Working in a field that is super competitive and over saturated is a tough endeavor. However the people that I meet and access to events that I get to photograph are so rewarding I can't ever see myself doing anything else. This post very much as that inspiration and story behind the story on how it came to be on so many levels, which shows a lesson and inspiration for all.
This particular journey began with my desire to photograph the Bookless Art Exhibit at the Madison Public Library. I gained access to the library before it was open to the public through introducing myself to the curator Trent Miller. Trent had worked at the library and had an idea and passion to transform the empty library into a hot bed of art for one night by 100 artists from all over the state.
The artists worked endlessly, some with very little sleep to install their art in the 3 story library that had been stripped of all its books and shelves for remodel. While seeing the transformation and work being put into the art show, my excitement and desire to document as many of the installations as I could grew. Spending late hours at the library lugging strobes and my camera throughout the 3 story building was something I felt excited to be apart of. It was hard to select what to photograph at first because SO much was constantly changing and I didn't want to get in the way of the artists creating their installations. I knew immediately that this was going to be an epic event for Madison and knew thousands of people would come, take pictures, interact and have a rememberable experience with art, some for the very 1st time. Documenting that I knew was going to be something special, you can see the series I shot here.
This is how I met Jason Ramey , a very talented artist I would later learn much more about. He had contacted me to document his piece in the library seen here
After the Bookless show, Jason happened to be the winner of the 1st Chazen Prize to an outstanding MFA student at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, WI. Quite the honor and excitement to see your work in a real public museum. So it was important to document the work in a way to portray its space and hard lines Jason creates with each piece. What intrigued me even more so was his story on how he came to Madison to become an artist, on how he followed his passion from his previous work at a mental institute. From the drawings of furniture Jason made, a relationship with a difficult patient created a connection and inspiration for Jason to pursue his craft at UW-Madison the patient had mentioned. Shockingly Jason was attacked by a different patient while working, which turned him towards where he is now.
Which makes me wonder, if Jason hadn't taken that job at the mental institute, and had the epiphany to follow his dream to make art, would he have created what you see before you? I know from my own personal experience with the traumatic event of loosing my father to leaukemia, I know and whole heartedly & believe that something good can and often will come from such an event. It may not be recognized for some time, but a lesson I will never forget was learned by my fathers passing. That lesson is to not to take advantage of the time you have today. Their is no better time but today to follow your dreams.
I know I would not have met Jason had I not followed my passion, and his story and work only reinforce my believe that following your passion with hard work you have the power to inspire which grows in so many ways that enrich our lives. I know Jason has inspired me and many others and I was glad to have the opportunity to meet and work with him on this project.