Jess Dugan is working hard to make her Open View Farm: A Photography Project a reality. She is raising funds through Kickstarter, a site that provides a new way to fund creative projects that might not come to fruition without backing.
Jess is a large-format portrait photographer currently living in Cambridge, MA. She earned her BFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston and her ALM in Museum Studies from the Harvard University Extension School. I featured her work on Lenscratch this Spring and her site reflects several new projects of interest. I know she would very much appreciate any support you could
Here is Jess’ statement about her project:
For the next year, I will be documenting the people of Open View Farm, a small fiber farm in Western Massachusetts. Open View Farm is an incredible place devoted to peace and education. Their mission includes: “creating an environment where interpersonal understanding across race, class, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national identity, and religion is valued, artistic expression is nurtured and avenues towards Peace and Justice in our communities and in the classroom are explored.”
Through portraits of the people and animals, documentation of their activities, and interviews with those who spend time on the farm, I will explore what it means to be a farmer in 21st century America and what it feels like to raise animals, to grow food, and to intentionally foster an environment of learning, acceptance, and love.
Open View is a very special, amazing place. Not only is it focused on the critical issues of farming, raising animals, and learning to be self-sufficient, it also promotes peace and education across all issues and fosters an environment where everyone is welcome. Though I have been visiting the farm for years, and even making photographs there, I have always wanted to do an in-depth photography project over the course of at least one full year. In May, I embarked on a year-long journey to document the farm throughout the full range of seasons.
I was first introduced to farming eight years ago by working as a camp counselor at CampOUT, a farm camp experience for kids from GLBT families, which was started by Emmy, the owner of Open View Farm, and which continues to this day. The combination of social justice and the farming experience is powerful. Emmy’s absolute dedication to progressive education is part of what makes her farm so unique and wonderful. Her doors are truly open.
I am also deeply concerned about our impact on our environment and the issue of sustainability. I believe in our collective responsibility to take care of our surroundings and to reduce the amount of waste we create.
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