the conceptual project was seen by millions of people around the world, creating dialogue about the manner in which food represents deeper issues of wealth, class, power and health.

“MINE,” his new conceptual photo series, is currently being exhibited at the NM Arts Centennial Project Space on the plaza in Santa Fe.

He also writes about photography and culture for A Photo Editor, an influential blog for the global photography industry. Look for his Friday photo book review column at


Crusade Conversations: Aline Smithson


After a career as a New York Fashion Editor and working along side the greats of fashion photography, Aline Smithson discovered the family Rolleiflex and never looked back. Now represented by galleries across the country and published throughout the world, Aline continues to create her award-winning photography with humor, compassion, and a 50-year-old camera. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including the PDN Photo Annual, Communication Arts Photo Annual, Eyemazing, Artworks, Lenswork Extended, Shots, Pozytyw, and Silvershotz magazines. She has exhibited widely including solo shows at the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, The Tagomago Gallery in Barcelona, and Wallspace Gallery in Seattle. Aline has been the Gallery Editor for Light Leaks Magazine, writes and edits the blog, Lenscratch, is a contributing writer for Diffusion ,Too Much Chocolate, Lucida, and F Stop Magazines, writes book reviews for photoeye, and has been curating exhibitions for a number of galleries and on-line magazines. She was a 2009 and 2010 juror for Critical Mass, and a reviewer at Review LA in 2010 and 2011. Though she was nominated for The Excellence in Photographic Teaching Award in 2008, 2009, and 2010 and for The Santa Fe Prize in Photography in 2009 by Center, she considers her children her greatest achievement.


Crusade Conversations: Phil Toledano


Phillip Toledano was born in London to a French Moroccan mother, and an American father. He believes that photographs should be like unfinished sentences. There should always be space for questions.

Phillip’s work is socio-political, and varies in medium, from photography to installation.

His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times magazine, The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, Wallpaper, The London Times, The Independent Magazine, Le Monde, and Interview, amongst others.