Studio Address

14010 N. El Mirage Rd
El Mirage, AZ 85335

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

El Mirage

2008 I received an artists grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts for a proposed body of work titled El Mirage.

Here is said proposal:

Thomas Schultz -  “El Mirage”  Purpose:  The Photographer will capture a community at a critical moment in time.  Over speculation, population growth, politics, racism, patriotism, immigration reform, rising cost of living, water and natural resource depletion all play roles in determining if, and in what form, the community survives.
  The subjects are people and structures in the community, recorded in high resolution color digital format, printed on 16x24 archival art paper.  The presentation will be in the form of an exhibition of the photos followed by the publishing of a book containing said photos.  Commentary in the form of text, both in the exhibit and the book will be objective and as neutral as possible, allowing the viewer/reader to draw their own conclusions.  Artistic license will not be an issue, “As is” will be the rule, the community will have spoken to the viewer through the photographer’s pictures.
  It is appropriate that the series title reflects the community name, however it is possible that there may be some irony present in it as well.  The artist will attempt in all events to maintain neutrality.
  The Artists proposed project is to approach community groups, city officials, authority figures and residents with the purpose of photographing and recording, by documentation, the community as it is. 
  Thomas Schultz is a Photographer living in close proximity to said community, and ultimately, directly and indirectly affected.  The Artist attended Arizona State University, and has shown work in the West Valley, and throughout the Valley, receiving awards for his work.

  Originally I thought I could produce the images in less than a year, but the more I got involved in the project the more I realized that the photographs would be more effective if taken over an extended period of time. This would allow me to capture the progression of the community.  In regard to the publication of a book from the series, I am in the process of contacting publishers as well as seeking possible assistance with the cost involved.  I am also looking for a location to exhibit the series in 2011.  In the meantime I travel around El Mirage with an eye out for subjects to photograph, while paying attention to how the city has transformed over the last two years.  Like the community of El Mirage, my project continues to evolve....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Green Car Photographic Project

 Permaculture, environmental awareness, accountability, green energy and sustainability are necessary for humankind to survive.  In an attempt to create a body of work that is relevant, decrease my carbon footprint and become more sustainable, early last year I decided to convert my 2003 Honda Civic to operate on an alternative fuel.  Using the newly converted automobile I would travel around Arizona and photograph abandoned gas stations and car dealerships creating a series of photographs to be exhibited.  At the exhibit I would have my converted automobile on display with the conversion kit installed,  demonstrating the ease of becoming more environmentally responsible.  Also included in the exhibition would be a written journal describing the journey as well as details of the process of going green.  After doing some research I came across David Blumes book titled "Alcohol can be a Gas". which is almost half as thick as a phone book and filled with useful information about permaculture, global warming, sustainability, and green energy.  It contains  practical solutions to todays energy problems, as well as still plans and other related info.  I spoke with Davids assistant and described my project to her, she was very receptive to the idea and offered to send me a book, conversion kit, as well as money for fuel.  I have received the kit, but have not installed it yet.  My original plan was to build a still for distillation, install the kit in my vehicle and grow my own organic material for the creation of the alcohol fuel.  As of today I am still working on acquiring a location to build the still and farm.  In the meantime I looked into possible locations to purchase E85 and to my dismay I discovered that there are only two locations in the valley that offer E85 and the closest is 59th ave. and Olive, which is 35 minutes from my house.  Most recently my cars registration expired and required smog test.  I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for me to install the kit and start the process of burning a clean fuel, be eligible for a green plate, and reap the benefits; burning clean cheap fuel, ability to drive in the carpool lane 24/7, and not having to pay the fee for the smog test.  Before installing the kit I decided it would be best to call the dmv first to make sure that there would be no problems at the test facility.  I spoke with a woman who was not sure of the laws, and had to find a guide with the information in it.  She stated to me that E85 fuel was not eligible for green status in the state of Arizona.  I was shocked, but not surprised....she also gave me conflicting information about my eligibility.  Eventually she got her supervisor on the phone, who gave me the same conflicting information.  She gave me the number 602-712-8473 for the Tax Reporting Unit which is responsible for the guidelines.  I realized that this is what I signed up for, I knew that there would be difficulties in this process, and that many other people in the world were dealing with the same problems, and have been for decades.  I notified Davids office of my dealings and decided to smog my vehicle without the device installed, planning on installing at a later date.  As for now, I plan on installing the kit asap, and am still in the process of obtaining a site for the creation of Ethanol.  In the meantime, I have been photographing locations for the Green Car Project.  Some of the images can be seen in my Flickr Set check back often as I will be updating regularly.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Toastmaster Cafe

During my last visit to Globe, Arizona I revisited one of my favorite roadside icons.  The Toastmaster Cafe Sign which is easily overlooked, hidden in the shadows of a large concrete walkway extending over the highway connecting the old neighborhood to the school on the other side.  The sign sits as it has for half a decade or more.  Ironically the sign looks pretty toasty, as if it were burnt at one point in time and has most of its neon still intact.  The cafe itself is surfaced in a thick rough pink stucco and has vintage glass block flanking the front entrance.  In the past, I had paid no attention to the possible contents of this old relic, assuming that all was removed or vandalized at one point in time, like most of the structures I encounter during my travels.  But to my surprise this was not the case.....peering through skinny cracks between the wooden covered windows I discovered that the interior looked as if it might have looked 30 years ago, with the exception of a thick coat of gray dust covering all of the contents.  The building was secure and there was no way to gain entrance.  I wanted to photograph the interior and was determined to get in.  Returning to Phoenix later that evening I researched the cafe and was unable to find much information....with the exception of a short story written by the author Lewis Shiner titled "Twilight Time" which made a reference to Globe and the cafe.  This story gave me an idea......immediately I contacted the Chamber of Commerce in Globe, spoke with a woman who gave me a name and number of the person in charge of Main Street Preservation, who in turn shared with me a history of the building as well as whom the owner is.  I am waiting for a return call from the owner.  If all goes well, I plan on gaining entry to the cafe, photographing it as it is, then exhibiting the photographs while the short story by Lewis Shiner is read aloud.  I will keep you posted as the project progresses....for now take a listen to song number 207 on the old Wurlitzer Jukebox with the colored tube of bubbles on the side, which sat in the Toastmaster Cafe.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mysterious Light

Early this year I received a grant from the West Valley Arts Council for Light-painting Workshop and Exhibition.  The workshop was held at the Pearsonville Junkyard in California and hosted by Troy Paiva and Joe Reifer  Troy is the man behind Lost America Since the workshop I have been shooting every full moon, usually with friends interested in urban exploration as well as long exposures and light painting.  You can check out this link for definition of urbex  You can view a selection of my nocturnal exposures at locations ranging from Pearsonville Junkyard, Nickersons at Picacho Peak, Old Ajo Rd. Gila Bend, Old Hwy 80, Arlington AZ, Salton Sea, Reeds Junkyard, Wittmann AZ,  Twin Arrows, Two Guns, Casa Grande Domes,  and Cordes, AZ.  I will be exhibiting this work at the El Mirage Gallery and Studio in January.  In the meantime I will be shooting heavily when the moon is in its full state.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Salton Sea Project

As most of you know I have been working on a series of photographs from the Salton Sea with fellow photographer William Legoullon.  You can check out some of his work at his website  as well as at Eye Lounge a Contemporary Art Space where he is currently showing his "Western Way to Say Welcome" series.   The Salton Sea work has been progressing forward at a steady pace, although the more we photograph, the more we realize how diverse this environment is how much there still is to photograph.  On the last trip to the sea it was on the weekend of a full moon, which made for some long days and nights.   We also will be creating panoramic images using the Nodal Ninja Pano Head.  Check out there website here. : Special thanks to Bill at Nodal Ninja for creating such a wonderful device for creating pano images.  I will be posting some of the pano images taken at the sea soon...note: I will not be posting many images from the sea online.  You will have to wait until the exhibition.....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Exclusively Dedicated

From this point forward this blog will be dedicated to the my photography work and travels.  Be patient with me as I stumble through the process of creating a blog and maintaining it.  Please feel free to share your thoughts and words of wisdom.  Last Sunday my Son, friend David and I spent the day roaming around streets of Superior, Miami and Globe Arizona.  I have posted one pic from the trip and here is a link to my Space Time and Structure Series on Flickr. This set is where most of my images end up and is an on going body of work.