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Photographing roadside memorials, working on the Art Farm, and living to tell about it. 
**STRETCH GOAL!**
Photographing roadside memorials, working on the Art Farm, and living to tell about it. FUNDED! Now join me for the ride!
Photographing roadside memorials, working on the Art Farm, and living to tell about it. FUNDED! Now join me for the ride!
28 backers pledged $2,882 to help bring this project to life.

About

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To Nebraska!: The Roadside Photography Project

$2,882

28

Stretch Goal! $2,650!

Thank you to the amazing backers who jumped in and got me to my initial goal of $1650! Additional contributions raised at this time would allow me to further develop my plans for an exhibition of the Roadside series and help cover some travel costs. 

Please continue to share the project with friends and folks who might be interested since I am hoping to get connected with memorial makers & caretakers as well as expand the reach of my project and build an audience for the work. I am truly grateful for any contribution, no matter how large or small! 

Welcome! 

My name is Sara Acton and I am an artist, investigator, photographer, and art educator. For over twelve years, I have been photographing roadside memorials and fatality markers throughout the United States but especially in Western Massachusetts where I currently live with my family.

"Our Beloved" May 2014, Worcester Road and Old Boston Turnpike, Hubbardston, MA
"Our Beloved" May 2014, Worcester Road and Old Boston Turnpike, Hubbardston, MA

My fascination with roadside memorials and fatality markers began in Michigan where I lived during the years immediately following the highway death of my father. Although I don’t remember consciously connecting the exploration of the memorials to my circumstances, I’m fairly sure it grew out of a need to process my own loss and connect with others who had experienced an equally abrupt death of a loved one.

I have been photographing roadside memorials in earnest over the last few years and recently began to consider working farther afield. With an eye on expanding the reach of the project and developing options for an exhibition of the work, I started researching artist residency opportunities. I was particularly drawn to Nebraska for further exploration of the Roadside series because I’ve encountered numerous references on various media platforms to roadside memorials, death, and the open highway in Nebraska’s Great Plains.

robin's egg, May 2015, Route 116, Hadley, MA
robin's egg, May 2015, Route 116, Hadley, MA

This spring I enthusiastically accepted an artist residency at the Art Farm in Marquette, Nebraska for the summer of 2015. While at the Art Farm I expect to continue refining and clarifying the ideas and themes related to this body of work. Referred to collectively as the Roadside series, my current statement describes the work as: 

 “...a photographic document of roadside memorials and fatality markers. The carefully curated and constructed shrines are evidence of the curious rituals to which people subscribe after having experienced an abrupt loss. Having an unfortunate kinship with the architects of these memorials, the work is a personal meditation on impermanence, immortality, and faith.

I aim to continue using photography to document existing roadside memorials while also exploring various strategies for engaging viewers by experimenting with size and framing, as well as exploring numerous exhibition and presentation options with the ultimate goal being a public showcase of the work in 2016.

"Pole" September 2014, Fisherdick Road and Route 9, Ware, MA
"Pole" September 2014, Fisherdick Road and Route 9, Ware, MA

This is where YOU come in! Your support will allow me to finance the creation of prints and facilitate the preparation of a potential exhibition. My goal of $1650 is intended to cover Kickstarter’s fees and provide me with $1500 to make test prints for the purposes of planning a cohesive exhibition. $1500 translates to twenty large-scale prints and approximately 25-40 small to mid-size prints based on an average of costs for a range of photographs sized between 8x10” and 20x30”.

"Billy" November 2014, Route 20, Millbury, MA
"Billy" November 2014, Route 20, Millbury, MA

If you back my project, you also get rewarded! So do I! And, I don’t just mean monetarily. This project will allow me to start building an audience and, hopefully, connect me to people who maintain roadside memorials along my route. The majority of the memorials I photograph belong to anonymous craftspeople and caretakers that I never get to meet. I’m hoping that my campaign reaches people who maintain roadside memorials and that they’ll consider funding my project (with their reward being a signed photograph of their memorial) or at least inviting me to visit their memorials or markers.

Fans of the project who don’t maintain memorials have lots of other reward options to consider as well. Peruse the column to the right and see what might interest you!

[In addition, all backers of this campaign will be invited to the potential exhibition of this work and I vow to provide chocolate chip cookies at a celebratory reception!]

cheetos, May 2015, MM 5.178, Route 66, Westhampton, MA
cheetos, May 2015, MM 5.178, Route 66, Westhampton, MA

Risks and challenges

As a hugely risk averse kind of gal, I can catastrophize with the best of them. Potential challenges like my car breaking down on the way to Nebraska would be frustrating. I am, however, an accomplished “road sister” and feel confident that those particular kinds of obstacles could be surmounted after some deep yoga breathing and a couple well placed phone calls.

In regard to the development of the art work (and the delivery of rewards), I can give you my word and the earnest assurance that I am committed to this project and I’m extremely eager to see it grow and find an audience. Therefore, having supporters will only strengthen my intention to embark on this adventure and deliver the proverbial goods.

Learn more about me or see more of my art work by visiting my website at www.saraacton.com. Go to the “About” page for a copy of my artist CV which can tell you things like where I went to college (Rochester Institute of Technology, BFA Photography, 1996) or graduate school (RISD, TLAD, MAT Visual Arts in Teaching, 2001). If you’ve still got questions you can click the “Ask a Question” link below!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank you for taking the ride!

    Personalized post card sent from the road at some point during my residency.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Claim your piece of the road!

    Signed 5x7" print selected by me from the new work created during my residency. It'll be a standout, I promise!

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    7 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Grab a keepsake from the road!

    Signed, mini (3.5x2.5") photo book with a minimum of 10 images from the Roadside series.

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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $66 or more About $66

    Kickstarter Highway-Priced Special Edition! Phase One

    The first 5 backers to fund me at the [Route] $66 option will receive a signed, limited edition 11x14" print from a choice of two images TBD by me. (Limited edition of 10)

    Get in early for this deal! The same 11x14" prints will be offered below at $100 when the first five sell out here at [Route] $66.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Share the road with me! Option One

    Receive a signed, limited edition 11x14" print from a choice of two images TBD by me. (Limited edition of 10)

    OR

    IF YOU MAINTAIN A ROADSIDE MEMORIAL or know someone who does please share the location of that memorial and, as a thank you for supporting my Kickstarter campaign, I'll photograph the memorial and provide a signed 11x14" print of your memorial.

    PLEASE NOTE: Out of necessity this offer is limited to memorials in New England (MA, CT, RI, VT, NH) and the states on my route to Nebraska (NY, PA, OH, IN, IL, MO, IA, KS, NE).

    Please contact me through the "ask a question" link BEFORE pledging so I can confirm my ability to visit your memorial.

    Thank you!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Share the road with me! Option Two

    Receive a signed, limited edition 16x20" print from a choice of two images TBD by me. (Limited edition of 10)

    OR

    IF YOU MAINTAIN A ROADSIDE MEMORIAL or know someone who does please share the location of that memorial and, as a thank you for supporting my Kickstarter campaign, I'll photograph the memorial and provide a signed 16x20" print of your memorial.

    PLEASE NOTE: Out of necessity this offer is limited to memorials in New England (MA, CT, RI, VT, NH) and the states on my route to Nebraska (NY, PA, OH, IN, IL, MO, IA, KS, NE).

    Please contact me through the "ask a question" link BEFORE pledging so I can confirm my ability to visit your memorial.

    Thank you!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Hit the road in style!

    Thank you for your interest in funding me at this level!

    You will receive:
    • Personalized post card from the road with my thanks!
    • Signed, mini (3.5x2.5") photo book with a minimum of 10 images from the Roadside series.
    • Signed, limited edition 11x14" print from your choice of two TBD by me.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Hit the road in style! Plus COOKIES!

    Thank you for your interest in funding me at this level!

    You will receive:
    • Personalized post card from the road with my thanks!
    • Signed, mini (3.5x2.5") photo book with a minimum of 10 images from the Roadside series.
    • Signed, limited edition 11x14" print from your choice of two TBD by me.
    • A batch of homemade (by me, I promise!) chocolate chip cookies!

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    1 backer
    $
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Funding period

- (31 days)