(click above to see where The Nomadic Project has been!)
All of America is united by art through a conceptual art exhibit called The Nomadic Project. Award winning artist, Kristin Abraham and musician, Alfonso Llamas, toured the country for thirteen months, expressing their emotional, physical and historical experiences through art. Abraham painted a 24 x 30" canvas painting for each state, while Llamas composed poetic melodies. After spending about a week in each of the fifty states, the two prepare for their work to be exhibited together for the first time.
When Abraham and Llamas saw the United States divided through war, politics, race and religion, they realized that the only way to find unity was to return to the land. So the husband and wife team set out to visit the big cities, small towns and National Historic sites that make up this broken nation, and pull it together with art. The artists had no idea that this symbol of unity would become a celebration of diversity.
Throughout a year of travel, Abraham used her symbolic painting style to respond to the country. She strayed from typical landscapes and state icons in an effort to delve deeper into the gifts of each state. While it is easy to match some of the paintings, such as a Wright Flyer for North Carolina, or the Old Man of the Mountain for New Hampshire; however, most pieces require more thought and discovery to realize which state they address. Because of this, the artist provides a brief description with each painting to address the source of inspiration. As each painting was completed, it was displayed in the next state over, until the artists reached all fifty states. This helped blur the state borders, inciting interest and discussion among neighboring states.
Abraham worked in paint, while Llamas recorded the journey through original music and film. He used an acoustic guitar and Apple PowerBook to record rough versions from the road. Now, Llamas focuses on editing and producing the album and documentary, since the traveling stage is completed. The artists are focusing on the development of a multi-media exhibit. It will be the first time that all fifty paintings will be displayed together. The original music, documentary, sketches and journal entries will join the artwork, providing an intimate look into the artists' travels. These records indicate how the country has revealed itself to them, and changed the way they view life, as well as the country.
The ultimate goal of The Nomadic Project is to inspire individuals to explore their own backyard, and pursue their dreams. Abraham and Llamas, they felt that it was extremely important to self-fund their vision. The two sold everything they owned, including their home, in order to make their dream a reality. They challenged themselves to live and work out of a Honda Element for a year, and budget every penny, right down to ten dollars a day for food. This lifestyle forced them to be creative and resourceful just to survive, and the experience provided them with a greater respect and appreciation for those who walked the land before them. The Nomadic Project has not resulted in a great revolution for change, however it reminds all that, despite great differences, no one can deny the adventure and beauty that lies within these fifty uniquely different states.
Abraham and Llamas have completed the journey, and intend to share their findings with others. Venues around the country have shown interest in hosting the entire show, so the artists are working to secure funding to make it possible.
Here are a few ways to be included in the Nomadic project:
Route (in Order of States)
• West Virginia
• New Mexico
• South Dakota
• North Dakota
• New York
• New Hampshire
• Rhode Island
• New Jersey
• Maryland/ D.C.
• North Carolina
• South Carolina