Will Schaff: Hold Down The Fort Campaign

Gravenhurst's Nick Talbot tells us why you should be helping the artist's campaign to save his studio

Rhode Island-based artist Will Schaff has launched an Indiegogo crowd-sourcing campaign to raise funds to prevent the foreclosure of The Fort, his art studio, also his home and the rehearsal and recording studio of the band Brown Bird. Will’s distinctive style will be familiar to anyone who owns Godspeed You Black Emperor’s Raise Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven, and his work has also graced albums by Songs: Ohia, Neutral Milk Hotel, Okkervil River, the Mountain Goats, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and many others.

I met Will in 2003 when he was drumming for Providence acid folk outfit The Iditarod; he subsequently created artwork for two of my Gravenhurst records, Flashlight Seasons and Black Holes In the Sand. I recently wrote an essay for inclusion in his glorious hardback collection The Music Related Artwork Of William Schaff; proceeds from the book went towards the healthcare bills of Jason Molina (Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co.), who had also provided a 10" mini-album of original music to accompany the book. When Jason passed away the healthcare bills were passed on to his family, because that’s the way America works. Will asked me to contribute a Jason Molina cover for a tribute CD to raise money for Jason’s cause, and sent me the hardback collection along with his hilarious and deeply wrong G.G. Allin Kid’s Activity And Coloring Book (wisely limited to fourteen copies.) As it turned out, my cover version (‘There Are No Claims On You’) arrived too late for the tribute CD and will now be featured on a CD set for release as part of Will’s Hold Down The Fort campaign, alongside work by Kid Dakota, Swearing At Motorists, Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores and many others.

After being so instrumental in supporting the dignity of others, Will now needs help himself. Supporting the cause will secure you any number of Schaff treasures, including illustrated playing cards, books, banners, letter press prints, screen prints, your own portrait, personalised stationary, even art lessons at the Fort followed by nights on the tiles at the neighbouring bar. This is a unique opportunity to help secure the future of an extraordinary talent and secure yourself a beautiful work of art. If you’re discreet he might even sort you out with a copy of that colouring book. 

The campaign is here. In addition, ten per cent of all money made, after expenses, will be donated to the Innocence Project. You can find more out about that here.

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