I am being driven forward
Into an unknown land.
The pass grows steeper,
The air colder and sharper.
A wind from my unknown goal
Stirs the strings
Still the question:
Shall I ever get there?
There where life resounds,
A clear pure note
In the silence.
On Sunday the 12th I said goodbye to Columbus and headed north to Decatur just outside of Atlanta. I was hosted by my dear friend Judy who I met the very first day of my freshman year at Duke and we've been friends for 40 years!
She was an exquisite hostess and I was excited about staying in one place for a week. She even had a loaner cat for me named Luckie! I am really missing Ellen and Jaco and Joni.
There is an incredibly art scene in the Atlanta area. I had set up a bunch of meetings in advance. I met first with Jennifer Schwartz who runs the unique and innovative Crusade for Art. She indeed is a one woman crusade to expand the collector base and market for emerging photographic artists. Check out her site and see the cool programs she has initiated. One is a $10,000 annual grant to the person who proposes the most innovative way to expand the market for photography. My favorite winner is the 2014 Start with Art program. I'd love to start a program like it in Durham in my spare time.
On Tuesday I had a studio visit with photographer Jerry Siegel. I love Jerry's work but I had never met him.
One of his incredibly potent portrait pieces was in the Do Good Show that we had at Cassilhaus. He is a very sweet guy and he showed me several bodies of work that I had never seen before.
He also gave me his stunning monograph Facing South featuring his portraits of southern artists.
Later in the day I visited AIR Serenbe, the artist in residence program associated with the planned Serenbe community Southwest of Atlanta. I met with the Executive Director Brandon Hinman and learned of their innovative funding model for their Focus Fellowships and there incredible National Advisory Board that proposes and selects artists.
I've done a fair amount of research on residency programs for this trip and one that kept coming up was the Hambidge Center Residency located on a stunning 600 acre site in far North Georgia right on the NC border. it is the oldest residency program in the Southeast and was started by Mary Hambidge in 1934. 8-10 artists come at a time and form a cohort that shares a meal multiple nights a week. This dynamic interaction is something we don't have at Cassilhaus because we can accommodate only 1 artist or a collaborating couple at a time and it was energizing to witness. The executive director Jamie Badoud lives in Atlanta and travels the two hours up to Hambidge every other week and he generously offered to drive with me up there so I could pick his brain and also offered to put me up for the night. We were joined by his brand new director of developement Kate who was also making her first trip there.
Jamie saw my big camera bag and asked if I would make some photos of the artists in their studios that they could use on their website. Here The Kates, a new music and contemporary dance collaboration duo, talk about their process with Jamie.
Several of the artists in the current cohort have been at Hambidge before. Returning multi-media artist from Atlanta Ashley Anderson was working on a cyanotype project involving video game imagery.
One of the things that I was most excited about in visiting Hambidge was that Jamie and his Board have just completed a strategic visioning process for the next 3 years and that is the process I am just beginning to think about. Jamie was very generous in sharing his experience in so many areas of interest for me. On the way back to Atlanta Jamie treated me to a fabulous detour to Mountain House Modern, the Scogin/Elam designed home of one of their supporters. Chester and Steven gave us the grand tour!
On Friday I had an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G meeting with Amy Miller, the Executive Director of Atlanta Celebrates Photography. I didn't go there to talk with her about my work with our own Click! photography festival but rather just to meet her and pick her brain about residency and art center programs of interest but she spent a ton of time giving me valuable insights and experience in dealing with the growth of a photo festival. They are way further along in their development than the fledgling Click! Festival and her help was invaluable.
The star of our visit was a stainless steel piece by Anish Kapoor from 2010.
That's all for now. I'm off to Alabama!
"A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.” – Diane Arbus