Atlanta gallery owner takes new focus to promote photography

Jennifer Schwartz has shown herself to be an out-of-the-box thinker since opening her self-named gallery in 2009.

Then she literally got out of the box, closing her Westside space last year in favor of pop-up shows and, most ambitiously, undertaking a tour to 10 American cities in a VW bus-turned-gallery on wheels this spring. The idea of the Kickstarter-funded Crusade for Collecting Tour was to recruit a new generation of art collectors by taking the photography to them rather than waiting inside a bricks-and-mortar space hoping someone might visit.

Now Schwartz is on to a new photography crusade. She has announced that she is shutting down operations of the for-profit Jennifer Schwartz Gallery by the end of the year and launching a non-profit, Crusade for Art.

Its mission, according to a recent announcement: “to build artists’ capacity to create demand for their work.”

Schwartz said the Crusade for Art will take a two-pronged approach: mentoring photographers to achieve higher levels of creative and professional development; and “incubating” solutions to connect them with audiences.

Crusade for Art’s programs will include:

  • Crusade Engagement Grant, an annual $10,000 award that will be given to an individual artist or artist group with the most innovative plan for increasing his/their audience and collector support. Applications are to open in March.
  • A CSA (Crusade Supported Art program), modeled on agricultural CSAs and similar to WonderRoot’s successful art CSA program. Fifty “shareholders” will invest $350 each to commission six photographers to create an image in editions of 50. Shareholders will receive two original, signed photographs in the mail three times yearly.
  • Fee-base mentoring as well as six-month mentorship programs awarded to 10 photographers per year through a competitive application process.
  • Crusade chapters being established in cities including Chicago, Pittsburgh and Portland, Ore.

“I will still be doing my favorite things — working with photographers and developing programs to create demand for art — in this new venture,” Schwartz told the AJC, “but I will miss working one on one with new collectors.”

She expects individual donations to fuel the non-profit’s launch and plans to solicit corporate donations and grants. While she awaits official 501c(3) status declaration from the IRS, the crusade is able to accept donations through fiscal sponsor New York Foundation for the Arts. To find out more: www.crusadeforart.org.

VISUAL ART

High exhibit to link American, British portraitists

The High Museum of Art has announced another installment in its series of “American Encounters” collaboration with the Louvre, Arkansas’ Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Chicago and Paris-based Terra Foundation for American Art.

“American Encounters: Anglo-American Portraiture in an Era of Revolution,” the third exhibit in the four-year project, will run at the High from Sept. 28, 2014 to Jan. 18, 2015. The intimate show will focus on the cross-continental influences on American and European portrait painting in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Three of the portraits in the exhibition depict George Washington. Two others show Hugh Percy, Second Duke of Northumberland, and Lieutenant Robert Hay of Spott, both of whom were soldiers who opposed Washington in the Revolutionary War.

Artists represented include Gilbert Stuart, Charles Willson Peale (attributed), Sir Henry Raeburn and Rembrandt Peale.

Meanwhile, the series’ second exhibit, “American Encounters: Genre Painting and Everyday Life,” continues at the High through Jan. 12. www.high.org.

Creativity takes wing in airport exhibit

We wouldn’t wish a delayed or canceled flight on anyone this holiday season. But if you are traveling domestically and find yourself with time on your hands at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in coming days, you can check out a strong survey exhibition of Atlanta art that has received positive response from travelers this year.

Curated by Hope Cohn, “E-Merge: Contemporary Atlanta Artists,” in the T-Gate Gallery, features some of the metro area’s top visual talent, including Kevin Cole, Bethany Collins, Brian Dettmer, Craig Drennen, Gyun Hur (who will have a solo show opening at Get This gallery on Jan. 4), Kyoungmin Park and Michael Reese.

Comprising 60 works of sculpture, painting, photography, video and installation-based works, “E-Merge” has just been extended through April. 404-382-2478, www.emergeatl.com.

ARTS

Nominations, applications open for two prizes

  • The nomination process is now open for the 2014 Nexus Award, recognizing individuals who have contributed to contemporary visual art in Atlanta and beyond. The deadline is 5 p.m. Dec. 30.The winner(s) will be announced in February and will be feted at a May event.

Criteria and nomination form: www.thecontemporary.org/nexus-award.

  • Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue is accepting applications for the 2014 Artadia Award Atlanta from visual artists living and working in the 23-county metro area. The deadline is 6 p.m. March 15. Awardees will be selected in spring 2014.

Eligibility requirements, application form: www.artadia.submittable.com/submit.

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