Carpe Diem Out of Mothballs

I pulled “Carpe Diem”, out of storage a couple of days ago and I’m now in the process of getting it cleaned up and ready for our next road trip. The past seven months have been a longer than usual stay at home for us and we are so ready to get back on the road. Our last trip was a relatively short one. Only about a month. We traveled to So. California and Arizona to attend the gathering of the RV tribes in Quartzsite, AZ. Quartzsite is a small town on Interstate 10 just over the CA/AZ border where most all the RV’er in the country (or so it seems) come in January and February to hang out in the sunshine. The town expands from around 3000 people to over a million for that timespan and I thought it might be a good way to see if my idea for a project had any merit. The trip went really well. We met up with a tribe of fellow Lazy Dazer’s and we spent time getting to know new friends and making photographs. For me, it was a test to see if I could make portraits in a way that conveys the lifestyle of the full-time RV’er. They are the root of my latest project, New American Nomads. I have come away knowing I’ve got a viable and interesting subject and plan to shoot heavily for it durning the next 2 1/2 months that we will be in the Pacific Northwest.

Since Monday when I picked up the LD, I’ve managed to get it washed and waxed and serviced – all time consuming ventures. Getting the blog updated and a newsletter out are my next tasks. I also have to get the yard further cleaned up, start gathering all the items I need to bring along for the next couple of months and get packed and loaded. Also, on Friday, I’ve been invited to a special portfolio review hosted by RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco. This is a juried event where only 10 participants are invited for a 30 minute review with Ann Jastrab of RayKo, David Bram of Fraction Magazine in New Mexico, and Jennifer Schwartz from The Jennifer Schwartz Gallery in Atlanta. I’ve met both Ann and David previously, but this will be the first time for Jennifer. She is trying to come up with a new model for selling photography since the traditional model of strictly bricks and mortar seems to be on the wane. She has come up with The Ten. According to the website,

The Ten is a highly curated monthly online exhibit of ten photographic images. The artwork you see is only available on The Ten and will never be for sale in any other location. One size, one price, one opportunity to purchase. Ever. Collectors are guaranteed premium, signed photographs that have true value. A new Ten collection is unveiled on the tenth of each month. The editions are relatively small (25), the price is relatively low ($250), and the collectibility is incredibly high.

This is in addition, but separate, from her represented gallery artists. I think it has potential. The web is the best way to get work seen by a lot of people, and tying it to a new gallery seems like a good way to attract more cliental. So I will be seeing her and Ann and David on Friday for the 30 minute review, and later in the evening is an informal reception with the reviewers and the other 9 participants. A great opportunity to meet and talk photography. The other participants are: John Martin, Chris Trice, Sean Dana, Steve & Ellen Konar, Loli Kantor, Denise Tarantino, Robert Holmgren, Irene Imfeld and Kerry Mansfield. I’ve looked at most of their websites and feel pretty humbled at being included with so many fine photographers.

I also still have to put together a couple or three submissions for juried exhibitions in the next few days. This is kind of a problem because the dates of the exhibitions occur while I am away. It means I must bring along all the images I am submitting because I don’t know which, if any, might be selected. I also have to bring along mats and frames and plex and packing material and shipping boxes. I can’t possibly bring all that I need, so it becomes a calculated guesstimate as to what I might need. I’ve decided to bring along enough materials for 5 framed prints. I’m not sure it’s worth the trouble, but two of the competitions at Newspace in Portland, and the San Francisco Arts Commission are two that I would love to be involved with. It’s with a little trepidation that I will give it a go.

Lastly, I was hoping it would be online by now, but coming up soon, look for issue #8 of online photography magazine, SuperMassiveBlackHole, to feature some images from my Marking Our Place in the World project. I don’t know the date it will go live, but it should be soon.

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