fund raising

artprize gratitude

Now that the funding campaign has closed, I can't thank everyone enough for the support.

We raised 128% of the funding goal, plus donations made through other channels, for a total of $4205. Thank goodness, since shipping came in above what was budgeted.

The final push got us to the goal and over the top, thanks to:

Paul Emerson, Mary Clark, Leon Lowe (again!), Bill O'Brien, Donna O'Brien (again!), Carole Sebenick, Andrea Howe, Katie Engen, Robyn Polzin, Rennie Beauchamp, Cindy Lowe, Annemarie Mowery & family, Sandy Clinton, Linda Germain, and five other Anonymous contributors.

Because of you, my entry for ArtPrize is safely on its way...I can feed my volunteers...our material costs are covered...and we have plenty of marketing materials to raise visibility for my entry with the crowds about to descend on Grand Rapids.

Rest assured that your thank-you perks for contributing are coming. It will take a little while to pull things together, but I will get them to you! Everyone gets an e-copy of the exhibition catalog, which I'll create after we get good images of the installation and event. Other goodies will need to be made after I return from the US.

In the meantime, I'll post updates here, on Facebook and via Twitter of how it's going in GR. I leave for the US this Friday, my volunteers (Mom, Dad and Mandy Gordon) arrive Saturday, and we begin installation next Monday morning.

artprize: and...she's off!

This week my swan dancer entry for ArtPrize is winging her way to the Grand Rapids, in her very fancy art crate. Even if I'm not flying first class, she is. And while painfully expensive, I'm relieved to have found an excellent company to handle the job.

I suppose it's a rite of passage when one's art requires "serious" handling to ship. Treating my work with care and professionally is an investment. But it's the right thing to do. And now I can fully appreciate why galleries take a hefty commission for representing an artist's work.

Now, more than ever, I am thankful for the backing of 38 different funders through my fundraising campaign. We have surpassed my original goal of $3000 and the total continues to climb. Initially, I started to feel a little greedy...but now I'm simply grateful.

There are 70 hours left to help cover costs. Since shipping is now triple what I had budgeted, every little bit helps. Please give if you can, or help spread the word.

ArtPrize details:

Shades of Gray at ArtPrize©, Grand Rapids, MI, USA. September 19 – October 7, 2012.

Click here to donate.
Click here to visit my ArtPrize page.

artprize: in the homestretch!

With only days to go until I ship my work from Frankfurt to Grand Rapids, things feel on track. Thanks to a flurry of recent activity, we are in the homestretch on two major fronts: funding and my sculpture.

Contributions came in this week from long-time friends and new supporters. Thank you VERY much to: Merike VanZanten, Diane Wirono, Mary Cook, Sandra Barnett-White, Joe Kopanski, and Arlene & Allen Hatton. With only eight days left to meet my fundraising goal, your support gets us 81% of the way there!

Homestretch: final flower production and dancer's paper crown awaiting Swarovski crystalsEarlier today, I finished the work that will be installed for ArtPrize (a tiny studio celebration ensued, and now I'm back to work). The past few days have been a blur of flower-making to hit my goal of wrapping things up this weekend. There will be finished touches on the other end, but for now, it's ready to go.

"Shades of Gray" sculpture pieces ready to shipI learned on Friday that international art shipping is a lot more involved than I realized. Not only do I need to have custom shipping crates constructed, I must use an airfreight forwarding company because the dimensions of the boxed work are too large for FedEx or UPS to handle the usual way. The good news is that it looks like the combined expenses will be comparable to what is budgeted.

Speaking of budget, if you're considering a contribution, now is the time to do it! To hit my minimum funding goal, I need $550 more by no later than this coming Saturday, September 8. I'm grateful for any amount - so please, support the arts and get a little thank-you gift in return.

A number of contributions have come in through friends of friends, which means that sharing the campaign with your network through Facebook, Twitter and email does work. If you copy and post this link:, the rest takes care of itself.

ArtPrize details:

Shades of Gray at ArtPrize©, Grand Rapids, MI, USA. September 19 – October 7, 2012.

Click here to donate.
Click here to visit my ArtPrize page.

artprize: a great funding start & flowers made in france

It's been a productive week, and we even hosted a house guest in the mix. My dear French host-sister, Hélène Lorblanchet, was here from Montpellier. We've been "family" since my Junior Year Abroad, a long time ago. Very lucky for me, she seems to love making paper flowers!

Not only did she make enough this week to cover my dancer's costume bodice, but she returned home with materials to continue flower production for my next project, A House With Four Rooms, in November. It means a lot to me that she's involved in these projects, and "Handmade in France" has a lovely ring to it.

"Shades of Gray" (in progress) by Kelly O'Brien for ArtPrize 2012

My ArtPrize funding campaign launched this week, as well. We're off to a great start! At 17% of the way in, the campaign is 46% funded. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your generous donations to Ian Lowe, Stacey Cohen, Leon Lowe, Kieu Lam, Gretchen Schermerhorn, Jose Dominguez, Louisette Winkel, Jennifer McQuistion, and Anonymous. Your funds mean that I can now cover my overseas shipping.

There is much more to cover, however. Even if I hit my $3,000 funding goal, I am still carrying a lot of the cost myself. If you are in a position to contribute (and want some art in exchange), please do. And if you can help spread the word through your contacts, newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, or mailing list, all the better.

ArtPrize details:

Shades of Gray at ArtPrize©, Grand Rapids, MI, USA. September 19 – October 7, 2012.

Click here to donate.
Click here to visit my ArtPrize page.

saying yes to happy

Nearly five years ago, I walked into Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center in Silver Spring, MD and discovered what I wanted to be when I grew up: an artist. Since then, I've been taking progressive steps on the path to working and being fulltime in the arts, some of which I chronical through this blog.

This year, Pyramid celebrates it's 30th birthday. In honor of this milestone, I'm raising funds to help support arts programming such as their biannual book arts fair, artist residencies, public school outreach, and studio maintenance.

If there's something in your life that you've said "yes" to - or, perhaps more importantly, think you can't do - I encourage you to visit my FirstGiving page to read more about how I'm saying yes to happy. And consider making a donation, no matter how small.

There's something in it for you, based on your giving level...handmade books, beautiful boxes, handmade cards, a day in the studios at Pyramid Atlantic with me? Say yes to happy.

bound in japan

My very talented friend, Kieu Lam, is embarking on a big adventure in 2011 to Japan. Bound in Japan will bring a community of non-native residents together in Japan to create, talk about, and exhibit their book art. The goal is to increase awareness about diversity and cultural issues faced by non-natives in a host country.

All of this - the travel and living expenses, book art workshops, materials, an exhibition, publicity - is being facilitated and funded by Kieu, and she could use a little help! For a very good cause (what could be better than spreading awareness about the book arts around the world? okay, the diversity and cultural awareness stuff is good too), please consider making a donation.

I can vouch for Kieu and that your money will be very well-managed and appreciated. C'mon...for as little as $2/month, you can make a nice statement about your support for the arts. And for $20/month, she'll send you a handmade hard cover journal AND monthly mail art subscription.

How cool is that?

For more info and to support the cause (all tax-deductible, mind you), click here.

moving parts on the move

Things are happening with the Moving Parts project! We've now got an official blog, thanks to Gretchen, my partner in crime on this project at Pyramid Atlantic. And an upcoming documentary - a work of art in itself - complements of film maker Fransisco Campos-López and CityDance Filmworks. Check out the trailer:

We're making steady progress on the clamshell boxes, thanks to a growing number of volunteers at Pyramid and our "box jam sessions." It's been fun to teach this eager (and talented) bunch to make the beautiful boxes that will house each collection of artist books...and exciting to see the covered trays accumulate as they move through our production line. After only a couple of sessions, we're discovering who excels at the tricky corner cuts, gluing with finesse, and inventing jigs to speed our work. Production work has become fun!

Some launch-related events are planned, including a CityDance performance showcasing the pieces reflected in the Moving Parts artists' books on December 4 and 5, and a launch party at Hillyer Art Space on December 11, including artist talks, a CityDance performance, and Moving Parts boxed sets for purchase. Speaking of which, check out Paul Emerson's beautiful photos of the project.