Dixie has a lot to be happy about. She’s a senior mare with a forever home on a ranch in Middle Tennessee, where the living is easy… 30 acres or so of mixed pasture and woods, a natural stream across one corner, bales of hay near the barn, water troughs for the dry seasons, her buddy Lacy to hang with.
So is she laughing at me or is she flehming? Now, I know I looked kind of silly out there in her pasture with my great big camera. I mean, I wasn’t even eating grass. I leaned forward, put the camera on my face, peered through the lens at her, and she gave me this Kodak moment, you know, all smiley? And Lacey is like ‘Oh no, I can’t bear to watch.’
Animal behaviorists say she was flehming. I say she was laughing… at me. They say I’m anthropomorphizing her. I say they don’t know anything. They are sure they’re right. But I so know who she is, and on this bright warm day in June, she was laughing at me. That’s how it was!
A thing I didn’t know… I learned it from a little white polo pony who’s retired and up for adoption. I met her for the first time this last Sunday afternoon. I’d put a soft rope halter on her, and I was walking her around the edges of this green wooded pasture, kind of a lazy hot afternoon. Somewhere along the way I stopped, just to feel the moment. She paused behind me.
But then she put her muzzle on my shoulder, I felt her breath on my neck, I turned, her cheek on my face, her eye by mine. Tell me I’m crazy if you like, tell me whatever you want, but I’m saying in that moment she knew who I was, what I’m doing, and what we’re doing together here in Blood Rescue. At some level, she knew it all because she’s there with us in our collective unconscious, that shared knowing, loving, trust going back 35,000 years, passed down from generation to generation to now. So they know. If you haven’t already, just try one moment standing still next to a horse. Then you’ll know too.
How to hack the system.
OK, there’s no shortcut for learning how to make art, play an instrument, choreograph dance… mastering just about anything takes around 10,000 hours. That’s five years working full time, longer part time. There’s no known shortcut for this. Learning to make art is a journey of love, and it deserves all the time and all the heart you have to give.
But there is a shortcut to financial viability.
How many artists master their craft and still have day jobs? Maybe in 10, 15, 20 years the average artist reaches a place where they can subsist on making the art they love if they don’t get discouraged or disillusioned, if they don’t give up before they get there. Even then, it’s often just subsistence.
If you already have your 10,000 hours or more in art practice, Shortcut intends to get you to financial viability in the next 10, 15, maybe 20 months instead of years. Do the right things, you get where you want to go. That’s why it’s called Shortcut.
Or, if you’re an early stage emerging artist, don’t wait. Start now to make your day job optional. Before you even reach 10,000 hours, you can expect to start making your living making the art you love.
With your coach Eric L Hansen, Shortcut is straightforward, experiential, and practical. An artist himself, Eric’s day job was tenured PhD professor of Entrepreneurship at Cal State, where he founded the Minor in Entrepreneurship for students from the College of the Arts. Now he’s living happily ever after in East Nashville… where, you guessed it, he makes his living full time making the art he loves.
Check out Artcamp Nashville coming up in September! Or if you want to get started now, here… it’s free!
I began Blood Rescue to tell the visual story of our relationship to the horse going back 30,000 years. Back then we hunted horses as wild animals for food and clothing. Today, they’ve become our treasured friends and companions. I thought equine rescue was sort of like retirement homes for horses. At least the rescues who were my models for this project had a really good life. And by the way, as artists often do, I fell wonderfully in love with all of them; and they with me.
February 2013, right in the middle of Blood Rescue, the international horsemeat scandal broke. Local police in EU countries launched investigations, Interpol joined in. A US response was swift: Within 30 days, Senator Mary Landrieu introduced the SAFE Act in the Senate; and Representative Patrick Meehan introduced it in the House, both in March 2013. My world changed forever.
Looking back, I had been naïve beyond belief. I didn’t know about kill buyers in this country, how they operate. Now I have refocused my Blood Rescue project. What was always there stands today as a visual story with a strong social message. We began our relationship with horses hunting them as wild animals for food. How have we as a species changed in 30,000 years? Or how have we not changed? My purpose here is to raise public awareness of our relationship with these amazing animals, tap into that shared knowing these animals are part of our lives, a part that goes back to the beginnings of human time here on earth.
So here’s the story: For 25,000 years horses gave us food, clothing, tools… until one cataclysmic moment in pre-history maybe 4000 years ago somewhere in the Asian steppes: One of us rode a horse for the first time.
From that time forward, horses have become our trusted companions and friends. They took us where we wanted to go, helped us with the hunt, worked our farms, even carried us into battle. Ten years ago Congress acknowledged that building this country could never have happened without the horse. To recognize that, they made December 13 the national Day of the Horse. Today a proposal stands before the United Nations to make December 13 the International Day of the Horse. All over the world, horse person or no, we all feel some connection to these amazing animals. I speak to that shared knowing, to raise public awareness, to move people to act. The SAFE Act is as good a place as any to begin. Let’s get it passed, it’s a public health issue we can win.
There were The thirty-two PX3 JURORS, a really great group of who’s-who curators in French photography!
|Alice Gabriner||World Picture Editor | National Geographic|
|Anna Zekria||Agency.Photographer.ru | Moscow|
|Arnaud Adida||A.galerie | Director | Paris|
|Bernard Utudjian||Director | Galerie Polaris | Paris|
|Carol Johnson||Curator of Photography | Library of Congress | D.C.|
|Chiara Mariani||Photo Editor | Corriere della Sera | Italy|
|Chrisitine Ollier||Art Director | Filles du Calvaire | Paris|
|Christophe Loviny||Artist Director| Yangon Photo Festival | Paris|
|Daphne Angles||Photo Editor | NY Times | Paris|
|Daria Bonera||Director | Daria Bonera Agency | Milan|
|Françoise Paviot||Director | Galerie Françoise Paviot | Paris|
|Heidi Laughton||Art Director/Producer | London | Los Angeles|
|Jean Francois Camp||Director | Espace Dupon | Paris|
|Janette Danel||Director | KijK Galerie | Paris|
|Jerome Huffer||Photo Editor | Paris Match | Paris|
|Jesper Thomsen||Director | Mews42 Gallery | London|
|Kenan Aktulun||Creative Director | Truth | New York|
|Mark Heflin||Director | American Illustration + American Photography | New York|
|Mike Bower||Managing Editor | Sydney Morning Herald | Sydney|
|Miriam Leuchter||Editor | Popular Photography | New York|
|Nan Oshin||Photo Editor | Clark Oshin Gallery | Los Angeles|
|Natalie Belayche||Director | Visual Delight | Paris|
|Natalie Johnson||Features Editor | Digital Photographer Magazine | London|
|Patrice Farameh||Publisher | MAET Media | New York|
|Patricia Lanza||Director | Annenberg Space for Photography | USA|
|Patrick Kahn||Director | SNAP! photo festival | Orlando|
|Rebecca McClelland||Photography Director | NewStatesman magazine | London|
|Sara Rumens||Lifestyle Photo Editor | Grazia Magazine | London|
|Sherrie Berger||Director | Scarlet works Creative Change Agency|
|Susan Aurinko||Independent Curator | Chicago|
|Susan Baraz||Curator, Co-chair | Lucie Awards | New York|
|Viviene Esders||Expert près la Cour d’Appel de Paris | Paris|
You can see them all here
Gretel is a warmblood thoroughbred out of a pure thoroughbred dam, one who didn’t make it as a racehorse. Gretel’s dam was rescued and went on to become Medway’s Irish Lass, a nationally ranked thoroughbred jumping champion. Take another look at Gretel, and oh yes, we can see her champion lineage. Gretel we love you.
Kelsey is an Appaloosa; really?
Yes, see her spotted muzzle that’s the telltale. When her owner passed away, the family sold off his horses same day as his funeral, sold right out of the driveway at his house. Kelsey’s now 20, living happily ever after on her forever home ranch just south of Nashville. Lucky girl! Now let’s get to work see if we can’t make a whole lot more luck! This 21st Century cave drawing from Blood Rescue
In horse lifetimes, it all happened a very long time ago…
Irish was one of those thoroughbreds who didn’t make it as a racehorse. She went up for auction, was visibly “hard to handle” at killer pens, no one bought her… until one rescue buyer stood up and just did it.
And then? A racehorse in early retirement, Irish did the re-run thing, as a jumper! She went on to win competitions at the highest levels, finally recognized nationally by the United States Equestrian Foundation. Her new forever owner was offered $40,000 (remember this was a long time ago) after her last series of wins. Owner said no, and when Irish retired at the end of her second career, she traveled cross-country from California to live happily ever after on a ranch in middle Tennessee. She’s really old now and still beautiful. If this makes you so happy you wanna’ cry, I’ll share my box of Kleenex with you, I’ve got it right here.
Every day is a good day for Shayeera. She was rescued 8 years ago in northern California when her owner outbid a kill buyer. Later, she was driven in style to Middle Tennessee, a caravan with fifteen of her sister rescues. Now she lives happily ever after each day on a ranch just south of Nashville, she gets to laugh and be happy every day in this, the Year of the Horse.