THE SHORT STORY:
I’m doing a project with local art gallery Spiva. Community teams (which can be any family, business, group of friends, or individual) will have a chance to take part by creating their own ‘Norman Rockwell’ scene based off of a Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover. The scene can be interpreted any way the team likes- and that can be as outlandish as you want. :) It will be entered in a contest for best scene, and I will photograph each of the ‘scenes’ the evening of October 21st. All teams will receive a photo of their Post cover interpretation.
My own example scene is pictured below, next to the original. If you live in the Joplin MO area and would like to do this, please register ASAP with Spiva (e-mail me for info or Spiva at sconroy [at] spivaarts [dot] org)…the deadline to register is October 14. Go forth! Do it!
I recently talked about a new project in collaboration with Spiva Center For the Arts here in Joplin, MO: an idea that I think could spark a very fun new movement. THESE are the kind of ideas I get excited about. :) And I think this one is important… because our art culture here is poised to explode, but only if people join the collaborations and set an example for future projects.
So here’s the synopsis of the project, once more, from Spiva: ‘Teams select a Rockwell illustration to interpret, provide their own costumes and props and pose for a photo October 26. Mark Neuenschwander, 9art Photography, will photograph the reenactments and display them in Spiva’s 3rd Street window gallery. Winning image will be selected by popular vote and will receive a Norman Rockwell prize package. All teams receive one complimentary copy of their photograph.’ [there will be a $25 fee for each 'team'].
First things first… I actually made a mistake the last time I posted this. the registration date is OCTOBER 14th:: that’s… yep… 5 days away. But all you have to do in that amount of time is decide if you are doing this and e-mail Spiva or me to register.
The next step is to brainstorm on an idea, and collect the ‘props’ for it… and you can totally do that!! Then set aside the 21st as the actual shoot date… images will be taken that evening AT spiva, of the different ‘scenes’ that participants have created. Remember, these scenes do NOT have to be exact replications of the originals. The project has more to do with interpreting that original image in whatever way you like. And if you are indeed doing this with human models and don’t know yet who your ‘models’ are (assuming they are not your own team members), remember that many of the covers are centered around just one person.
Steampunk? Wild West? Modern times? Sci fi? original time period? Whatever you want to do. :) Just drop by Spiva to get ideas by perusing their current Rockwell exhibit, or do an image search for ‘Norman Rockwell Saturday evening post covers’ right now. I promise something will spring to mind once you start scanning through these fun images.
And, as a final thought for participants, this could end up being a very fun ‘art piece’ for your own home or office, if you do this as a business, a family, or even an individual; you’ll receive a print of your scene (and can purchase additional if you’d like), and you can pair it, as I’ve done below, with a print of the original piece. Post prints can be obtained directly through Spiva, or through the Norman Rockwell museum website.
My image: So, to properly illustrate the concept, I needed to do my OWN shot so you could see what we’re talking about. The image here is hopefully the first of a series that will (humorously) explore these classic scenes from old Saturday Evening Post covers, and how those scenes might be re-interpreted in our time with the introduction of invasive technology. Here it is, image #1 in the series, together with the original cover on which it is based.
Its a very simple image…. but so is the original. And the purpose wasn’t just for myself with this one,
but also to demonstrate to possible participants how easy it can be to come up with an idea and props for this little series.
Notes on the image:
Firstly, thanks so much to my ‘model’ Josh and his mom Jessica for agreeing to let me use him as the subject here. I think he was just perfect for this.
As for exploring the concept, I deliberated for a bit on whether to project a graphic behind the subject, depicting a ‘video game’ scene to replace the original adventure image. I asked Shaun from Spiva his opinion, and his thought was clever: ‘Books fire the imagination and that is what Rockwell was saying. Video games…nothing.’ And that’s exactly what I wanted to say about technology in our time. So by intentionally leaving out the graphic, I think it says more in the end.
I’d love to hear what you have to say… whether thoughts on this image, or questions or ideas about participating. You can e-mail me at markn [at] 9artphoto [dot] com, or leave a comment. And you can register right now for this project by e-mailing Shaun at spiva… sconroy [at] spivaarts [dot] org.
Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!