I am a visual artist. Over the last few years, I invited 30 award-winning authors to write in response to my art.THEN AGAIN: Vintage Photography Reimagined by One Artist and Thirty Writers is the singular anthology that assembles these richly imagined stories and poems with the captivating images that inspired them.
Imagining possibilities and forging new worlds, the stories and poems amplify the art. The artworks intensify the writings. Throughout the collection images evolve, characters re-appear, plots reveal, symbols come alive. We dream together.
THEN AGAIN is a collector's edition of limited quantity and abundant quality. The professionally designed book will feature over 30 full-color images, each paired with its corresponding story or poem, all printed on heavyweight premium paper stock bound in sturdy softcover.
The Booklet will be a shorter, seven or eight chapter version of THEN AGAIN.
Like all Kickstarter campaigns, this one is all or nothing. To fund this project, we need to reach our goal of $30,000 by April 30. If we do not, no one's credit card is charged and the project is unfunded.
This campaign is your opportunity to get a copy of the book and to join in the fantastic community that's bringing this project to life!
About the Art
You can find vintage photographs languishing in attics, basements – perhaps even your own - and in antiques stores. I rescue them, but I do not preserve them like a conservator. Instead, I collaborate with each image to create something new with the old.
Over the last couple decades, I’ve developed a technique for painting on vintage photographs. These rediscovered portraits and snapshots are the basis of my art: both canvas and inspiration for my painting. By the time I find them, the original chains of personal connection have broken. Subjects are freed to become characters cast and costumed, players in another story that forms fresh bonds with new audiences.
THEN AGAIN presents original stories and poems, each written in response to my artwork, by some of the freshest and most accomplished voices in literary and speculative fiction and poetry, including recipient of a 2018 Arab American Book Award, poet Safia Elhillo, author and essayist Akiko Busch, young speculative fiction writer Erin Roberts, best-selling author and multiple award winner Elizabeth Hand, Guggenheim and NEA fellow Mary Ruefle, another NEA fellow and short story writer Renee Simms, World Fantasy Awardee Sofia Samatar, and recipient of the World Fantasy Award - Life Achievement John Crowley...
And many more top-notch authors:
Unoma Azuah, Tina Connolly, Andrea Martinez Corbin, Paul Di Filippo, Jeffrey Ford, Shawn Frazier, Kij Johnson, Kirsten Imani Kasai, Karin Lowachee, Simone Muench, Paul Park, Christine Poreba, Jennifer Rapaport, Gregory Scheckler, Hollis Seamon, John Seven, Jim Shepard, Karen Shepard, Hasanthika Sirisena, Sara St. Antoine, Marjorie Thomsen, Sarena Ulibarri, and Izzy Wasserstein.
Plus reprints of poems by Pulitzer Prize winner Jorie Graham and 2018 Wallace Stevens Awardee Sonia Sanchez, to which I made a artworks in response (please note, the Sonia Sanchez poem will appear only on the printed full version of THEN AGAIN, available at the $90 reward level and above). And an introduction by curator Judie Gilmore.
You'll find more information about each author below.
The funding goal of $30,000 affords an edition of 500 beautifully designed books. I’ll be delighted to make more if there's demand, but there are no plans for broad distribution beyond this Kickstarter campaign. I plan to produce only a couple hundred more than the quantity of book rewards chosen here.
THIS is the place to get your book and be part of this effort!
How the Project Came To Be
Five years ago, curator Judie Gilmore invited me to participate in an exhibit for which authors wrote in response to the art. Inspired by one of my artworks, Hollis Seamon wrote a stunning short story, so thoughtful and potent on its own. Her story further re-created the already transformed photograph.
Together the art and writing generated a third radiant thing.
I was hooked, and wanted more. So, I studied hundreds of poems and stories, and invited authors whose style could enhance the growing collection of art and writing. Each author chose which artwork to write on, and I offered some of them character prompts from other stories in the anthology.
The culmination is a treasury of distinct, but intertwined tales and pictures to spark your imagination and wonder.
The book itself is a collaborative work of art.
At this moment, 90% of the writers have finished their stories and poems, receiving an honorarium for their work. All the art is ready, and the designer is set to go. We’re connecting art, writing, and now you.
We are getting this done together!
How You Can Join In
Become a Backer: Please consider backing this project at a level you’re comfortable with. The primary reward is the special edition book, THEN AGAIN, but we’re offering several great reward options.
Spread the Word: If you think well of this project, please email your friends and family, share the campaign on social media, and talk with people about why you like it!
This book is becoming a reality because folks like you decided to join the community that’s bringing this project to life!
About the Authors
The Book, THEN AGAIN
The Book ($90) is the main reward and the purpose for this campaign. THEN AGAIN: Vintage Photography Reimagined by One Artist and Thirty Writers is a collector's edition of limited quantity and abundant quality. This professionally designed book will feature over 30 full-color images, each paired with its corresponding story or poem, all printed on heavyweight premium paper stock bound in a sturdy softcover. The thick quality paper allows each page of image and text to shine independently without a hint or shadow of the other side showing through.
The Booklet ($25) and Booklet PDF ($12) offer seven or eight chapters of THEN AGAIN with writings by Tina Connolly, Hollis Seamon, Sara St. Antoine, Izzy Wasserstein, a collaboration of Karen and Jim Shepard, plus two or three more chapters yet to be determined when all the writings are complete. These writings and pictures weave together in a slightly different arrangement than in the book, emphasizing different sentiments and dreams.
Both the book and the booklet will be professionally designed by David Edge Design.
If you would like a peek at how the art and writing can work together, please see the pairings that have been published by some wonderful online journals: Clarkesworld, carte blanche, Menacing Hedge, Tupelo Quarterly, and Uncanny Magazine. These will be some of the chapters of THEN AGAIN.
Signed Art Print + Personalized Book ($200)
This is a rare opportunity and a special Kickstarter edition! Choose from four popular images for your special pigment inkjet print on Canson Rag Photographique paper. Each print will be professionally printed about 8 x 10", signed by me, and mailed to you unframed, and with protective packaging to keep it flat. After the campaign succeeds, a survey will be emailed to you where you can let me know which image you prefer.
In addition, your copy of THEN AGAIN will be signed and personalized by me.
Sponsor Level - Framed Art Print and Personalized Books ($500)
This reward includes a framed art print and two personalized and signed books. A special edition print of your choice will be signed and elegantly custom framed in an approximately 10 x 12" finished maple frame with an 8-ply mat.
With gratitude for your sponsorship of this unique project, your name will be listed as a special Sponsor of THEN AGAIN.
Collector Level ($2000)
A Collector reward includes two personalized and signed editions of THEN AGAIN plus a one-of-a-kind artwork from my studio. Each artwork combines a hand-painted vintage photograph (or two) with a cherry or maple shadow box frame or miniature cabinet - all painted, designed, and constructed by me. We'll work out a way for you to choose from a selection of available artworks. Thank you for collecting my art while also adding significantly to the effort of making this book a reality. Your name will be listed in the exclusive Collectors section of the book.
Producer Level ($5000)
At this level, your generous participation goes a long way towards making this project available for so many people. You can commission new art from me and/or choose from existing artworks to add to your collection. Let's discuss what you'd like! You will also receive two personalized and signed editions of the book. Your name will be listed as an Executive Producer on the copyright page of THEN AGAIN.
Thank you very much for being such a tremendously important part of this project and for leading the community effort to bring this project to life!
About Laura Christensen
About David Edge Design
This project is supported in part by an A.R.T. grant, a fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, and a grant from the Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Risks and challenges
Like all Kickstarter campaigns, this one is all or nothing. Since we've reached our funding goal, the risks in this project are small.
Producing such a singular book of fine art and writing takes a dynamic team. The artwork is complete and professionally photographed. 25 of the 30 fantastic authors have sent me their texts. Proofreaders are ready to hunt down any pesky typos. The book designer is on task. He’s worked with several excellent printers, and we will select one that is dependable, creative, and experienced with high quality beautiful art books. Now that we've we gained funding, we'll move forward into production.
Creating the book and the Kickstarter are new processes for me. I’m exploring new sides of my art-making and the articulation of my art. It's ignited a flurry of engagement and clarity that promises to impact my practice for the rest of my life. Thank you for joining in and giving me the chance to take these risks!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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