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August 24, 2014

Lane Coder x Larry Letters

A Fine Art-Inspired Trip to the Californian Outback

“I think there’s an inherent narrative that happens when taking pictures in Big Sur,” says American photographer Lane Coder of his recent collaboration with fellow image-maker, Larry Letters, in the remote Californian outback. “It’s a place stuck in time a little bit, you can still feel the presence of hippies past and present.” The pair, who found an affinity between their work while studying at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, escaped the confines of the studio for the great outdoors in between commissions for Vogue Japan and The New Yorker. “I find beauty in the details as well as giving the ‘whole’ picture; I think it helps tell a more complete story,” says Coder, who snapped the two aerial shots from the plane during his return journey back to New York. While they managed to fit in an impromptu fashion shoot using the rugged landscape and giant redwoods as a backdrop, the trip was not without a touch of danger, says Letters: “Killer seagulls, a bit of debauchery, a couple of trips to the hospital, fine wine in Wine Country, alien-like jellyfish, and California’s gorgeous, chameleon-esque light.”

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Pow-Wow: Dance-Off

The Vibrant Costumes and Drum-Led Competitions of a Native American Tribal Gathering

Adorned in hawk feather headdresses and colorful ceremonial robes, generations of Siletz Indians unite to observe their tribal traditions at the annual Nesika Illahee Pow-Wow in this series from New York-based photographer Marissa Kaiser. Centered in an open conifer-lined field, the four-day pow wow in Lincoln County, Oregon, next to the Siletz Reservation has evolved into an intertribal festival featuring song, dance and a feast of native foods such as smoked fish, Indian tacos and bannock, a variation on soda bread. “It is beautiful how the tradition is kept alive and passed on from the eldest to the young kids,” notes Kaiser, whose clients include Nike, Adidas and ESPN. Often handed down from generation to generation, dance costumes are embellished with porcupine quills, beads, fur, horns, and bones, with male “fancy” dancers wearing two eye-catching feather bustles tied to their backs and female “jingle dress” dancers with small cone-shaped tin jingles fastened to their outfits. “It might have been a dance competition, but it was also a celebration,” observes Kaiser. “There wasn’t any crazy competitiveness because there was all this love and happiness and dancing.”

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Fogo Island: Artist Retreat

Modernist Studios Are a Hub of Creativity in Remote Newfoundland

The rugged coastal landscapes and arresting architectural contrasts of Fogo Island off the northeast coast of Newfoundland are captured in this stark series shot by photographer Scott Chandler at nightfall. The small Canadian island has recently undergone a re-invigoration thanks largely to Zita Cobb’s Shorefast Foundation, an organization promoting art and tourism as Fogo’s future. In a project helmed by commissioning architect Todd Saunders, the foundation built six striking, modernist studios across the island to house visiting artists for residencies granted through the Fogo Island Arts Corporation. “I think local people enjoy the reinterpretation of our traditional built heritage into contemporary forms,” explains Cobb. “You almost see the passing of time as you move your focus from the past to ‘the now’—the old and the new give meaning to each other.”  Fogo Island joins a growing list of remote retreats, like Est-Nord-Est in the village of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli in Quebec focused on the creation of contemporary sculpture, and the tiny Rabbit Island in Lake Superior some three miles north of Michigan, a 91-acre modern-day utopian escape for artists and architects alike. “Newfoundland is a whole different kind of rural landscape and feels really isolated from the rest of Canada,” says the Montreal-based Chandler. “Fogo Island is a more extreme version of that.”

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