Wyoming Arts Council

WAC 2009 visual arts fellowship winner Dave Henderson using Kickstarter to kick-start a new project

WAC 2009 visual arts fellowship judges and recipients at the Visual Arts Symposium in Laramie. From left: Colorado sculptor Lawrence Argent (judge); New York mixed-media artist Gina Ruggeri (judge); Greg Esser (judge), director of the Roosevelt Row artists’ district in Phoenix; Dave Henderson (fellowship winner), Worland; Florence McEwin (fellowship winner), Green River; Bart Fetz (honorable mention), Green River. Not pictured: Fellowship winners Leah Hardy, Laramie, and Jill Hartley, honorable mention, Rock Springs.
David Henderson just notified wyomingarts about a project that he is trying to kick-start on Kickstarter. David (fourth from left in photo) was one of the winners of a 2009 visual arts fellowship from the Wyoming Arts Council. His work was featured in the 2008-2009 biennial fellowship show at the Wyoming State Museum Gallery in Cheyenne. 

In the 2009 fellowship competition, he submitted a series of oil and enamel paintings on panels that are part of his “American Dream” series. Henderson says he’s “inspired by the nostalgic and iconic imagery of Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post covers depicting American life. He spent last summer “painting interpretations of the American Dreams of my coworkers, friends, relatives and their children.” This was his first submission to the WAC fellowships. He grew up in Worland and received his B.F.A. in sculpture from the Maine College of Art in 2005.
Portrait of Audrey and Holden Truman (“Young Ambitions”), oil and enamel on panel, 20″x16″, Dave Henderson 
David now lives in Portland, Maine. He is continuing (and revising) this project and aims to raise $10,000 for his “American Poor Traits” book. Here’s how he describes it:

“American Poor Traits” will be an art monograph — a coffee table book — that will detail fifty Americans struggling with poverty. Through classical portraiture and a true objective journalistic approach, I hope to capture the essence of each of my subjects and tell their unique story, share their own “American Dream” with the rest of the country. 

My plan is to spend one year beginning this January, 2012, traveling the country in my silver little ’91 Subaru Loyale and spend one week with one person or family in one community in each state, interviewing and documenting each’s experience – their ambitions & obstacles, and then spend the following year of 2013 creating 24″x24″ portraits (oil on panel) to compliment each individual’s story. 

I plan to work in whatever capacity I can as I travel from state to state, answering part-time or temporary help wanted ads to pay for food, and will sleep in my car as much as I can during the cold months and camp outside during the warm ones.  I need help with the cost of the travel itself, gas and oil changes and windshield washer fluid and tire rotations.  

When I start the painting part of the project, I will need to pay for supplies; paints, wood for panels, and studio space. 

I will also be creating a website for the project and will be documenting the entire process from start to finish — from the minute I hit the road to the minute I finish the last portrait in the series.

A $25 supporter will receive a T-shirt from Lead Belly Press with a design by Jamakin Dave. For a $50 contribution, you will receive a signed copy of the “American Poor Traits” book.

Donate at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/20360490/american-poor-traits

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