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rural route two box two eighty one Vol. 1, Issue. 1

rural route two box two eighty one a photo zine


Jeff Nilan &

Jacinda Russell & Nancy Douthey

rural route two box two eighty one is a bi-monthly zine dedicated to photo-based contemporary art. Each issue will be focused on the work of two living artists living and working outside of traditional art centers. The title of the zine comes from the childhood address (RR 2 Box 281) of the zine's editor Travis Shaffer. Travis and his wife/ co- editor Angela, grew up in neighboring rural communities in southwestern Pennsylvania. Travis is currently an Instructor of Photography at the University of Kentucky and Angela is a high school art teacher in the small town of Lancaster, KY. This zine is committed to the dissemination of these artist’s works. In doing so, we hope to create a dialog around the relationships between contemporary art, regional identity and rurality. Through both digital and paper forms RR2 will be released six times a year. A free .pdf file version of each issue will be made accessible via email and download and a hand bound hard copy zine will be available for purchase or subscription (to be sent by standard post). The hard-copy zine is 9.5” x 13” and will cost 15$/ issue, or 60$ for a yearly subscription. For more information regarding subscription, submission or just to stay informed email us at or find us on facebook.

2000 Pounds of Soil Jeff Nilan

Growing up in Nebraska, my work draws influence from my roots and upbringing, as well as the landscape and culture of the Midwest. I am interested in the ways that art reflects and shapes the mythology of a region. My handmade books focus on the people, landscape, and structures of rural southwestern Iowa. These works highlight the evolution of a project I have been perusing for the past ten years. Jeff Nilan received his MFA from Indiana University in 1999 where he also taught for a number of years as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Photography. His work has been shown throughout the United States and is in multiple Artists’ book collections. Jeff currently resides in Delaware, Ohio and teaches at Ohio Wesleyan University.

(opposite) Union Township, tea toned cyanotypes, 54" x 54�, 2006

(opposite top) Yield, cyanotype, archival inkjet prints from crayon rubbings, case binding, 2008 (above) Illinois and the Great Hale-Bopp, cyanotype, archival inkjet, accordion binding, 2009

Illinois and the Great Hale-Bopp, cyanotype, archival inkjet, accordion style, 2009

3 weeks, 6 earthworks, 1 portable studio, & ALL that lies in between Jacinda Russell & Nancy Douthey

We spent three weeks in the summer of 2009 in a rented SUV driving across the American West creating art in response to six famous earthworks: Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty and Amarillo Ramp, Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels, Michael Heizer’s Double Negative, James Turrell’s Roden Crater, and Walter De Maria’s Lightning Field. This pilgrimage also featured an investigation of the “in between”: Wayne Thiebaud meets Ed Ruscha in the form of floating fake desserts in enticing swimming pools, a performance at the Chinati Foundation with a stuffed blue bear, cleaning the Sky Walk at the Grand Canyon, and conversation maps that record how we truly arrived at our destinations not just the terrain. 3 Weeks… is not an historical or theoretical investigation. Instead we are creating ephemeral responses to artwork that is in some ways very destructive to nature. We are interested in time – how we became more aware of how time looks and how time passes by the sheer amount of hours we spent at each piece in isolation or watched by a solitary observer. We are interested in humor as it is far easier to talk about these artworks in a contemporary context because their status is so serious in the canon of art history. Humor is one way we enter into these works when we want to make serious commentary rather than being confrontational. It is our way of discussing the political and often difficult issues associated with them: gender, economic elitism, destruction and permanence of the land. The artists' books are made in homage to Ed Ruscha's famous publications from four decades past.   The ten books focus on the time spent in between the earthworks. They document our search for Ruscha at Bryce Canyon (or the closest person resembling him either young or old); our encounter with "LBK," our guide at Amarillo Ramp; the car games we played while driving through the West (the challenge to find the structures that most closely resemble geodomes); the inventory of every object in our traveling studio; hotel origami often featuring responses to the earthworks we visited the day before alongside a thank you note for the housekeeping staff; and every tweet from our account str8tripnn.  One book directly comments upon Ed Ruscha's Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass, only our final image is a floating, fake doughnut. Nancy Douthey and Jacinda Russell have worked collaboratively since 2008 developing and preparing 3 Weeks, 6 Earthworks, 1 portable studio, and ALL that lies in between.  Douthey earned her MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies and Intermedia from the University of Houston and Russell holds an MFA from University of Arizona in photography. They experiment with a wide range of mediums such as performance, photography, video, sculpture, drawing, and artists’ books. This work was first presented in Rehearse, Rewind, Repeat: Photography, Video and Performance at Ohio University and additional venues include Texas Gallery, Houston, Texas and Clemson University. A limited edition DVD, A Chronological Film: Twelve Shorts and Twenty-five Short Shorts, was published in March 2010. (opposite) (A still from) a dizzying hot pink prom dress whirling at Spiral Jetty 30"x20", archival inkjet print, 2009

(opposite, from top) Inventory: Hot Pink Prom Dress, Hot Pink Brittany Wig, Hot Pink Yarn, 2009 (above) Conversation Maps: James Turrell's Roden Crater, Flagstaff, Arizona, 2009

(opposite page) A man watched us from an SUV on top of Roden Crater as the whip cracked on our grand opening parade. 20"x30", archival inkjet print, 2009 (top right - bottom left) Inventory: Hot Pink Inner Tube, Hot Pink Hard Hats, Popped Hot Pink Balloons, Peach Can Phones, 2009

(above) 3 weeks, 6 earthworks, 1 portable studio, & ALL that lies in between, 10 artist’s books, 2009 (opposite)The last of the Polaroid film: Two exposures each at six earthworks (traditional and family vacation), 30.5" x 9", archival inkjet print, 2009

For more information about this, and other issues visit us at

124 walnut ridge court nicholasville, kentucky

rural route two box two eighty one

RR2 - Issue 1  
RR2 - Issue 1  

RR 2 Box 281 is a bi-monthly zine dedicated to photo-based contemporary art. Each issue will be focused on the work of two living artists wo...