Dear Friends and Colleagues,
There is an art project I want to undertake called Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man. It is an exploration of aging and creativity, consisting of 25 portraits and written profiles of artists over 65.
In order to do this project the way I’d like to, I have to generate some funding. I have a couple of grant applications out, but I am also trying to raise $5,000 through Kickstarter.com. Kickstarter allows artists to post projects and then people who want to support the project can make donations as small as one dollar. It is also a way of spreading word about the project and getting feedback. However, it is an all or nothing proposition. Having set my goal at $5,000, if I don’t reach it the project is cancelled and no money is collected. I have 30 days to do this.
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I am sending this to you because I think of you as someone who has a large network of connections who might be interested in at least being aware of this project. Here are my requests to you and your friends:
· Visit my Kickstarter project,
· Read about what I want to do and give me feedback. Also watch the video and check out the updates section for examples of my portrait work,
· Make a pledge,
· Send this email on to ten friends and put in a good word for the project.
Portraiture and self-portraiture have always been a major focus of my art making.
I love the challenge of creating an image that achieves a physical likeness, has psychological resonance, and is visually exciting. In my best portraits, the viewer knows what the person looks like, but also what he is like.
For the past several years I have been exploring how a group of individual portraits can coalesce to form a portrait of a community.
In 2005, when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, I started to do a series of portraits which, taken together, constituted a portrait of a community. I painted approximately twenty portraits of friends and neighbors.
When I returned to my home in southern Rhode Island in 2007, I was approached by the Alternative Food Co-op to contribute artwork to decorate their store on Main Street in Wakefield. I proposed doing a series of portraits of the community of the Co-op: customers and their children, employees, and board members. I executed approximately twenty portraits of people along with their favorite Co-op product.
In 2008, I successfully applied to Rhode Island State Council on the arts for funding for a project called “Ten Most Wanted.” The idea was to turn the FBI’s ten most wanted list on its head and instead of portraying people who were destructive to the community to create images of people who made the community a better place. In addition to painting the ten portraits, I also interviewed each subject about their community service and wrote a profile of them. This work was exhibited through Hera Gallery and was published in South County Living Magazine.
Now I wanted to undertake a series of portraits drawn from the community of older working artists, not a geographical community, but a community of shared experience. I see this undertaking as a way of exploring the relationship between aging and creativity.