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RI Stonecarver inspired by Celtic art to visit British Museum's landmark "Celts: Art and Identity", create new work, mount gallery show
RI Stonecarver,  inspired by Celtic art, visited British Museum's landmark "Celts: Art and Identity", and is creating new work to mount a gallery show
RI Stonecarver,  inspired by Celtic art, visited British Museum's landmark "Celts: Art and Identity", and is creating new work to mount a gallery show
30 backers pledged $1,668 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Celtic Art: Sculpture and Journey

$1,668

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This will be the lowest tech project ever. I carve stone. 

I am a sculptor using primarily stone who has been inspired by Celtic art and design for over 30 years. I studied Celtic art through the work of other contemporary artists, in libraries, books  and on line, and have made many sculptures, drawings, fiber pieces and installations inspired by and related to these historic works. My work as an artist has been documented by Networks RI in a video shown on PBS and inclusion in Networks shows; I've created public art pieces in Cumberland, RI, South Kingstown, RI, and Goderich, Ontario with Celtic themes, 

"Torn", South Kingstown RI Land Trust Sculpture Trail
"Torn", South Kingstown RI Land Trust Sculpture Trail

It is remarkably difficult to see most of the world's historic collections of Celtic art. In North America the collections are tiny. Like the Celts themselves, the artifacts are widespread, ancient, on the fragile side and scattered among a few European collections - very rarely gathered into a large exhibition. The first time I ever saw ANY Celtic art was the 1977 "Treasures of Early Irish Art" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, as a college student. It inspired a deep change in the trajectory of my art work. 

Relying on libraries, and later on the internet, I never hoped to see in person most of the remarkable objects that had affected my work so strongly. Imagine my delight when the British Museum announced Celts: Art and Identity this past Fall.  This is the first major exhibition of Celtic art in Britain in nearly 40 years and includes representative objects from the Iron Age to the present day, from Germany to Scotland to the contemporary scene. The landmark exhibition closes January 31, 2016. It is an unprecedented opportunity for research and inquiry. I'm heading towards a self-designed artists' research residency in London for a week- and I'll be sharing it on my blog and Facebook page, creating a visual as well as a written diary of my journey and studies. 

All funds raised will go to help defray the $1800+ cost of this study journey to London, including become a member of the British Museum for one year, acquiring the exhibition catalog, viewing the exhibition for at least four days, and attending two lectures by leading scholars featured as part of the exhibition. I can hardly believe I will be able to see the Gundestrup Cauldron, the Holzgerlingen statue, Knox silver and large stones from Scotland, all in the same galleries! See the highlight objects for this shown and other information from the British Museum at 

http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/celts/highlight_objects.aspx

I'm currently at an important juncture in my career as an artist, and have taken a new studio in Warren, RI, where I teach stone carving and share my work. And, I recently retired, just a tad early, and am now working with a fixed income. I had already been  planning to spend most of the winter and spring in the studio on a new body of work. The timing of the British Museum exhibition has solidified that goal, and will provide a new, invigorating wave of inspiration. Individual pieces of new art work will be shared as rewards. I am planning a gallery exhibition of art work inspired by this journey, my largest show in years- with a festive opening including traditional Celtic music. Supporters will be invited.  The gallery is not decided yet, but will most likely be in Warren, RI. 

Traditional Brigid Cross, reward at $25
Traditional Brigid Cross, reward at $25

Sculpture rewards will be an individual NEW work of one of a kind art, a stone sculpture or a stone rubbing.  Most of the work will be featured at the gallery show, and would be shipped after she show concludes. Here would be an example of the scale of work offered to a donor at the $100 level: 

Reward at $100- a carving similar to Under Ancient Seas, 8" tall relief carved on water-smoothed beach limestone
Reward at $100- a carving similar to Under Ancient Seas, 8" tall relief carved on water-smoothed beach limestone

Included in  my rewards are hands-on stone carving experiences. There is an opportunity for you to host a stonecarving class for up to four people in your own backyard, or other suitable spot- I'll bring everything needed for an unforgettable day of carving, learning and creativity.

Take a stone carving class for your reward- for just yourself in my studio or with a group of four in your choice of location. Here, two pieces from a beginner!
Take a stone carving class for your reward- for just yourself in my studio or with a group of four in your choice of location. Here, two pieces from a beginner!

Please note: Because these rewards consist of my one of a kind art work (or my teaching time) and I am not a manufacturer, the rewards are not cumulative. All levels include invitations to the reception/exhibition and postcards. 

There is no substitute for seeing in person the art that most inspires you.  Because of the nature of much Celtic art work, its fragility and age, it is so very rarely gathered together.  This is a once in a lifetime show for me. It will inspire some exciting new work. 

Kickstarter will make the difference - time in the studio to work, and sharing that work with YOU, my supporters! I'm not a manufacturer; I am an artist. The work takes time; there is no new, awesome way to produce it, and it the investment here is for a piece of one of a kind sculpture, or the experience of making art. Kickstarter  signifies my commitment to making significant new work once I return from my research journey, and to sharing it with supporters, friends and new audiences  by mounting an exhibition. 

Some of the work included in Celts: Art and Identity has already inspired me! 

Holzgerlingen figure: inspiration for The January Man
Holzgerlingen figure: inspiration for The January Man

Please have a look at my sculpture at lauratraviscarving.com  If it resonates with you, I hope you'll consider supporting my journey.  

Risks and challenges

This budget includes anticipated expenses that are additional to the usual costs of operating my studio; for example, cost of stone and materials are not included. I am asking for support for a fraction of these unusual travel expenses in order to expedite the project and maximize possible time in the studio to complete the sculptures.

Airfare $814
accommodation 605
food @ $40/day 240
Museum membership,
lectures, catalog 160
ground transport
to/from airport 60

total $1879

$200-est. shipping of rewards

total $2079
Goal: $800 to help defray costs of airfare

potential stretch goal:
+$500- expenses of mounting and promoting exhibition, incl. hiring assistant and musicians

The requested funding is to partially support the expenses of a trip to London from RI leaving January 19 and returning January 26. The British Museum show, Celts: Art and Identity, closes January 31. A possible stretch goal for any additional funds would support the cost of mounting the exhibition itself- hiring an assistant to help with installation, and hiring a band to perform at the opening.

I have experience in mounting a solo exhibition, and with working with galleries as a professional artist for more than 20 years.

I have cleared my calendar for the trip and for creating a new body of work during winter and spring 2016, in order to minimize challenges to complete this project. Studio work will continue more sporadically in the summer, and resume again in the fall of 2016. Tentative dates of an exhibition would be either spring or fall 2017. This would primarily depend upon the gallery that I end up working with, but I have access (with a little fore-planning) to the gallery at my studio building for options October to April to mount a show, so have a fall back location in any case. With this proposed calendar, I hope to avoid major delays in completing the journey and the work.

Should the work take longer, or dependent upon the gallery situation, the exhibition could easily be organized for the following year.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The supporter at this level will receive an invitation to the opening of an exhibit of a new body of work inspired by the journey to see Celts: Art and Identity. The opening will feature live Celtic music! Location TBA. Included will be a digital photographic portfolio of work from the exhibition.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The supporter at this level will receive an invitation to the reception and opening described above, and the personal gift of a handmade Brigid Cross as well as two signed limited edition art postcards from the exhibition.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The supporter who pledges this amount will receive an invitation to the reception/exhibition, postcards and a medium sized, one of a kind stone rubbing made from a relief carving. Please see photographic examples!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The supporter who pledges at this level will be invited to my studio to learn the technique and create their own stone rubbing on quality cloth with archival art crayons, directly from my collection of original carved stone reliefs. An invitation to the reception/exhibition and postcards are included. This reward may be scheduled at any time after April 2016.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The supporter who pledges this amount will receive an invitation to the reception/exhibition and will be able to commission a small relief sculpture. This piece may be featured in the exhibition. Your input welcome! Please see photographs for examples: this will be new, one of a kind work.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    The supporter who pledges this amount will receive an invitation to the reception/exhibition and a beginners' class in carving limestone in relief in the artists' own studio in Warren, RI. One class already scheduled for March. Other class days and times can be arranged going forward.

    Should the supporter be at distance or not wish to take a class, the pledge can also provide a scholarship to a deserving high school student to take the class.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    The supporter who pledges this amount will receive an invitation to the reception/exhibition, postcards and will be able to commission a small figurative sculpture. Your interested input is welcome! Please see photographs for examples; this will be new, one of a kind work.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The supporter who pledges at this level will receive a personalized 6-8 hour stone carving class for four people within a 200 mile radius of the artists' studio in Warren, RI. Instruction and use of tools are included. Small materials fees may apply on day of class. Class may be scheduled after April 2016.

    The supporter will also receive invitations to the reception/exhibition and a set of postcards for each class attendee.

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    Pledge $700 or more About $700

    The supporter who pledges this amount will receive an invitation to the reception/exhibition and a specially commissioned larger sculpture in stone, with input on its theme or inspiration as part of the body of work created. This work will be the highlight of the exhibition. Please see photographs for examples; this will be new, one of a kind work.

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Funding period

- (21 days)