Caitlin Horton is an entrepreneur in the Southern art scene and co-founder and creative director of Front Porch Art, LLC, an innovative business that supports Southern artists. The name Front Porch Art comes from the classic image of a Southern front porch where people gather to relax and tell stories. Today, Caitlin tells us how Front Porch Art used online tools such as social media and Kickstarter to generate a bigger conversation and, in turn, build the fan base for local artist Rebecca Phillips.
StyleBlueprint welcomes Caitlin and her innovative business to Memphis!
I’m naturally curious and have always loved the genre of reality shows that give insight into the daily lives of other people (think “Say Yes to the Dress,” “Pawn Stars,” or A&E’s “Airline” from years ago!) My interest in “the real story” translates into a love of not only the arts, but also the story behind the artist and his/her creation. It is usually impossible to know what inspired a piece of art without knowing the artist. Today, we can often get to know the artist through a regularly updated blog or website. Front Porch Art strives to help art lovers become involved with the creative inspiration, process and overall experience of Southern artists.
One way we’ve been able to do this recently is by helping Memphis artist Rebecca Phillips with a Kickstarter campaign supporting her latest artistic endeavor. In 2010, Rebecca was inspired to paint a series based on photographs taken by Jeremy Greene for his Memphis Type project. In an effort to preserve a piece of the city’s history, she painted eleven images in an illustrated style similar to the style of vintage postcards that document landmarks. Now most of the paintings have been sold, and some of the signs are already gone. Hoping to bring a vanishing part of Memphis history to a larger audience, Rebecca developed two prints featuring the entire Memphis Type Illustrated series.
By using the latest technology in crowd funding, anyone who wants to be involved in Rebecca’s project can make a Kickstarter pledge to her online. For her to receive any of the pledged funds, her entire goal of raising $600 had to be met by June 6. (Congratulations to Rebecca for reaching her Kickstarter goal on Friday, May 17! A great example of the community support available in Memphis!) Every person pledging receives a reward when the artist’s work is completed. For Rebecca’s project, we all felt it was important that every sponsor be able to enjoy a piece of art from the series. So whether a supporter pledges $10 or $400, everyone will receive a part of the Memphis Type Illustrated series.
Even though we reached our goal, any additional contributions or support will still be abundantly helpful, and each backer still receives a piece of art. As a result of the overwhelming support, Rebecca is now inspired to expand this project even further. She plans to begin a new, small set of Memphis landmark paintings with the extra support she receives through Kickstarter. Rebecca’s story is a perfect example of how Front Porch Art can bring the concept of community to the sharing of original Southern art.
With the technology of Kickstarter and the power of her community behind her, any artist, like Rebecca, can overcome the financial burden of expanding the audience for her artistic endeavors. We love helping artists use tools such as crowd funding to connect with fans and bringing those fans along with the artist as he/she takes the next steps in their career. Working on a project like this, which brings everyone into the creative process of a talented Southern artist, is what Front Porch Art is all about.
Thank you, Caitlin, for bringing Front Porch Art to the Memphis community! And good luck in your art career, Rebecca! Check out Rebecca’s Project Page on Kickstarter by clicking here.
Visit www.FrontPorchArt.com to learn how you can be involved in preserving Memphis history with Rebecca; to see more work by this talented local artist; to peruse the work of other artists with Front Porch Art; or to join Front Porch Art as an “artist”!
And, read more about how Kickstarter works by visiting StyleBlueprint’s January 2013 post, Give Your Next Project a Boost with Kickstarter, by Birmingham Editor Catherine Romero.