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A new focus for the new year

Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it was the political climate. Maybe I was just distracted.  (Home renovations will have that effect.)

Photo of neon sign at Chet's Diner

Chet’s Diner has been serving up home-cooked meals on Route 20 in Northborough since the 1930s.

Whatever was going on, 2016 was a pretty slow year for me in the land of photography.  So I decided it was time for a change, and I am taking a step back this year.  No art markets, open studios, or holiday fairs.  Here’s what I’ll be doing instead:

  • Keep photographing neon. In the six months since I introduced you to Red Nickel Neon, I have expanded my mission.  I have made the commitment to photograph the classic neon signs across Massachusetts before they disappear.  This photo of Chet’s Diner in Northborough is one entry.
  • Document the legacy of Massachusetts neon.  I’m convinced there’s a book in this project — or at least a photo exhibit — and I will continue to work to make that happen.
  • Get social.  I created a Facebook page and Instagram account to share my neon photos and to encourage feedback and comments.  Please join the conversation and use the tags @rednickelneon and #rednickelneon.
  • Blog more often.  Strangely, this is the most challenging item on my list.  But I’m working on making more frequent blog posts and I will let you know when I post a new item.
  • Help preserve endangered neon signsRight now it’s the Schrafft’s sign in Charlestown, but I doubt that will be the last.
  • Make it easier to buy my photos online.  For those of you who want to purchase my photos, I am updating the eCommerce features of my website.  I’m trying an alternative to Etsy — and still sorting out a few details — but you can check it out here.

So even though I’m taking a step back from the art market world, I won’t be disappearing.  I will be focusing on building a body of work that documents and celebrates the neon signs in Massachusetts and beyond — the recently restored, the deteriorating, and the abandoned.  I will miss the face-to-face conversations, but I hope to stay in touch with all of you online.

And because I’ve learned to never say never, if I decide to participate in selected art markets, I’ll let you know.

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