For the next year, I will be documenting the people of Open View Farm, a small fiber farm in Western Massachusetts. Open View Farm is an incredible place devoted to peace and education. Their mission includes: "creating an environment where interpersonal understanding across race, class, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national identity, and religion is valued, artistic expression is nurtured and avenues towards Peace and Justice in our communities and in the classroom are explored."
Through portraits of the people and animals, documentation of their activities, and interviews with those who spend time on the farm, I will explore what it means to be a farmer in 21st century America and what it feels like to raise animals, to grow food, and to intentionally foster an environment of learning, acceptance, and love.
Open View is a very special, amazing place. Not only is it focused on the critical issues of farming, raising animals, and learning to be self-sufficient, it also promotes peace and education across all issues and fosters an environment where everyone is welcome. Though I have been visiting the farm for years, and even making photographs there, I have always wanted to do an in-depth photography project over the course of at least one full year. In May, I embarked on a year-long journey to document the farm throughout the full range of seasons.
I was first introduced to farming eight years ago by working as a camp counselor at CampOUT, a farm camp experience for kids from GLBT families, which was started by Emmy, the owner of Open View Farm, and which continues to this day. The combination of social justice and the farming experience is powerful. Emmy's absolute dedication to progressive education is part of what makes her farm so unique and wonderful. Her doors are truly open.
I am also deeply concerned about our impact on our environment and the issue of sustainability. I believe in our collective responsibility to take care of our surroundings and to reduce the amount of waste we create.
How you can help and where the money goes:
I've got the passion, the cameras, the eagerness and participation of those at Open View Farm, and the time- but I need the film. In pursuit of creating beautiful images, I have chosen to photograph this project using a combination of medium and large format color film. Unfortunately, this process isn't cheap, but it yields such compelling results that it's worth every penny. All money raised will go directly to the costs of purchasing and processing film. Every donation you make allows me to create more images for the project!
What you get:
In addition to my complete gratitude, I'm offering some great prizes that I hope you will enjoy. There is something for everyone, ranging from a thank-you to a personalized postcard to limited edition prints. A note about the prints: Each image is being produced in two sizes (8" x 10" and 11" x 14") in an open edition. Every single Silver Gelatin Print will be lovingly hand printed by me, in the darkroom, on archival papers. These sizes are being made exclusively to raise money for this project, so get them while you can!
Note: In the size of 16" x 20," which is my standard exhibition size, the prints are available in a limited edition of 15.
You can see images from this project as well as all of my previous work on my website:
And please follow me on my blog for more spontaneous updates and new photographs:
Thank you so much for learning about my project and I hope you enjoy it!
- (42 days)