In order support to Atlanta photographers as well as promote and encourage photography collectors, I created a public art project that distributed actual fine art prints, slightly larger than postcards, at different locations in the city of Atlanta. Funded by Atlanta Celebrates Photography as their public art project for the 2009 Photography Festival, this was a difficult year for artists financially after the market crash of 2009. My motivation was to find a way to divide the grant among Atlanta’s photographic artists .
Focusing on established artists who were not represented by a commercial gallery, I selected one image each from twelve different artists and made small 5” x 7” prints in editions of 100 on 100% cotton rag paper using archival pigment inks. Each print was signed by the artist and the back featured a short artist statement and bio for that artist along with a brief explanation of the project. Prints were distributed to the public for free during the month of October. I selected 10 different dates and 10 different heavily trafficked locations within the city for distribution.
For each date, I teamed up with 2 artists and/or volunteers to personally approach strangers, describe the project and offer them to choose one print from 4 different choices. Dates and locations were not publicized in advance to infuse Atlanta with photography in an exciting, unpredictable way that directly impacts Atlantans within the flow of their daily lives.
The “Gifted” project was also an attempt to find and cultivate new appreciators of photography and the photographic print, by providing a professionally-printed “starter print” for a potential collector. The exchange promoted local photographers while encouraging a rich dialogue about the act of gifting valuable art for free, as well as an oblique commentary on the economy.
Photographers participating in this project include: Corinne Adams, David Walter Banks, William Boling, John Bohannon, Christian Bradley West, Diane Kirkland, Kathryn Kolb, Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier, Pam Moxley, Laura Noel, Dorothy O’ Connor, & Michael West. Prints were produced by the very talented printer John Dean.