Personal Projects: Adair Rutledge


The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s Artist: Adair Rutledge

Nashville Cardinals

Each evening on my drive home in Nashville, I would pass a field dotted with tiny figures in plastic armor, smashing into each other again and again. It was a Pee Wee football practice, the players five and six years old. As a Southerner, I understand that football is a rite of passage taken very seriously, but the daily sight of kindergartners wearing oversized helmets and shoulder pads was curious and complicated. This photo essay looks at just one of the thousands of Pee-Wee football teams across America. I explore the tension between sweet, post toddler innocence and checks for concussions; between what it means to be a child and expectations for ‘what it means to be a Man.’ I try to understand how the dynamics between parents, coaches, and kids work to groom the next generation of professional athletes; how expectations of success and repeated physical contact impact kids early in their lives; how the industry of football establishes social norms of not only teamwork, discipline, and community, but also violence, race, class, and gender for American Youth

More of the project can be seen here

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

Suzanne Sease

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