About this project
WESTERN EDGE: An IN THE MAKE Project
Founded in early 2011 In The Make is a San Francisco-based online arts journal dedicated to posting weekly studio visits with West Coast artists. Now, we are about to undertake a very big idea called Western Edge. It is an epic road trip from Tijuana, Mexico to Vancouver, Canada, during which we will visit 40 artists along the way. It’s a bold attempt to document and shed light on current West Coast art practice. Through visiting artists in their studios we are able to learn about and share each artist’s space, process, influences, and the behind-the-scenes elements that are often unseen in a gallery or museum setting.
Our focus on West Coast artists is the natural result of living in San Francisco and witnessing a vibrant, but under-represented community of artists in San Francisco, Oakland, LA, Portland and beyond. We’re calling our road trip Western Edge because we will literally be traveling along the edge of the West Coast, but also because we will be exploring the distinctive perspectives and art practices coming out of this diverse region far from the limelight of cities like New York. We'll take 2 months to travel north and visit 40 artists working in various mediums. We’ll go to cities and small towns and hopefully a few unexpected places in between. This will be an opportunity for us to document and share not just the work of specific artists, but to investigate the current direction and perspective of West Coast art.
After we return from this adventure we will publish the studio visits on our site throughout the following year. In addition to interviews and still photos, we plan to create a few short videos about artists we visit (see the video we recently made about San Francisco painter Maja Ruznic). If possible we’d also like to create a short film that documents the adventure of the road trip itself. A more long-term goal is to compile our best studio visits along with our experiences and observations into a book that surveys current West Coast art practice.
Stretch Goals (Yes, we're dreaming big):
$35,000 – We’ll hire Noe Piters (our current Intern) to work part-time managing our communications and web presence. This will help expand In The Make’s reach while allowing us to focus on creating original content.
$50,000 – Equipment, production and post-production costs to create three short videos about artists we visit during the road trip. Check out the video we made about artist Maja Ruznic to see what we mean.
$80,000 – Equipment, production and post-production costs to create a short documentary film about the Western Edge road trip – the artists we visit as well as our experience along the way. We’ll work with video editor Dana Laman and multiple cinematographers.
$120,000 – We’ll grow our team by hiring someone to manage the administrative side of In The Make – research, communications, PR, etc. Which will allow us to focus on the artists we visit and on developing new web, film and publishing projects for In The Make.
Pledge $10 or more - Thank you so much for your support! You will receive an invitation to come celebrate with us at our send-off party in the spring in San Francisco. Location and date TBA. All supporters who pledge $10 or more will be invited.
Pledge $20 or more - A postcard from the edge. Nikki or Klea will send you a personalized postcard (with an IN THE MAKE picture on it) while we are on the road, sharing our whereabouts, progress and observations.
Pledge $30 or more - 100% cotton, sturdy canvas IN THE MAKE tote bag designed by Isla Bell Murray.
Pledge $30 or more - Limited edition artist notebook with a hand-printed woodcut print on the cover made by Imin Yeh. Her design, made especially for IN THE MAKE, features her favorite artist’s tools. 8x10 inches, brown craft cover and recycled blank paper (great for drawing).
Pledge $45 or more - Limited edition print of “The End” illustration by Wendy MacNaughton. Her illustrations of objects and people, based off careful observations, often utilize typography and tell intimate, overlooked stories. 9x12 inches, Archival pigment print.
Pledge $45 or more - Limited edition print of “Orson Fowler, phrenologist” by Alison Kendall. Alison brings a naturalist’s approach to her paintings and collages, this one includes collected seaweed. 9x12 inches, Archival pigment print.
Pledge $65 or more - Limited edition print of “Blue girl”, a watercolor painting by Maja Ruznic. Maja’s work observes “anti-heroes” and moments of human frailty that are fictionalized in a mix of memory and imagination. See the video we made about Maja here. 9x12 inches, Archival pigment print.
Pledge $65 or more - Limited edition print of hand-cut collage “Cyclic I” by Alexis Mackenzie; Alexis’s uses antique books, paper and natural imagery to consider life cycles and relationships in the natural world. 9x12 inches, Archival pigment print.
Pledge $100 or more - Customized war mug created by Ehren Tool. Artist and veteran Ehren Tool, works with military imagery to create a conversation around the realities of war. Ehren will custom make a ceramic cup for you using your personal piece of military memorabilia. You’ll send him an image and he’ll create a handmade cup that features it. (Ideal image size is 3x3 inches)
Pledge $200 or more - Very limited edition print (only 9 available) of “Day 194” from Michelle Blade’s series 366 Days of the Apocalypse. Michelle’s watercolor paintings investigate existential mysteries and the unknown. 9x12 inches, Archival pigment print.
Pledge $250 or more - The Butterfly Hunter Limited edition artist book by Klea McKenna. Klea created a photographic archive of her father's butterfly collection, hunted and preserved forty years ago. The images display delicate insects framed by the faded and stained newspapers, magazines and letters that her father (writer and philosopher Terence McKenna) used as envelopes to hold his specimens. Published in 2008, this book is no longer available anywhere else. Each copy is numbered and signed by the artist. You can learn more about this project and book HERE.
Pledge $300 or more - Reach the IN THE MAKE audience, over 10K + viewers a week! Advertise your business, website, or blog on In The Make for one month in early 2013. Your logo/image and link will appear as a 1 inch square ad on every studio visit page for the duration of a month.
Pledge $400 or more - An original “Nicasio” woodblock print, hand printed by artist Tom Killion, based on a 1979 sketch done in the small West Marin town of Nicasio. Multi-block reduction cut with 7 color layers completed summer 2011. Tom creates prints of California landscapes using traditional Japanese and European methods along with his own ever-evolving technique. 11x 14 inches
Pledge $500 or more - A shadowbox sculpture by artist and woodworker Ido Yoshimoto. Ido felled and milled this redwood tree then used the bark and sapwood to create a delicate mirror image that he framed with the heartwood of the tree and a piece of beveled glass. Ido uses salvaged materials such as wood, bone, and glass in his work to highlight natural elements that often go unnoticed. Dimensions: 7.25 x 4.75 x 1.7 inches
Pledge $300 or more - Original woodblock print by Jill Storthz. Jill uses the daring “suicide” method of woodblock printing to create vibrant abstractions. She made this print in a small edition of 5. Each is unique as the colors vary in each print, but all include rich reds and golds. 9x12 inch print on larger paper.
Pledge of $400 or more - Dinner with Nikki Grattan and Klea McKenna during the road trip. This would be a great opportunity to have meaningful discussion around West Coast art practice and ask the In The Make ladies any burning questions. Our treat ; ) Donor must be located along the West Coast. And of course we will bring along a tote or woodcut printed notebook for you too.
Pledge of $800 or more - An original photograph by artist Klea McKenna (who also happens to be IN THE MAKE founder and photographer). This circular image from her series Volcano Watchers. Is a vividly colored vision of a forest landscape. Original chromogenic photograph, 20 x 20 inches.
Pledge of $1,200 or more - A custom drawing by artist Christina Empedocles. Christina uses obsessive realism to preserve an event or memory; to recreate something finite so as to not lose it entirely. Send Christina a photo or meaningful piece of paper ephemera (such as a ticket stub or note) and she will create a striking b&w drawing of it. Finished drawing will be about 8 x 8 inches.
Pledge of $2,000 or more - A portrait sitting with painter Zina Al-Shukri. This is a full experience, shaped by the collaboration between the sitter and artist to create a tangible, intimate and visceral encounter and a portrait of you (or someone you choose). The figures in Zina’s work are often exaggerated and altered to heighten expressive and emotive qualities in order to explore interior/exterior relationships. Must be able to come to Zina at her studio in San Francisco in early 2013.
Pledge of $5,000 or more - You are so kind and generous, and you are really investing in your art community in a meaningful way. The world needs more art patrons like you! Think of yourself as a modern Medici. Choose any gift from the list above and also know that you have our undying gratitude.
Risks and challenges
Once we have raised the funds to make Western Edge possible, we’ll then begin the process of researching, mapping and planning our 1500+ mile journey. Planning a trip of this scale is a complex puzzle. In January of 2012 we did a smaller version of this sort of adventure. We drove to Los Angeles and spent one week visiting 12 LA-based artists. We often visited 3 artists in a day and we learned a lot about how to navigate unknown territory, personalities and schedules and we’ll apply what we learned to Western Edge. It’s important to us to document a group of artists who are diverse in their perspectives, backgrounds, ages and mediums. With this in mind, our research begins with requesting artist recommendations from curators, critics, fellow artists and you, our readers. We are already reaching out to institutions, galleries and individuals up and down the West Coast to create this list. In addition to researching artists, we will plan the logistics and timing of the road trip which will include all accommodation and equipment needs. When the time comes we will both have to put our other jobs and commitments on hold and clear the decks for two months next spring while we travel north visiting artists and documenting and publishing what we learn. Western Edge is a huge undertaking, but we feel that it is important and timely to shine some light on current West Coast art practice.
Thank you for your support and encouragement. - Klea & Nikki
BIG THANK YOUS!!!
We want to say a huge Thank you to our incredibly generous video editor Dana Laman for creating our Kickstarter video and to Sara Curtis for contributing her sound recording skills. Also a big Thank you to Eric Kuhn and The Papercuts for letting us share their music in our video.
Here’s how we plan to use the funds donated by IN THE MAKE supporters: If we reach our $25,000 goal we will then begin a 3-month process of researching artists up and down the West Coast. We will reach out to readers and artists as well as curators and critics to gather artist recommendations. We will then research each artist’s work and begin contacting them as we map out and schedule the trip. Nikki and I will do this sort of research and communications, with the help of our fantastic intern Noe. Meanwhile, we will continue to do studio visits with local, Bay Area artists and publish our weekly visits on IN THE MAKE.
20% of the funds we gather will be spent on gift fulfillment, which includes product and material costs, shipping and most importantly paying the artists who contributed their artwork to our campaign.
50% of the funds will be spent directly on travel costs. This includes gas, food and lodging for Nikki and I for two months and also travel expenses and accommodation for two filmmakers who will join us for portions of the trip in order to document. We will also be purchasing some equipment as well as renting more expensive equipment when necessary. In addition to the actual course from Tijuana to Vancouver, we will need to bring our car home with us – doubling our driving distance.
30% of the funds will go towards post-production costs. This will entail months of editing and processing and sequencing thousands of photos from the 40 studio visits. In addition to writing an introduction for each visit based on her observations, Nikki works with each artist to fine-tune their interview. Additionally our video editor Dana Laman will work through the footage we have recorded and craft it into finished artist videos.
In all honestly $25,000 is hardly enough to cover the scope of this project, but Nikki and I are passionate about it, willing to contribute our time and energy to documenting current art practice and beyond excited to make WESTERN EDGE real.
His name is Farfel and he has been Nikki's steadfast compadre for the last 8 years. He goes just about everywhere with us— essentially, he is IN THE MAKE's mascot. So, yes... he will definitely be joining us on the road trip!
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