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A digital book that uses multi-media, philosophy, and ecology to explore an artistic rendering of native Florida for its 500th year. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on February 29, 2012.

A digital book that uses multi-media, philosophy, and ecology to explore an artistic rendering of native Florida for its 500th year.

About this project

The project has been funded! And it couldn't have happened without you. Now the process begins.

Any donations after this point will only increase the quality of this publication. We're creating different versions of this book: an interactive PDF, an iPad edition app, and an eBook.

This serves as a pre-sale of the book. All of the gifts and experiences are project related, too - so they're one-of-a-kind!

Thank you all so much. We will update continuously as the project comes to fruition.  

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The goal of this project is to raise funds for the design and production of an engaging and interactive PDF book Feast of Flowers, a collaborative and multi-disciplinary rendering of the native Florida landscape.

By embracing this digital medium and new era of publishing, it will make this vital information far more accessible---and lasting---to audiences worldwide, including educators and students.

It will be the virtual counterpart of the exhibition Feast of Flowers that will be on display at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens in spring 2013, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the naming of Florida. I am creating over twenty large paintings of the various eco-systems and species of Florida.

          The Fountain of Youth, Silver Glen Springs, 6' x 9', in progress.

THE PROJECT:

The book will be an in-depth, multi-disciplinary art catalogue that uses narrative-style writing, philosophy and critique to explore the ideas I try to communicate in my narrative-driven paintings. My assistant Staci Bu Shea and I are assembling a very impressive team to make this a true collaborative effort. 

My goal is to alert as many users/viewers as possible to the tenuous relationship between man and his finite environment, and to suggest the need for stewardship of it. This information will be accessible to everyone who can download a PDF file. As such, its outreach beyond the exhibition will be great, and will introduce a vast "virtual audience" to the art and message. 

Beyond a selection of the art work from the Feast of Flowers exhibit, this electronic project will feature essays by artists, ecologists, biologists, philosophers, historians, writers and others to contribute to my unanswered, dynamic questions of this fragile state. 

We plan to include unbroken text, multi-media design, sound experimentation, video content from field excursions, interviews with the essayists, and of documentation of the book and exhibition process. We will work with contributors in regards to the presentation of their work, whether it will involve simple text editing or more complicated electronic manipulation. 

We envision field recordings that will include both ambient sounds and music that symbolize the character of particular eco-systems. Interactive maps will also bring the user to the actual site in nature where the original painting was first conceptualized. I'm very excited about the idea of hearing the cello on the banks of the Suwannee and seeing Blue Cypress Springs by kayak at the perfect time in the morning where everything is blue.

In context, the book layout will reflect the ways I find and process information for my landscape paintings---by experience and learning from nature and history.

Topics of discussion in the lecture series will purposefully overlap areas of the book. Examples include:

  • Are the parallels between Renaissance politics, papal succession, image evolution, exploration and colonization of the Americas, and new world tree populations coincidental? 
  • Is there a relationship between contemporary ornamental landscaping and garden aesthetics, real estate values, suburban streets-capes, and species decline in Florida?
  • Does history afford us a bioethical perspective when considering land-use practices in relationship to protein production in colonial Florida?
  • What could Martin Luther’s 95 Theses possibly have to do with New World species degradation?
  • Who was Don Juan Ponce de Leon?

CURRENT CONTRIBUTORS:

Karen Ahlers, who has worked most of her life to restore the Ocklawaha to its original glory
Neil Armingeon
Bill Belleville
Jeremy Chandler
Holly Keris, curator of the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
Hans Herbert Koegler
David Montogomery
Daniel Newman
Bob Self
Margaret Tolbert
Quinton White


FUNDING:

With this funding, I will be able to fund the design of this book and purchase equipment for quality photographic, video, and sound information.  

Kickstarter, as you may or may not know, is an all-or-nothing funding source. An artist has a set number of days to raise all the funds for their project, or else it is cancelled from the site. In my case, I have a fundraising window of the entire month of February, 1st to the 29th. However, if this goal of $10,000 is not funded by the deadline, no money changes hands and the book will not be funded. So to be safe, your credit card will not be charged until that date, and only if the goal is met. 

If we exceed the goal (and we really hope we do!), there will be more opportunities to explore this digital framework and experiment with the narrative capabilities of tablet computing, such as the iPad. I’m very much inspired by interactive video magazines/books for the iPad, like Astronaut Magazine, as well as the way Cabinet magazine's PDF version reads. I would like to see more of these hybrid projects. Exceeding the goal may also allow us to print editions of this book for those who would like them!

WHY SUPPORT THIS?

This project supports the larger idea that if man takes his place in natural order, he will be happier, healthier, and more prosperous.

It will hit many different levels: environmental, social, philosophical, and artistic.

It will be extensively researched and thoughtfully assembled.

The authors who will be writing essays for the book are either scholars or accomplished professional writers who are truly impassioned by Florida’s environment and history. Although based in Florida, the appeal for this project extends far beyond, and will touch any lover of art, landscape painting, history, the environment and technology.   

That multi-disiplinary approach will help us enlarge the broader consensus by taking our art and our caring deeper into the community where it will transcend traditional---and segregated---paradigms of art, nature and the ethic of conservation.

Five hundred years later, Florida, like Ponce de Leon, poses more questions than answers. It is a mystery, a dark enigma of sunny beaches and displaced evangelists, crystal clear springs and adult communities, huge hungry alligators just a stone’s throw from one of the largest theme parks in the world. Its time to accept ourselves as a part of these eco-systems and how we play a part in them.

PLEDGE INCENTIVES!

at $10: a unique, vintage Florida postcard addressed to you! also access to all project updates, and a mention of you on my website

at $25: the above, and the finalized Feast of Flowers PDF book 

at $50: the above, and a t-shirt with the printed project image on the front!



at $100: the above, plus a limited-edition 4 x 6" silkscreen print of a native plant! (this is a painting, but it will be in this similar style)



at $250: all of the above, a uniquely comprised digital portfolio brought to you by USB thumb drive, and acknowledgment in the book as a contributor!




The three incentives below offer one-of-a-kind experiences. You can't get them in any other place!

at $500: the PDF book, the silkscreened t-shirt, credits in the book, your choice of a limited-edition 30 x 22" silkscreen print of either a blue indigo snake (pictured below) or a gopher tortoise (the gopher tortoise is a keystone species of which the blue indigo snake is dependent on; there will be a series of 7 keystone species silkscreen prints in the next year!) and a small, intimate group tour of the exhibition when it opens at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens! (This does not include travel expenses to the museum)




at $1,000: a phone call to invite you and a guest to the Feast of Flowers dinner, hosted by local gastronomist Cari Sanchez-Potter, where you will experience a fanciful feast of native, edible flowers and plants prepared by Orsay's executive chef Brian Siebenschuh! A 12 x 9" framed plein-air oil painting (painted outdoors), a small, intimate group tour of the exhibition when it opens at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, your choice of a limited-edition 30 x 22" silkscreen print of either a blue indigo snake (pictured above) or a gopher tortoise, credits in the book as a contributor, the silkscreened t-shirt, and of course -- the finalized Feast of Flowers PDF book! (this doesn't include travel expenses to the dinner or museum)

In case you didn't know, Cari is incredible -- learn more about her through:
www.thelegendseriesjax.com
www.intuitionale.com

The plein-air painting will look a little something like this:

at $2,500: the $500 and $1,000 incentives, and we'll take a kayaking trip through the Suwannee with a guest of your choice, in artisan hand-made kayaks made by Aaron Wells. (This does not include travel expenses to the dock)


photo source: Garden & Gun.

Watch this video of Aaron here:
Cypress from Garden & Gun on Vimeo.


Again, thank you so much for your time. Follow the project here. #feastofflowers

Sincerely,

FAQ

  • By embracing this new era of publishing and presenting this in digital form bolsters one of the fundamental elements of this project--- sustainability.

    Initially, I planned to publish a book that contextualized my deeper inspirations for the concept of Feast of Flowers. However, attempting to finance the publication of a traditional print book distracted me from what is most important: the content.

    The thought of producing a cheap book with poor quality images not only is counter-intuitive, it devalues an artist's work. Paying a little and getting a lot relates to the same sort of exploitative and self-indulgent behavior that was a part of the colonial era.

    I’ve turned to PDF, HTML web based format to focus on the design and content of this theme. I would like to embrace this digital format through which the concepts can be explored without being limited by the dimensions of a "coffee table" art book. I am essentially a story-teller who paints. As such, I appreciate the idea of embracing the latest in digital technology to amplify traditional methods of painting. A printed version of Feast of Flowers is not out of the question, but first things first: design.

    The interdisciplinary programming of this body of work reflects the desire to use the “art arena” as an intellectual commons. I feel strongly that this digital format offers immense possibilities as a medium of information. As such, it will be positioned to enlarge the sensibilities of all who come in contact with it and will have the potential to build a far great consensus for nature and art.

    Last updated:
  • Feast of Flowers celebrates the 500th anniversary of the first European contact with Florida, the first named area of what is now the United States. The exhibition will consist of a series of large-scale paintings and prints---as well as a lecture series---which together will closely examine the natural systems that have existed in Florida for thousands of years.

    The title Feast of Flowers is lifted from the naming of Florida in the year 1513, “Pascua de Florida”. It signals our plan to explore the idea of nature as a consumable and vulnerable resource while also acknowledging the history of hungry European settlers in “la Florida’s” bountiful banquet. Within this reality we also explore the mythology woven into the rich, aesthetic story of La Florida---including Ponce de Leon’s romanticized search for the Fountain of Youth.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    6 backers

    a vintage, Florida postcard expressing my ultimate gratitude, access to all project updates, and a mention of you on my website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    23 backers

    the above, plus the opus of the project: the PDF, HTML web version of “Feast of Flowers”. Thank you!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    24 backers

    the vintage, Florida postcard, the PDF book, and a silkscreen t-shirt of the project image! Thank you so much!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    24 backers

    all of the above, plus a limited edition 4 x 6" silkscreen print. This is one of the best pledges!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    5 backers

    all of the above, plus a uniquely packaged thumb-drive containing a digital portfolio and sincere acknowledgement of your donation as a contributor in the "Feast of Flowers" book. This is even better!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers

    the PDF book, the t-shirt, credit as a contributor in the book, your choice of a limited edition 30 x 22” tortoise or snake silkscreen print, and an exclusive, small group tour of the exhibition at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. (This does not include travel expenses to the museum)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    For this generous donation, you will receive the PDF book, the silkscreened t-shirt, credit as a contributor in the book, your choice of a limited edition 30 x 22" silkscreen print, an exclusive, small group tour of the exhibition, a 9 x 12" framed plein-air oil painting, PLUS a phone-call to personally thank and invite you and a guest of your choice to the "Feast of Flowers" dinner party, a thoughtful and elegant arrangement of edible flowers and native wild plants prepared by Orsay's executive chef Brian Siebenschuh. This event will be hosted by the wonderful gastronomist Cari Sánchez-Potter of The Legend Series and Intuition Ale Works. This pledge is truly remarkable! (This does not include travel expenses to the dinner)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    at this incredible philanthropy level, you get the $500 and $1,000 incentives, plus a catered kayaking trip through the Suwannee with a guest of your choice on artisan hand-made kayaks made by Aaron Wells. (This does not include travel expenses to the river)

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (28 days)