Who I Am:
I'm pursuing a business venture involving building photo mosaic murals in public or semi-public spaces. My mosaic pieces are hyper-detailed images using my own photography as a base and then built with tiles made from recycled photo paper that are 1 cm by 1 cm, which obviously takes large amounts of time and can be difficult to assemble.
I want to be a figure that's primarily in the public art realm, which is why I'm focusing on muralism. I'm somewhat of an exhibitionist, so for me having work hidden away in a gallery in a mere exhibit simply will not do. Down the road, I'd like to find a way to produce outdoor murals that can withstand the elements so I can reach even more people.
Why I Love It:
What I like about public art is that it can provide benefits to the cities they dwell in. Many studies in numerous cities have been shown that it can help communities in a variety of ways such as pushing residents to develop a stronger attachment to their community, drive tourism and help the local economy, bring traffic to small business owners, and bring up property value. And when you have healthy communities, you bring down crime rates and other social problems. I'd like to find a way to make a contribution of my own with my work. Eventually, I'd like to get to a point where I can make extremely affordable pieces for small struggling business or real estate owners, or even on occasion donate work to them all together.
Why I Need Funding:
1) I'm just starting this venture and I haven't earned many professional references at this point, nor do I have a very solid footing in the business world just yet. Funding will help me acquire the resources needed to build a portfolio focusing on muralism. And once I have that, I'll more easily be able to expand to areas where it'll be more beneficial and have a greater effect.
2) My work is environmentally friendly: Darkrooms tend to produce quite a bit of waste photo paper because it's a guess and check system. To measure things like timing, focus, contrast, etc. you have to test and develop bits of photo paper before you can make your print, which is instantly thrown away afterward. And even then, your print might show flaws that you couldn't see before, like dust or issues with exposure and focus that makes the print unuseable and may take multiple print attempts to rectify. I personally don't care for the wasteful nature of darkroom photography (even though it's my favorite medium), so I contact labs at schools, businesses, and sometimes private ones and take the waste paper off their hands. And then I recycle the paper by cutting up those prints and tests and using them as my tiles that make up the mosaic.
3) Since this work is for the public, it only makes sense that it's funded by the public and allows everyone to contribute with small and affordable donations. This way we can save grants (which always has limited funding available as is) for other artists or students who really need them. So by skipping Starbucks for just one day we'll be sharing the cost for all to reap the benefits.
How I'll Use The Funding:
The primary use of the fund is going to be for obtaining the space. I've spoken to owners about the mural project, and many are willing to allow an installation. But please bear in mind that mosaics take an incredibly long time to build,as opposed to the traditional paint murals. And I certainly can't work around an active business because I would be a terribly invasive element in their workspace. And private owners in Montana typically can't afford to let their commercial property sit vacant and not bring in any money. This means I need to rent the space myself. The campaign will allow me to rent a location that costs anything under $775 for 6 to 12 months. Next, the money would pay for materials, which luckily won't cost all that much. That is except for the base print that I build the mosaic on top of. That's going to be custom made and obviously cover and entire wall, so I've got a feeling that part is not going to be cheap. And lastly, if any funds remain, they will be set aside for the next mural.
As mentioned before, crowdfunding can work much, much faster than all the other resources available, which is very important right now. True there is no deadline on this campaign, but I have located three open spaces that fits the bill for the installation, which in Montana are exhaustingly hard to find. I've been watching commercial real estate here for two years and hunting for a space for about a year and a half, and only in that timeframe only a handful of possibilities arose. So there is a definite need to move as quickly as possible for the fundraiser so someone doesn't beat me to those spaces.
Rewards For Donors:
For donors who want to go above and beyond and contribute larger amounts there are some perks. Donations of $25 and over will be included in voting on which image will be used for the upcoming mural. For donations of $50 to $99, you will receive a 10x8 print. And donations of $100 and over will receive a free T-shirt. So please leave contact info so I can get a hold of you. But please bear in mind that all donations no matter what amount, whether it be $5 or $500, are equally appreciated and will mean the world to me.
Additionally, there's in-store merchandise such as T-shirts and hoodies available. Please feel free to contact me for details or if you have any additional questions regarding this fundraiser.
- Why should anyone care about public art, all it is is decor, right?
Wrong. Public plays a role in the psychology of a population, even to those who have no interest in art. It has been shown to create a level of engagement and communal pride and encourages the development of a localized culture. These are benefits that serve as the foundation of a socially healthy community.
- Is there any proof that public art does these things? Isn't that just your opinion?
Yes there is proof, and there is tons of it. Do a simple search for "benefits of public art" and you'll find miles upon miles of published studies conducted across the whole world conducted by well respected researches and organizations.
- Why is communal health important?
Communal health has a ripple effect that can cause things like bringing down crime rates and lower other various social problems, create a sense of safety and allow the development of community programs, which can then help the local economy and small businesses by driving things like tourism (public art is also something that can be used to attract tourism to the area as well). When you have a solid healthy community, you have a happy community. This is why urban planning projects that are designed to reform certain areas frequently includes public art. Even if individuals don't like the piece they are still benefiting from it.