Keydon is a 501(c)(3) non profit dedicated to funding photographic road trips across the United States and collecting artworks, postcards, and nostalgic ephemera showcasing the history of the great American road trip.
Keydon is a non-profit organization established in 2018 by two childhood friends. Travis Patterson (MA) and George Gill (OR) have traveled 33,000 road miles together in the name of photography, adventure, and friendship. Keydon gives funding to photographers traveling America by car and is building a collection of artwork that celebrates the open road.
Keydon is the name of Travis' rescue dog. In Arabic, it means companion; in Laotian, it is slang for little shit. George (a fellow dog rescuer and husband to a vet) agrees that the name sums up his relationship with Travis well. The intuition, adventure, and hard work that define both dog and the road trip experience. We associate the name Keydon with family, craft, love and dedication.
Keydon awards photographers with funding for projects that may not be possible otherwise and play a no-strings attached role in their process. If mutually agreed upon, we celebrate their progress in real time over social media. We also provide the opportunity to showcase their work on this website.
Keydon collects postcards, negatives, prints, topographic maps, cameras, and road maps in addition to contributions from its fundees. There is an oppressive digital footprint in this world. We want to gather and honor the under appreciated physical ephemera that define our relationship to photography and road travel.
GEORGE GILL (PORTLAND, OR)
Travis and I met at a time when we had incredible mentors helping us to develop a passion for photography. This learning experience, our road trips, and many collaborations helped seed the friendship we share today.
I have always had two passions: photography and aviation. I consider myself lucky to have made photography a career for more than a decade and even luckier that I still enjoy it now. As life circumstances would have it, I decided to pursue my love of aviation professionally in place. While photography does not take up every moment, it is still all consuming in my creative life. I act on my personal projects now and this has only intensified my relationship with photography.
The calm that photography brings and the satisfaction it has brought me are things I want for everyone to experience. For me, Keydon exists to aid and encourage other photographers. Because my relationships with Travis and photography began with a road trip, I love the idea of other photographers growing their work on the open road as well.
TRAVIS PATTERSON (BOSTON, MA)
I met George in high school where we took great pride in photography and were both deeply moved by our art teacher, Mr. Michael Foo. Keydon is dedicated in part to this man and the many public school educators that are worth many times more the salary they take to inspire our kids.
Upon graduating high school, we traveled 14,000 across the lower 48 states in 2004 and 19,000 miles more in 2009. Our relationship has survived over the years in part due to these wonderful and formative trips.
While these shared works may not further the contemporary dialogue of photography, we leaned happily into a Modernist aesthetic free of any attempt to reinvent the wheel. We honed our skills, were free, and appreciated nature.
I no longer think my photographs are going to change the course of art history. Instead, there is no other human being I would rather start a new venture with to try and support and inspire others to travel in our footsteps and those of the many noteworthy trips that prefaced our own.