An Epic Series of 54 Oil Paintings Inspired by the Weekly Readings from the Hebrew Bible
The Series is Complete…
It took 3 years. I journeyed and worked on them from the jungles of Costa Rica to Israel's Holy Land, back to my birth place in Montana, then to Shelter Island in New York. And now, I’m back west again, in Idaho on the Nez Perce Reservation, where I’m framing and putting the finishing touches on the series.
It’s Been Selected for Museum Placement…
I’m ready for this work to be seen. Last year, while I was living in New York I submitted it to the nation’s only public relations firm that deals exclusively with artists. It’s a prestigious and credible company and their selection process is very competitive. They only take on artists whose work they know they can place. A signed 18 month contract with them guarantees me at least 2 one-man museum shows. The good news is - I’m in; I’ve been selected for their museum placement program. A public relations campaign with this company will help bring these paintings to the wider masses. The services are all fee based, and I need your help to establish my PR campaign with them.
I’ve painted full time for over 30 years - coming time and again to a familiar cross road. I’ve had my share of success, raised 6 children doing only this, but there have also been some lean times along the way. For the duration of my career my paintings have shown in galleries throughout the US that carry mainly impressionistic representational landscape and genre work typified by Southwest Art Magazine. The thing is, I am experimental in my approach to painting and I’m drawn to diverse subject matter. The spiritual work is a passion for me and though it’s not the only thing I paint, I foresee it being a focus for many years to come. My old galleries are just not a good fit anymore so I am so thankful to have this opportunity to promote what I’m painting now.
An 18 month public relations contract to promote the “Torah Series”
Included in the contract is all the specialized research to place my work; implementation and follow-up with no less than 300 museum contacts and also surrounding art centers, better college and university galleries, alternative and corporate spaces, and commercial galleries nationwide; writing services by known art critics; preparation and mailing of quality color catalogues, promotional packets, press releases, etc. and my inclusion on the company’s web site.
54 Postmodern Paintings, arranged in six installations, approx. 6 by 6 feet, each containing nine 2 by 2 feet canvases based on the weekly readings from the Hebrew Bible
The stories are universal and contain truths and ethics for all people. Through painting the stories I've come to know things I didn’t before. I think these paintings reveal different things to different people and deliver new truths continually because there is something of the Eternal that resides in them.
To get beyond estabished ideas about the stories I re-imaged them in a way that couldn't be taken in at a single glance. I wanted to create a mix of literature, psychic shock, and unconscious visual aesthetics to arrive at a new state of pictorial reasoning. The images need to be absorbed piece by piece, to overwhelm what's already known, allowing a new rhythm to run through every part to result in the miracle - an overall sense unity inviting something not previously known.
I started with random washes of neutral colors and next with a drawing, something tangible, then the idea was to start intuiting, to become childlike enough to trust the process, to get out of the way. Eventually there came a point of sacrificing the drawing; shapes and colors become the order in interest of the whole. The departure from a literal interpretation or illustration leaves room for the Ruach (or Spirit) to engage the viewer from within rather than me imposing something from without.
To me the paintings are like stained glass windows or post-modern icons, representative of the stories. In the same way that the title of each passage evokes the essence of the entire reading for sages and scholars, I become re-immersed in a dialogue with the respective passage when I engage the individual paintings .
In my wife's words, "These paintings sprang from the ritual of creation, each burst of inspiration had a sense of the sacred. Relating intimately with sacred texts, re-imaging old stories, interacting with ancient spiritual truths in the context of creative innovation became new rituals altogether".
These guys are a constant support and inspiration to me, they've stood with me through the thick and thin of many adventures.
Left to Right: Daughter - Tali, Baker Extrodiare; Son - Francis (Switz Jr), Oil Painter in his own right; Son - Malachi, Beats 2nd to none; Son- Rob, Switzervideos, many hours, many thanks; My wife Shelley - her adaptations of the Torah readings accompany the paintings and are included in some of the perks we are offering (see below); Son - Scott Jr, Commercial Fisherman, Builder, all around Vagabond; and Son - Cody, Jedi Master in disguise and Director of Youth on Record Alaska. Not Pictured: Cody’s wife Brittani or his kids Harmony, Justice, and Talon and our other Brittani, Rob’s new bride. (We’re doing pretty good getting this many of us in one picture but we'll keep trying and maybe update later.)
Nuanced Connections and Ongoing Goodness
Chief Don Miguel and the Wimea people of Costa Rica welcomed me to their land to work when I first started this series so I gave them the studies for the first installation. A year later, to honor the decendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for preserving and keeping the Torah, I presented the first nine paintings completed from those studies to The Jerusalem Great Synagogue in Israel where they now hang in the hallway to the Rabbi's study. On my way back to the U.S., I stopped in Vilnius, Lithuania to check out the newly opened Vilnius Jewish Library and gave them a hand-embellished giclee of that first installation. In my mind those were all kind of first fruits of the series. I like to think there is now an unexplainable shared goodness between all these people because of their welcome and reception of this work; and I invite you to be a part of it too.
Where does the Money Go?
I need at least $12,000 to get my public relations campaign started. You can see by the breakdown of expenses below that I will definitely appreciate and be able to apply any funds that go over my goal. I need to raise:
$3000 - for 500 tri-fold color CD mailers right away
$9000 - for a contract term of 18 months (6000 to be paid at signing, 3000 by 120 days later)
Traveling expenses either for me to return to New York to meet with the art critic who will be writing the essay about my work or to bring him to my studio Idaho.
As exhibitions are secured I will need additional placement fees per size and importance of each venue. My contract guarantees me a minimum of two one-person venue placements and more with no limits to the number except as specified by me.
- Level 1 - $900 to $2100
- Level 2 - $2100 to $3600
- Level 3 - $3600 to $5400
- Elite - $5500 to $10,000
About 15 to 20% will go towards preparing and shipping rewards. And another 4 to 9% for Indiegogo fees.
My Thanks for your Help:
Other Ways You Can Help
Even if you can’t contribute, you can still help me with my campaign. Please Spread the Word!
Email your friends and family, put a link to my project on your blog, website, or whatever else you can imagine! I’m thankful for every bit of help I can get!
"Just as people cannot survive without other people, colors can't survive without engaging other colors, shapes must have fellowship with other shapes, and so on with line and texture. In all great paintings the 'characters' must have faith and be willing to risk. A color becomes vulnerable and bares its soul while another stands quiet and listens. A shape may have to confront her mate, creating a storm, which eventually turns into a poem. Light and dark, joy and pain, all are being engaged in an on-going drama. Whether the stage is a song or a painting, the primary catalyst is relationship." ~ Scott Switzer ~