I just updated my website with new art, and it is exhilarating and vitalizing in every sense of the words. It reminded me of Terry Gilliam's film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, whose favorite quote was, A modicum of snuff may be most efficacious. Only with me, it's A modicum of Art may be most efficacious.
It's fitting that I got it done on the first day of Autumn since I've been fully immersed with it all summer. It is the most new work I've been able to make in years and have been going at a breakneck pace with everything since May. At any rate, I am very, very thankful. I realize how lucky I am to be able to be making new art, especially in these tough economic times.
The Organizations and individuals who have made this new work possible:
My own school, Boise State University has led the charge with this new work by selecting me as one of the three Arts and Humanities Fellowship recipients. This is a truly visionary Fellowship research opportunity that pays your salary and benefits for the year-long fellowship. They offered a generous amount to help defray expenses, but I have learned that my project is quite expensive, and other people and organizations are stepping in to assist in various ways, which is great.
The Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at Evergreen College awarded me one of their National Native Creative Development Program grants, which was immediately allocated towards making new frames. Why new frames? For the new art, which is going to be shown at an opening next week!
The C.N. Gorman Museum at UC Davis is exhibiting my first batch of new art from this work, scheduled to open next week. It is a two person exhibition with my artist nephew Da-ka-xeen Mehner, who is also a Professor of Art at the University of Alaska. Having this exhibition planned for four months after I started the Fellowship work was a simple act of brilliance, because it meant that I had a solid deadline for showing new work. It did indeed light a fire under me to go at a much faster pace with my research. I already work at a brisk pace, but this was added incentive.
A Donor who wishes to remain anonymous, who purchased two prints to apply towards my additional Fellowship expenses (He's donating the prints to a non-profit museum for a tax deduction, as explained below)
The fantastic news is that this is only the first batch of new work. A quarter of my fellowship year has gone by and I am energized at the prospect of continuing the work on this art until August of 2011. I've got a murderous pace set up here and am squeezing nearly every minute I can out of each day for this fellowship work. I really love it that it is an honorable endeavor with the subject of examining the ramifications of the global climate crisis.
One of the realities with my research is that I need to travel to make more photographs for the project. This is where the media of photography is distinctive; one actually needs to be in the presence of your subject, as opposed to researchers who can get their information from more traditional places, such as libraries. This means that I have an open call for people and organizations to buy my art to assist with my upcoming travel expenses.
How you an assist with the creation of this new art:
I am going to phase in a couple of fundraising strategies in the immediate future, including a grassroots community endeavor, where individuals can contribute smaller amounts in exchange for a small print. This was inspired by Karen Bubb's innovative Send Bubb to China project. I met with Karen recently to ask her about how she pulled off this remarkable community driven art project. I don't have time to get it going right now, but look for it soon.
My own website has a timely new feature that allows viewers to purchase prints via Paypal. My art sells for $3,600.00 per print, which is actually quite the killer deal for all you museums and collectors out there. I am dedicating the sale of each print towards the expenses for this fellowship project, so I am investing in it too. The sale of one print will allow me 1.5 trips to make new images. It is expensive being on the road, and it also covers material costs.
The fabulous news is that I have a person who bought two prints for this project! I am beyond excited. It means that I have my travel paid for a few more forays to make images. The good news is that we figured out how to make it a legitimate tax deduction too, but only if he donates the prints to a non-profit museum. Everyone wins in this scenario; me for being able to make new work, the donor, who got a nice tax deduction, and the museum, who was able to acquire two prints of mine.
One of the realities with this new work is that lots of people are interested in the subject of our global climate crisis and want to assist with the project in some manner. This tells me that it goes beyond a surface desire for art and goes deeper towards helping to figure out how to beat the seemingly overwhelming threat of this crisis. I can say in all truthfulness that this new work is the will of the people, and again, I am grateful.
I offer my sincere gratitude to everyone who is helping make this work possible. It is clear that I could never have done this alone, it is a true community driven endeavor. Thank you, Gualsheésh.
Larry Xhe Dhé Tee Harbor Jackson McNeil
Click Here to See the New Art!