Dreamless: A Mixed Media Print Project
Dreamless: A Mixed Media Print Project
A print project in mixed media art highlighting a collection of 10 images presented in archival ink on exhibition quality paper.
A print project in mixed media art highlighting a collection of 10 images presented in archival ink on exhibition quality paper. Read more
About this project
Dreamless is a mixed media digital printmaking project but more importantly an artistic process that confronts what Amy Guzman once described as “artist’s block,” or those countless obstacles, doubt-filled hours, and unproductive days spent not doing creative work. It draws upon the artist’s imagination to dream once again—undertaking a series of thoughts, images, and sensations organized into a structured relationship in which collaboration among artist, printmaker, and the patron is a central feature of the artistic process. This ode to dreams is my attempt to capture, print, and share the beauty and complexity of “dreaming” in spite of “artists block,” ultimately presented in a mixture of lines, colors, photographs, and digital renderings that I hope will stimulate new works and important areas of practice in the use of creative materials for other artists and writers. The collection of prints is a deeply personal and focused interpretation of several themes, topics, and closely related questions, particularly those concerning methodology in the visual arts of the African Diaspora. It gives great consideration to the importance of dialogue outside traditional boundaries of the art gallery and museum. Dreamless, this current project, will be the newest extension of my creative alchemy which will combine film photography, line/mark-making, ink, paint, and digital rendering to create a limited collection of images. It is my hope to draw you in closer to that artistic process and share with you some, if not all, of the unique pieces. Before beginning this project I was awarded a museum practice (archives and collections) fellowship by the African American Museum in Philadelphia where I researched and studied some of the most prominent black artists of the twentieth century. The fellowship opportunity connected me with several art institutions in and around the city of Philadelphia, as well as introduced me to a significant number of community and cultural organizations. In addition, my time in Philly has afforded me the wealth of diverse experiences in meeting many good friends, sharing high hopes and transcendent ideas, but more importantly the pleasure of knowing some of the most brilliant/badass “homegrown” artist this side of town.
And so, after a year of living, learning, and growing in that cohort of creativity it would be right to say that I am now one of them. Below are several images from a series completed in 2011 along with my graduate thesis work at the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University. The collection draws on my knowledge of the history of the 1812 Aponte Rebellions in Cuba for which Jose Antonio Aponte was charged, convicted, and executed by the Spanish colonial authorities. Interestingly, the libro de pinturas or book of paintings/drawings used as evidence to convict Aponte “has been lost to history.” In spite of this fate, their memory inspired me to imagine and dream beyond my artist’s block; they freed me.
Why should you support this project?
The project is collaborative and supports the collective/cooperative nature of my work. The project is mixed media and explores various methods and alternatives in visual (re)presentation. The project provides a unique opportunity for new and important works to be printed, published and engage a broader audience in the visual arts.
After the project is completed and my patrons receive their copies, my goal is to submit one complete set of exhibition size prints to be kept and displayed, if accepted, among the permanent collections of the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, New York with whom I have been developing a working relationship. Thereafter, I hope to begin the next project of compiling the images into a published book.
Who’s the artist?
I am primarily a teacher. I come to this self-conception through my knowledge of the roots and my experience with the routes of Africa’s Diaspora, moving to New York, in 1996 from Jamaica. My journey and affinity for history and the arts has since brought me to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where I work as a digital literacy trainer, community organizer, freelancer, film photographer and unyielding artist.
About my work:
My work is placed based; it is about ancestor and home. I call on memory, archival practices, the simple and scientific study/manipulation of light and color to develop various methodologies for creating visual art, media, and photography. It seeks to explore the varied properties and qualities of fine and unique papers, inks, paints, and digital technologies. I am interested in cartes-de-visite, assemblage, appropriation, cropping, stills, pointillism, rendering, wet plates and portrait.
In March 2012 I made my first fine art print--a stretched canvas photograph of Tuskegee Airman Henry L. Moore printed by Silicon Digital Fine Art Printmakers in Old City, Philadelphia. The accomplished piece was presented as a gift and ultimately accepted as a donation from the patron to the holdings of the Burchfield Penney Art Center in April, 2012.
As a self-trained photographer and visual artist, as well as historian, my tools have been wit and curiosity, love and appreciation for roots and culture, and a firm commitment to organizing around community (as well as my film cameras, homemade enlargers, paintbrushes and ink pens)—drawing together collective talents, skills, resources, and vision. My growing relationship with Silicon holds true to their saying “while the tools at Silicon are digital, the philosophy is deeply rooted in the belief that it is the chemistry between the artist and the printmaker that results in the finest work.” True!
You can see more of my work by visiting my tumblr page: Push to Print
I recently completed an artist in residency program with the South El Monte Arts Posse (SEMAP) of South El Monte, California. You can read more about it on their site: SEMAP
While I was there, we also did a radio interview with their local news outlet that did a brief write up on one of our photographs. You can read more about it here: MidValleyNews
Lastly, we also gave a talk at Pomona College Museum of Art. You can check out a video here: Pomona College Museum of Art, BESHT
Why I need your support?
To create a collection of prints I need to raise money for:
Production: film, ink, paper, paint, studio space.
Post-production: Printing and mounting
In appreciation of your support for the project you will receive a print from the series with a thank you note attached. Also, you will receive updates and notification of future projects and collaborations.
Updates: You can check on the progress of the Dreamless project by visiting my blog where there will be "sneak-peeks" or regular text, image, and video updates of my in-studio sessions: My tumblr page Push to Print.
Risks and challenges
The primary risk is expense. Film photography is an expensive and more complicated process that is no longer widely available but nonetheless a great medium for exploring and experimenting with visual imagery. It requires far more proofing than just using digital media.
I may encounter some difficulty finding certain types of film (i.e. Kodak Portra 400) or errors in processing. The photo lab I work with has been a hub for photographers in Philadelphia since the 90’s; they do good work. Silicon’s printmaking shop is a small family of skilled printmakers/artists and I may encounter some delays in production to accommodate their schedule but they always afford me the one-on-one time I deserve.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (30 days)