Pass The SAFE Act

Right in the middle of making Blood Rescue, January of 2013, newscasters broke the European horsemeat scandal. And literally in a moment, my world changed! Now I  advocate for the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act.__20-Remake3rdHorse600Wide

Looking back, I was naïve beyond belief. I didn’t know about kill buyers in this country, and how they operate. I was photographing 22 rescues on a ranch in Middle Tennessee, my Blood Rescue models. And you know, the major occupational hazard for artists? We fall in love with our models. I had fallen in love with 22 horses. Oh no, not my babies shipped off to Mexico or Canada. Oh no!

I refocused Blood Rescue. What was always there stands today as a visual story with a strong social message. My purpose here is to raise public awareness about our relationship with these amazing animals, tap into that shared knowing that these animals are part of our lives, a part that goes back to the beginnings of human time here on earth. They have become our companions and friends. We don’t eat them any more. Instead, we rescue them. Let’s get this SAFE Act passed. Let’s get this done.

Electra and Lacey On Someone’s Plate?

Without rescue, Electra and Lacy would have ended up on someone’s plate, perhaps dining at the restaurant Pegase, depuis 1905?_600Wide_11-ElectraAndLacey

Horsemeat’s on their menu! Their supplier, Ma Bonne Viande, sells horsemeat products imported from Canada and Mexico. These products contain any number of banned substances that are dangerous to anyone’s health. There is virtually no control over horsemeat imported into the EU. The SAFE (Safeguard America’s Food Exports) Act will stop this.

And do we really believe that tainted horsemeat hasn’t slipped its way into our own US food chain, the way it did in the EU? This is a public health issue that everyone can support. Let’s get the SAFE Act passed! Let’s get this done!

OUR FATHER, an edition of 26 mixed media pieces

Mrgd-10These volumes entitled Our Father are editioned at 26, and numbered A-Z. Each individual volume is, in effect, a mixed media piece presenting author Stellasue Lee’s collection of the father poems. Cover design by Eric L Hansen and hand silkscreen printed on French Muscletone—Pop Tone Hot Fudge 140C paper; interior pages designed by McClearen Design Studios in Nashville and printed on archival paper; each volume individually hand sewn.

When you purchase one of these 26 volumes, you receive a letter of provenance establishing your volume’s authenticity. Both your volume and the letter are hand-numbered, and they each bear Stellasue’s original signature and hand embossed seal.

$75, shipping included


BB’s Working On It

Shayera runs for her life, as the menu top left from Fondue Chinoise ShayeraWithLabel_crop570widefeatures your choice of beef or horsemeat; in German, French or Spanish.

Eating horsemeat in continental Europe dates back 30,000 years. The Lascaux caves are, after all, located in France, one of our earliest prehistoric sites. There, we survived for centuries hunting horses as wild animals for food, clothing and shelter.

But this is a new age. In 1986, French film star Brigitte Bardot became a vegetarian and raised three million francs auctioning off jewelry and many personal belongings to establish the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for the Welfare and Protection of Animals. Today she is a strong animal rights activist leader and a major opponent of eating horsemeat. And she’s not alone. Check it out here.

Shayera, we’ve got your back. All over the world, we’re working on it. La Bardot y travaille!21-Shayera_600Wide

One Predator Remains

30,000 years ago, we humans, the big cats, and the wolves preyed on wild horses for food.


But they survived, because they could run away really really fast. And so it was, for maybe 25,000 years.

Then about 4000 years ago on the Steppes of Asia, something happened straight out of a science fiction novel: One of us rode a horse for the first time, rode on the back of an animal that could outrun all its predators, could run so fast it outran all our predators… and the world changed forever. What could that have been like? No one of us had ever moved so fast, ever. In that moment, the horse became something else… a partner, a companion, a friend.

Today, most of their predators are pretty much gone; the very big cats, the wolves. And horses can still run really fast. But one of their predators remains, in large numbers: Not all of us, but enough to be scary if you’re a horse… we’re still here. Let’s get the SAFE Act passed.

She was laughing at me

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!

Just Try One Moment Standing Still Next To A Horse

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.__15-New7thHorseMuchSmaller

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 Make A Living Making The Art You Love

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.EricHeadshotForShortcut

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!

And My World Changed Forever

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.9-DollyGiaAndSage

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.

PX3, the Prix De La Photographie, Paris

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 | 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