Route 66: helping America get its "kicks" since 1926! I want to make 66 paintings of the signs and sights along this iconic highway.
I love old signs, particularly vintage neon from the 1940s – 1970s. The more rusty, decrepit, and forlorn they are, the more I love them. All my life I’ve been attracted to them like a bug to a streetlight.
Along with the ubiquitous "gas, food and lodging" establishments (and their eye-catching signage) Route 66 offers a plethora of oddities and attractions such as a blue whale made of concrete, a giant green astronaut, and the Devil's Rope Museum - "The Largest Barbed Wire Historic Museum in the World!"
Cadillac Ranch, the world's largest ball of string....these are a few of my favorite things.
Route 66 was bypassed by the Interstate Highway System and officially decommissioned in 1985, which is why you no longer find it noted on most maps. With fewer travelers to support them, many of the restaurants, motels and attractions along the route closed and have fallen into disrepair. My goal is to document the things that still exist and the remnants of those that have been lost before they are gone forever.
In December, 2011, I will travel the full length of Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles, taking photographs of the sights and landmarks along the way. The photos will serve as reference material to create 66 original oil paintings.
Creating the paintings will take about a year. When they're completed they'll make their debut in an exhibit in Greenville, SC, then take a little road trip of their own to various venues along the route.
To make Project 66 happen, I need your help. I'm raising money to cover travel costs, canvas, paint, supplies, and exhibition expenses.
Your generosity will not go unrewarded, because I've created unique items that will only be available to Kickstarter supporters.
The column on the right lists the rewards you will receive at the various contribution levels. Please note - you can pledge any amount from $1 to infinity. (And if you are financially able to pledge infinity dollars, please call me. I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I want to tell you about).
If you can't afford to give financially, maybe you know someone who can. Put your mouth where your money isn't (or something like that....wow, that sounds wrong.)
What I'm trying to say is, "TALK IT UP!"
Please help me to spread the word by posting a link to Project 66 on Facebook or by emailing a link to coworkers, friends, family, your doctor, your mail carrier, that weird guy who hangs out at the coffee shop - in short, everyone you know. Be sure to ask them to pass it along as well. This is one of those proverbial "the more the merrier" situations.
Gifts of cash and gifts of gab are equally valuable and equally appreciated!
Thank you for considering my project - I am sincerely grateful for your support.
*Approximate - results may vary
T-shirt design - two color screen print on a medium-blue 100% cotton tee
"Map Doodle" example - each one will be completely unique
First off - if you want to pledge - thanks! That's fantastic!
But while I'm not in the habit of turning down checks in general, in this case I can't accept it. All donations to the project need to run through the Kickstarter site to be counted toward the goal - and if I don't reach the goal, I don't get anything - so we definitely want to put your gift toward the goal.
If you don't already have one, you'll need to set up an Amazon account. I know, I know - it's one more step - but it's just the way it has to be done. It only takes a minute to set up, and then you can make your pledge using your debit or credit card. If I reach the goal, you'll be charged on August 10th; if I don't, you'll be charged nothing.
Kickstarter has great information on their FAQ page - all the way at the top of the page above the Project 66 header. Or email me if you have other questions.
Thanks for helping to Kickstart my Art!
Glad you asked.
Because I am a dork and never found a theme I couldn't beat into the ground, most of the numbers are variations on the number "6" or "66." Others actually represent various dates or other facts about the route that I thought would be fun to utilize in the project. Below is a breakdown of each pledge level, and what the number references.
Keep in mind you can pledge any amount you wish - these are simply the minimums for each successive reward level.
$1 - Kickstarter's minimum. I would have gone for 66 cents to further hammer home the theme, but they wouldn't let me.
$6 - Half of 66. (Did I mention that math is not my favorite subject?)
$26 - Ends with a 6, yes, but in this case refers to 1926, the year Route 66 was officially commissioned and put into service.
$37 - The year the route was completely paved over its entire length, according to most accepted reports.
$66 - Um....you probably figured this one out.
$99 - Upside down 66.
$166 - 66 + 1 (I mentioned my math skills, yes?)
$244 - I was getting tired of 6's - plus, the route is approximately 2440 miles long.
$660 - What's ten times better than 66? (Hopefully the reward reflects this sentiment, at least).
$1111 - Route 66 was commissioned on November 11, 1926 - so 11/11. Also happens to be my wedding anniversary (except for the 1926 part) so I have a soft spot for this number.
$2440 - The approximate number of miles of Route 66. You can think of it as 244 + 0 if it makes it easier for you to make the pledge ;)
The Route was officially decommissioned in 1985, so it isn't found on most maps. Most of the road was replaced by five interstate highways, including I-55, I-44, I-40, I-15 and I-10, but a surprisingly high amount of old road is still drivable.
Route 66 stretches diagonally across the country from Chicago to Los Angeles. Though you can obviously drive the route in either direction, the commonly accepted "correct" way is from east to west. Travelers pass through eight states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Many of the states have designated portions of the route with historical markers.
Kansas has the shortest stretch of Route 66 - only 13 miles. Oklahoma has most miles of original 66 still remaining, which is fitting since the Father of Route 66, Cyrus Stevens Avery, was from Tulsa, OK.
pledged of $7,500 goal
seconds to go
Jun 5, 2011 - Aug 10, 2011 (66 days)
Pledge $1 or more
Good karma, my eternal gratitude, exclusive project updates on Kickstarter, and an invitation to a special "backers only" preview party of the finished paintings in Greenville, SC (you'll have to get yourself to Greenville if you don't live here)
Pledge $6 or more
All the $1 stuff plus one custom postcard mailed to you from somewhere on the road
Pledge $26 or more
All the $6 stuff plus your name will be included in the massive graffiti "tag" I will be leaving on one of the cars at Cadillac Ranch (I'll email you a souvenir photo)
Pledge $37 or more
All $26 level rewards plus a signed and numbered 8x10 Kickstarter limited edition screen print (unframed)
Pledge $66 or more
All $37 rewards plus a hand-screened commemorative t-shirt - see photo for design
Pledge $99 or more
All $66 level awards plus an original "Map Doodle" - see photo for example. May show the entire route, may show a single state, but each one will be unique
Pledge $166 or more
All $99 level rewards plus a copy of The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian, signed by the author and personalized by yours truly
Pledge $244 or more
All $166 level rewards plus "Souvenirs From the Road" - three appropriately kitschy Route 66 mementos sent from various locations along the route
Pledge $660 or more
All $244 level rewards plus a signed, limited-edition hardcover coffee table book with images of all 66 finished paintings
Pledge $1,111 or more
All $660 level rewards plus an original painting of something from the route OR a similar sized painting from my current inventory (for those who don't want to wait). I will give you photos of several options to choose from. Paintings will be in oil on gallery-wrap canvas in the 18x24 to 24x30 inch size range
Pledge $2,440 or more
All $1111 level rewards plus a folio of 66 fine art prints - one of each of the completed paintings in the collection.