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!
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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!]
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!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)