Kind Friends, We can offer no other answer but thanks, And thanks, and ever thanks . . .
Please know how deeply we appreciate everyone who has pledged their financial support to Into the Great White Sands. If you have any questions regarding the book or are interested in the Into the Great White Sands exhibition, please click on Craig Varjabedian in the upper right side of this page to send a message.
This place haunts me, and I don't know why . . .
MY NAME IS CRAIG VARJABEDIAN and I am a fine art photographer, especially drawn to New Mexico’s unique and powerful landscapes. For years I have been enchanted by the magnificent dunes at White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico. I’m attracted to White Sands because of its mystical, understated beauty.
I have been exploring and photographing this luminous place to share the story and spirit of White Sands through images and through the voices of those who have lived, worked and visited there.
WELCOME TO WHITE SANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
White Sands National Monument, part of the National Park Service, is surrounded by two military installations—the White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base. One of the world’s great natural wonders, the monument comprises 275 square miles of white wave like dunes of gypsum sand. It is a fragile landscape, biologically rich and diverse. This place of profound beauty shows me stories that reveal connections to this ancient landscape going back to early man and even earlier—from dinosaurs, to petroglyphs, to rockets and to the atomic bomb. We and future generations must nurture and protect this ever-changing part of the earth, not only for what it is, but for how it speaks to our humanity.
WHY IS THIS PROJECT IMPORTANT?
The photographs in this project will show the beauty and wonder of White Sands National Monument (sometimes referred to as "the Galapagos of North America"), capturing the light, space and scale of the land, along with the magnificent sunrises and sunsets that begin and end each day. The project will help increase awareness of the importance of continued stewardship of this fragile landscape while reaching out to a new generation of youth and their families to experience White Sands as well all our national parks as we begin the centennial year of the National Park Service.
“Craig Varjabedian is one of New Mexico’s exceptional photographers, producing beautiful, timeless images that reflect both the past and present of our land, and which compete on a national and international scale with today’s best contemporary photographers.”
– Cathy Wright, Director of the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History
I am fortunate to have successfully completed five major photographic projects that resulted in prize-winning books and national traveling museum exhibitions. For over 40 years my work has been recognized with numerous awards including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Emmy Award for a PBS documentary film about my work titled En Divina Luz: The Penitente Moradas of New Mexico. I have a BFA in Fine Arts from the University of Michigan and a MFA in Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
THE BOOK: Into the Great White Sands
After starting to photograph at White Sands, I realized that I wanted to present the images in a book that truly showcases this luminous landscape. So I spoke with my longtime publisher, the esteemed University of New Mexico Press, about producing a high-quality publication presenting the White Sands photographs with appropriate interpretive essays. We agreed on the publication of a full-color book to include eighty of my photographs and three essays.
Award-winning poet and writer Jeanetta Calhoun Mish is crafting the main essay—through historical, geographical, and cultural research, along with meditations about place and time. The meditations will be personal reflections on the different sections presented, written in a lyrical, poetic style. Also contributing essays are retired White Sands National Monument superintendent Dennis Ditmanson, describing the challenges and joys of stewarding this unique resource, and retired White Sands Missile Range public affairs officer Jim Eckles, sharing his personal and adventurous recollections of his time working on the missile range and collaborating with the park.
Most humbly, I ask for your help. In a nutshell I seek your support to complete the principal photography in the coming year and partially fund the cost of publishing a book in 2017 with the University of New Mexico Press. My agreement with the Press, a not-for-profit publisher, requires a financial contribution to cover the expenses of producing a high-quality fine-art book.
Once the photography has been completed, I will edit the images, make proofs and prepare the digital image files for the publisher. I will collaborate extensively on the book’s design and content. I will also work closely with the publisher’s art director to ensure that the images are reproduced to the highest standards.
As you can imagine, this photography project is an expensive undertaking and up until now the project has been self-funded. Because I know how much you appreciate fine photography I hope you will join with us to make possible the completion of this body of work and the creation of a beautiful volume worthy of this truly magnificent place. I invite you to be a part of my effort.
THE REWARDS: Yipee!
To receive a free copy of the Into the Great White Sands project brochure (pdf), download here
Please follow the project on my Facebook page and share the project with your friends and family!
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR INTEREST AND SUPPORT!
ABOUT THE REWARDS
All rewards will be fulfilled.
Prints: All original fine art prints are personally made by me and are produced in limited editions of only 200 prints of each image. All prints are archival Ultrachrome pigment prints signed, numbered and mounted on archival museum board. Each contributor who pledges for a print will be able to choose any White Sands color photograph from this page or from my website (www.craigvarjabedian.com), based on edition availability. You can either reserve your print when you pledge or at the end of the campaign. Delivery dates are estimates. The 10" limited edition prints will ship 12/2016, the 14" & 20" & 24" limited edition prints will ship by 12/2017 (depending upon when you make your image selection) and the White Sands book will ship 10/2017: these dates are estimated based on my past experience. Private workshops and "Experience Package" reward are on mutually agreed upon dates. I have already tried to account for any potential delays in production. If you have any questions about any of these rewards, please do not hesitate to contact me via the Contact Me button at the top right of this page or emailing my studio directly: email@example.com
HOW FUNDS WILL BE USED
Kickstarter funds will be used to complete the principal photography in the coming year at White Sands National Monument and partially fund the cost of publishing the book in 2017 with the University of New Mexico Press. My contract with the Press, a not-for-profit publisher, requires a financial contribution from me to ensure the publication of a high-quality art book. The funds raised will also be used for travel expenses and rewards. Other costs include percentages for Kickstarter and for Amazon Payments of the total amount raised.
Text and Photographs ©Copyright Craig Varjabedian Publishing Rights Trust
Risks and challenges
Because I have a long track record from having previously published nine other books, the only concern about this project I have is not being able to deliver the reward copies of the book on time. Ask any printer or publisher—the production of a printed book can run into delays during its production. I have done my best to mitigate potential problems by creating a generous production and printing schedule that should ensure delivery of books on time. Of course original prints and books currently in print will be delivered on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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