I'm finally starting to recover from the two week burst of energy that was the 2017 East Austin Studio Tour. I was well advised to use this as an opportunity to engage with people.
My first priority was to treat it as an astronomy outreach opportunity. Instead of live views with the telescope, I used my images to tell stories of motion in the solar system and especially the 2017 solar eclipse. There was lots of discussion about astrophotography with small equipment, and how to make prints that look like live views through a telescope.
Visitors shared their own stories of eclipses, amateur astronomy, and photography. Eclipse chasers, astronomers, kids, writers, parents, students, dancers, photographers, accountants, and old nerds like me stopped to look and chat.
A couple of thousand people came to Fisterra over the four and half days we were open. Many gave an image or two a look and a smile or just headed for the posole and beer. Some wanted to know more, or even wanted one of the metal prints. I tried to chat with everyone who lingered or seemed curious. I hadn't anticipated the stress of getting everyone what they wanted after the show, but I finally have nearly all the images that were ordered in their new homes or on their way.
The artists at Fisterra ranged from accomplished professionals to beginners like me and I've learned something from every one. The most exciting result is a direction that will have me breaking out of the flat rectangular frame of my documentary images.
My plan is to stay true to the physics of the skies, but add more fun, emotion, and commentary on what I have the good fortune to see. Part of this will involve using images from NASA and others. I plan to combining them with history, exploration, and my own images. I hope that they will show the universe in ways that a flat screen can't.
I've already started work on my first new project and will share what I learn here as I make progress. I'll also be following up on some invitations for talks and mentoring.
Thanks to Jennifer Chenoweth of Fisterra Studio for this opportunity and her inspiration and my fellow artists: Valérie Chaussonnet, Janine Hughes, Robby Lee, Andrea Nelson, Dawn Okoro, Jay Roff-Garcia, Shibiya Sabu, The Afro Gypsy, and The Theorists as well as Lisa Rawlinson for their inspiration and suggestions. Thanks to Jennifer M. Ramos for her images above. You can also see my images for EAST.
Content created: 2017-11-22
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