Note: The book featured in the video is an early draft and does not contain the anecdotal history that I've since added to many of the cottages.
What's this project about and why did you make these images?
My motivation for creating this body of work, this book, comes from my personal experiences with the lake and observing the changing shoreline over the past fifteen years. In my youth, much of the lakefront was dotted with small, well seasoned summer cottages that stood on finely proportioned, tree speckled lots. The lake, and the people lucky enough to live there, had room to breathe. That vision of the shoreline is a vanishing one as lakefront property values, which have traditionally outpaced the average, have exploded over the past two decades. With the increase in property values comes an increase in square footage of the homes, leading to a more densely packed shoreline that has quite dramatically changed the appearance and personality of the lake. In short, the natural desire for these larger modern homes has led to the steady and rapid removal of the lake cottages that once contributed so greatly to Lake Mendota’s accessible charm and character.
I set out to artfully photograph the remaining cottages during the summers of 2010 and '11, in an attempt to document them before they are gone. I feel that it is culturally imperative to collectively record these structures for a better understanding of a sense-of-place, nostalgia and preservation for Madisonians, historians, Wisconsinites and lake lovers everywhere.
What is your plan for the project and why do you need the funds?
LITTLE HOUSE ON THE LAKE has been a multi-year, 7 phase project (see below). I have completed phases 1-4, and here is where you come in. I am asking the kickstarter community to assist me with phase 5, to help cover the printing costs associated with a book of this nature.
1. Planning (locating properties and homeowners, coordinating shoots)
2. Documenting (travel to and from cottages, making photographs)
3. Processing (processing film, making selects, scanning film and color corrections)
4. Book Design
5. Printing of Book
6. Distribution of Book
7. Exhibition of Images
The collection of images culminates in a high quality, 128-page, 12" x 12", 4-color, case bound (hard cover), fine-art book that will stand as a testament to Madison's humble beginnings on Lake Mendota. The book's appeal will surely grow over time as more and more of the cottages are removed. Out of the *53 properties featured (*This is counting the Middleton Boat Houses as one property), six are already gone, with at least two more scheduled to come down later this year.
I love your project, how do I become a backer?
By becoming a backer, you are taking part in preserving the history, lore, architecture, and draw of our beautiful lakes. Without you, this project would not be possible.
To make a pledge to LITTLE HOUSE ON THE LAKE click the green “Back This Project” button. You will be asked to enter your pledge amount and select a reward. Then, you will go through and must complete the Amazon checkout process. If the project is successfully funded, your card will be charged when the book reaches its funding deadline. The book is expected to be published around late November 2012 and will ship shortly afterwards, prints and postcards may come before.
Kickstarter is all or nothing, I have to reach my full goal by the end date, or the project won't receive funding. Every dollar that is donated to the project will go directly into the production of the books. If I happen to raise more than my goal, the money will go toward production enhancements and printing additional books.
Thank you so much, for taking the time to read about LITTLE HOUSE ON THE LAKE, and contributing at whatever level you're comfortable with. Please pass this along to anyone you think might be interested in the project. Your word of mouth is much appreciated!
This project is supported in part by Dane Arts, with additional funds from the Madison Gas & Electric Foundation, Dan Erdman, Electronic Theatre Controls and CUNA Mutual Group. Thank you Dane Arts, and Dan Arts supporters.
Thanks to Vincent Comparetto of Prometheus Productions for shooting and editing my video. Thanks to Tim Husmann for allowing me to use his beautiful song, Summer Rainstorms When I Was Younger. Thanks to kickstarter for creating a platform for independent artists and publishers to raise money and make their projects a reality. Thanks to Architectural Historian Anne Biebel and Mendota Historian Don Sanford for their contributions to the book. And thanks to Sarah Strahl for all of your love and support. Without all of you, this project would not be possible.
AT THE $50, $100 AND $150 CONTRIBUTION LEVELS 8" x 8" ARCHIVAL PRINT: TWO OPTIONS, YOUR CHOICE
AT THE $250 AND $500 CONTRIBUTION LEVELS 20" x 10" ARCHIVAL PRINT: MIDDLETON BOAT HOUSES
AT THE $1000 CONTRIBUTION LEVEL 24" x 24" GALLERY PRINT: YOUR CHOICE
You may choose from one of the images here, or I can send you a pdf of the collection to select from.
- (30 days)