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Help me complete the photography and publish a fine art book on White Sands National Monument, a uniquely significant place.
"Into the Great White Sands" book is now available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble and fine book sellers. Autographed copies are available from the photographer's studio at (505)983-2934.
"Into the Great White Sands" book is now available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble and fine book sellers. Autographed copies are available from the photographer's studio at (505)983-2934.
75 backers pledged $15,530 to help bring this project to life.

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Into The Great White Sands

$15,530

75

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.

Thank you, 

Craig Varjabedian

INTRODUCTION

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.

Visitor Center, Built by the WPA, White Sands National Monument
Visitor Center, Built by the WPA, White Sands National Monument

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. 

THE PHOTOGRAPHER

“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.

Book Mockup | Into the Great White Sands
Book Mockup | Into the Great White Sands

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.

AN APPEAL

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!

Signed Original Silver-Gelatin Contact Work Print
Signed Original Silver-Gelatin Contact Work Print
 
Notecards w/ Envelopes | The Great White Sands
Notecards w/ Envelopes | The Great White Sands
Signed Book | Into the Great White Sands
Signed Book | Into the Great White Sands
Original Signed Polaroid/Instax Photograph
Original Signed Polaroid/Instax Photograph
Signed Book | Landscape Dreams, A New Mexico Portrait
Signed Book | Landscape Dreams, A New Mexico Portrait
Signed Book | Four & Twenty Photographs
Signed Book | Four & Twenty Photographs
A Private Photography Workshop at White Sands National Monument
A Private Photography Workshop at White Sands National Monument

 FREE DOWNLOAD

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: cindy@craigvarjabedian.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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    HANDWRITTEN THANK YOU NOTECARD - I will mail you a hand-written notecard thanking you for contributing to this campaign. Your name will be listed as a contributor on the “Patron Wall” on the project web site.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    FOUR & TWENTY PHOTOGRAPHS BOOK - You will receive your very own signed copy of FOUR & TWENTY PHOTOGRAPHS: STORIES FROM BEHIND THE LENS, my sixth book along with my sincere gratitude for supporting our efforts. You will receive project updates and your name will be listed as a contributor on the “Patron Wall” on the project web site. An invitation to our book launch party will also be sent.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    BOOK - EARLY BIRD REWARD - You will receive your very own signed copy of INTO THE GREAT WHITE SANDS BOOK along with my sincere gratitude for supporting our efforts. You will receive project updates and your name will be listed as a contributor on the “Patron Wall” on the project web site.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    BOOK - You will receive your very own signed copy of INTO THE GREAT WHITE SANDS BOOK along with my sincere gratitude for supporting our efforts. You will receive project updates and your name will be listed as a contributor on the “Patron Wall” on the project web site. An invitation to our book launch party will also be sent.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    BOOK & LIMITED EDITION WHITE SANDS NOTECARDS - You will receive your very own signed copy of INTO THE GREAT WHITE SANDS BOOK! You will also receive one box of ten beautiful notecards with White Sands images made during the project along with my sincere gratitude for supporting our efforts. Cards are packaged in a beautiful clear box and include envelopes. You will receive project updates and your name will be listed as a contributor on the “Patron Wall” on the project web site. An invitation to our book launch celebration will also be sent.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    **NEW** CONTACT WORK PRINT - You will receive your very own SIGNED SILVER GELATIN WORK PRINT of an New Mexico image by Craig Varjabedian. These contact work prints, made from 5x7-inch negatives are traditionally crafted in the photographer’s wet darkroom. The image you receive will be our choice—they are all quite beautiful. You will receive project updates and your name will be listed on the “Patron Wall” on the project web site. An invitation to our book launch celebration will also be sent.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    BOOK & POLAROID - You will receive your very own signed copy of INTO THE GREAT WHITE SANDS BOOK and a one-of-a-kind signed Polaroid/Instax photograph made at White Sands (our choice of image; they are all quite fun) along with my sincere gratitude for supporting our efforts. Instax photos were created as sketches that later informed the principal photography. You will receive project updates and your name will be listed as a contributor in the book and on the “Patron Wall” on the project web site. An invitation to our book launch celebration will also be sent.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    3 BEAUTIFUL BOOKS & POLAROID - You will receive signed copies of 3 of my books: “Into the Great White Sands,” “Landscape Dreams, A New Mexico Portrait,” “Four & Twenty Photographs: Stories from behind the Lens.” You will also receive a one-of-a-kind signed Polaroid/Instax photograph made at White Sands (our choice of image; they are all quite fun) along with my sincere gratitude for supporting our efforts. Instax photos were created as sketches that later informed the principal photography. You will receive project updates and your name will be listed as a contributor in the book and on the “Patron Wall” on the project web site. An invitation to our book launch celebration will also be sent. books will ship together.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    EXPERIENCE PACKAGE - Be our guests at this experience-of-a-lifetime as we host a traditional New Mexico catered meal at the photographer’s studio in Santa Fe. Enjoy an evening of viewing original photographic prints and sharing stories about White Sands from the photographer and authors of the book. You will also receive your very own signed copy of INTO THE GREAT WHITE SANDS BOOK along with my sincere gratitude for supporting our efforts. You will receive project updates and your name will be listed as a contributor in the book and on the “Patron Wall” on the project web site. An invitation to our book launch celebration will also be sent.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    10” ORIGINAL SELECTED LIMITED EDITION SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH & BOOK - (Available on Kickstarter only) You will receive your choice original limited edition 10-inch mounted photograph from INTO THE GREAT WHITE SANDS. Selected images are shown on this page. You will also receive your very own signed copy of INTO THE GREAT WHITE SANDS BOOK along with my sincere gratitude for supporting our efforts You will receive project updates and your name will be listed as a contributor in the book and on the “Patron Wall” on the project web site. An invitation to our book launch celebration will also be sent.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    14” ORIGINAL LIMITED EDITION PHOTOGRAPH & BOOK - You will receive your choice original limited edition signed 14-inch mounted photograph from INTO THE GREAT WHITE SANDS. You may choose from any color image in the book or on the photographer’s web site. You will also receive your very own signed copy of INTO THE GREAT WHITE SANDS BOOK along with my sincere gratitude for supporting our efforts. You will receive project updates and your name will be listed as a contributor in the book and on the “Patron Wall” on the project web site. An invitation to our book launch celebration will also be sent.

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    Pledge $1,350 or more About $1,350

    24” ORIGINAL LIMITED EDITION PHOTOGRAPH & BOOK - You will receive your choice original limited edition signed 24-inch mounted photograph from INTO THE GREAT WHITE SANDS. You may choose from any color image in the book or on the photographer’s web site. You will also receive your very own signed copy of INTO THE GREAT WHITE SANDS BOOK along with my sincere gratitude for supporting our efforts. You will receive project updates and your name will be listed as a contributor in the book and on the “Patron Wall” on the project web site. An invitation to our book launch celebration will also be sent.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    PRIVATE WHITE SANDS PHOTO WORKSHOP & BOOK - Join me for two days photographing the magnificent dunes at White Sands National Monument. I’ll show you many of the places I discovered and photographed during the project and share some of the techniques I used to make the images. This package includes three nights lodging and meals during the workshop. You will also receive your very own signed copy of INTO THE GREAT WHITE SANDS BOOK along with my sincere gratitude for supporting our efforts. You will receive project updates and your name will be listed as a contributor in the book and on the “Patron Wall” on the project web site. An invitation to our book launch celebration will also be sent.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    THE DEDICATION - Dedicate our INTO THE GREAT WHITE SANDS book to you or someone you love. Your selected name will be printed in all copies of the book and will prominently appear on its own page along with an appropriate dedication. You will also receive 6 signed copies of INTO THE GREAT WHITE SANDS BOOK along with my sincere gratitude for supporting our efforts. You will receive project updates and your name will be listed as a contributor in the book and on the “Patron Wall” on the project web site. An invitation to our book launch celebration will also be sent.

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Funding period

- (30 days)