This blog post was originally published on aftrart.com.
Late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, I wrote Artists: a Call to Arms.
This was my gut reaction to the 2016 US Elections.
The next couple days were a blur. I felt sick, exhausted, emotional, scared, confused, frustrated, lost. And a big part of me still does.
I can’t say that I’ve completely come to terms with all that’s happening in our country right now.
Who knows how these next four years will play out. My guess is that it’s not going to be easy. We’re going to have to fight hard to keep some of the rights we’ve won over the past eight years, and fight even harder to win the rights that are still technically on the table (or keep getting brought back to the table).
But like I said on Wednesday, artists can make a difference.
We can participate in the conversation and we can find ways to form new dialogues.
We can connect communities and bring people together.
And hopefully we can help each other feel a little more safe, find ways to heal, and take steps to move forward.
I’m Trying to Look Ahead
I’ve always had questions about the world around me, and I use art as a way to explore the different facets of my identity, my community, and my environment. This has lead me to make work that examines social issues, many of which feel concerningly relevant as January 20th, 2017, Inauguration Day, approaches.
My goal has always been to bring awareness to the causes that I care about, and it’s rare that I ever try to make money off of my projects.
I make art because I have to. It’s allows me to talk to people about the problems I see and communicate my ideas and emotions more effectively.
But somehow, I never knew how I could make a bigger impact until recently.
A talented, inspiring, and insightful friend, Charissa Lucille, shared an article about artists selling their work and donating the proceeds to organizations. And my initial thought was, “that’s amazing, I wish I could do that.”
And then…I realized I could!
Buy Some Art & Make a Difference
I’ve made work about young motherhood, growing up in a bordertown, and living in the Colorado Rockies. And although each project began because I wanted to interpret my own experiences through photography, I realize that they each relate to three major issues that are in the public consciousness right now.
This was a whirlwind of an election year, but one thing was clear: many politicians thing that women’s bodies (and their ability to make choices in their own interest) is up for debate.
Additionally, our country will soon be lead by a man that has 12 sexual harassment and assault accusations against him; our legislature has been trying to defund Planned Parenthood for years; and we just witnessed one of the most well-qualified presidential candidates of all time (and a woman) loose because of an antiquated voting system.
I think it’s fair to say that I’m pretty nervous about the years to come. Which is why I want to help strengthen the organizations that are fighting for our rights.
To do so, I’m selling the remaining 17 copies of Young Mothers: Photographs and Interviews, and 75% of the proceeds will go to the organization of the buyer’s choosing.
This book was originally created for my Young Mothers exhibition in 2015, a body of work about women who had children before reaching adulthood. Through this project, I had the opportunity to share how each mother found the strength to overcome obstacles and care for her family, regardless of age.
In this handmade book, you’ll find 12 photographs and accompanying stories, as told by each mother. I’ve selected a few organizations that are reflective of the conversations that surround Young Mothers, but I welcome you to write in your own, and I’ll make sure $30 is donated on your behalf.
Most of us agree that global warming is a thing, and a problematic one at that.
But unfortunately, that’s not the case for our president elect…
Humans have done a lot of damage to this planet, and we can’t turn back the clock. But we can focus on building a sustainable future.
Moving to Colorado was a huge eye-opener for me. I’ve grown up in desert cities all of my life. I’m used to staying in air-conditioned rooms and driving everywhere I go to avoid the heat. While I’ve always understood the great importance of decreasing our dependence on nonrenewable resources and reducing waste, living in an entirely new environment just outside the White River National Forest gave me a new perspective.
To that effect, I’ve selected 5 photographs from my Between Mountains series to be a part of a limited edition of 50 prints that will raise money for organizations engaged in environmental research, activism, and legislation.
Like the Young Mothers book, buyers will get to choose which organization they’d like their donation to go to, but the amount donated varies depending on the price paid for the print.
Immigration Rights & Reform
I grew up in Yuma, Arizona, where many people are directly affected by immigration issues. I’ve had friends and family who have had to wait years to gain their citizenship. I’ve witnessed the fear and anxiety strict border policies can cause in a community.
U.S. Citizen or not, every person deserves basic human rights. And a wall isn’t going to fix anything.
Our country needs immigration reform, but not the kind that will cause more deaths, tear more families apart, fuel racism, and shatter dreams.
To raise money for the organizations that are working to defend and protect immigrants, I’ve selected 5 images from my ongoing Yuma project to include a limited edition of 50 prints. Again, buyers get to choose which organization they’d like to contribute to, and the price they can pay.
There have been times where I found myself wanting to support an artist or a cause, but lack the funds to do so.
Typically, if I were showing in a gallery or trying to support myself off of this work, I’d price 8×10 inch prints consistently at $60.
But right now, I want to encourage participation and start conversations.
So in the hopes that more people can get involved, I’ve offered a few different pricing options. You can purchase a print for as little as $20 and up to $60.
Here’s how it breaks down:
The money that isn’t donated will go to the cost of materials, and anything left will be reinvested into my upcoming projects.
I encourage you to pay what you can, because the more money we can raise, the more good we can do, right?
I think of this a combined limited edition of 50 total prints. But really, there are 5 unique photos selected per body of work, and each of those photos are printed 10 times.
Given the way this is set up, I can’t guarantee that you’ll get the photo you wanted, but I’ll be diligent about removing photos that have sold out.
However, you’ll have an opportunity to select your preferences before you checkout, and I promise I won’t send you duplicates if you want to buy multiple prints!
I designed the editions this way to make this more about supporting the causes we care about rather than being about art and money. And hopefully you like my work enough that it doesn’t really matter!