An ongoing film series featuring some of Maine’s most distinguished artists
sponsored by the Union of Maine Visual Artists

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Maine Masters News

I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan

Premieres at the
Maine International Film Festival
July 10, 2016  12:30pm
July 16, 2016  3:30pm, 7pm

Railroad Square Cinema
17 Railroad Square, Waterville, ME


click on image to see trailer

Now Available on DVD
Order the DVD

HOMETOWN PREMIERE
July 16, 2016
Criterion Theatre
35 Cottage St., Bar Harbor, ME

I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan is a story about a beloved 93-year-old artist who skips and jumps in his heart like a child, yet is a spiritually deep creative genius and poet/illustrator of 50+ children's books, maker of magical puppets and sea glass windows from found objects inspired by his African heritage.  Ashley lives on the remote Cranberry Islands, Maine and has been using art his entire life to celebrate joy, mediate the darkness of war and racism, explore the mysteries of faith, and create loving community.  His life story and the art he makes from this wellspring of experience is an inspiration to people of all ages. 

The film opens with Ashley telling a group of awestruck children a hilarious rendition of the original tale from his new book Can't Scare Me. But soon after the film delves into the horrors Ashley experienced in war.  “When you experience the tremendous carnage,” he asks, “Why does man choose war … that destroys everything you’ve built up?  I lived through the time of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and that did it.” The film then explores his world as an African American experiencing racism from early on when his father “was given the mop and the broom”, a reference to the 1942 Gordon Parks photograph.  He quotes Marian Anderson admonishing “to keep another down you have to hold them down, and therefore cannot rise and soar to the potential within you.”  He takes comfort in and spreads beauty through the spiritual content of his art – his linocut prints exhorting “Let My People Go” and his breathtaking sea glass windows of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  So we begin to see his art as his way of spreading love, joy and peace in a less than perfect world.

The film’s trailer https://vimeo.com/156470217 announces the coming of this feature documentary at festivals around the world. A half hour school version will soon be available for students and teachers.  Funds for free distribution to schools and for educational support materials are being sought.  Those interested please contact mainemasters1@gmail.com for further information.   


 

Imber’s Left Hand
Gets Rave Reviews

“A Great Triumph”
                 Edgar Allen Beem, art critic

“This beautiful film … takes the wind out of you.”
                 Sebastian Smee, Boston Globe art critic
 

“A masterpiece of intimacy in the face of tragedy … extraordinary.”
                 Daniel Kany, Maine Sunday Telegram


click on the image to see the trailer
click on the image to see the trailer

Now Available on DVD
Order the DVD



Any amount under $500.
Over $500 please contact us at: mainemasters1@gmail.com

For more information contact Richard Kane

Imber’s Left Hand is a love story between two artists faced with one’s death and how art and love transform the tragedy into the brightest affirmation of life. Imber’s switch to painting left handed and the black humor with which he dances with his dying is a celebration of life and community.

photo of Richard Kane filming Jon Imber's first left handed painting
photo by Jill Hoy

Richard Kane filming Jon Imber’s first left-handed painting. 

Coming Soon to FilmStruck (Turner Classic Movies)

 




Joseph Fiore: The Nature of the Artist

premiered at the Camden International Film Festival, September 29, 2013
Screened November 7-10, 2013 at the Asheville Cinema Festival, Asheville, NC
Screened December 14 and 15, 2013 at the Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC

Now available on DVD
Order the DVD

image of Joseph Fiore DVD cover

Click for preview
photo of Joseph Fiore c. 1987

Joseph Fiore by Peggy McKenna, 1986




David Driskell: In Search of the Creative Truth

Winner of The Shaw Family MPBN Community Films Award, Best Film broadcast on MPBN Community Films in 2015. See preview here.
Order the DVD

photo of richard kane, david driskell, and Johnetta Cole
Photography by Heide Fischer Wessels
Film Director Richard Kane, Artist David Driskell, and Director of the
National Museum of African Art Johnetta Cole.


On April 20, 2013 Dr. David Driskell was introduced by the charismatic Dr. Johnetta Cole, director of the National Museum of African Art to an audience of nearly 400 people who came to the National Gallery of Art to watch the Washington, D.C. premiere of David Driskell: In Search of the Creative Truth.



photo of Curlee Holton, David Driskell, and Richard Kane
Photography by Heide Fischer Wessels
Master Printmaker Curlee Holton joined David Driskell and Richard Kane
for a Q&A with the audience.




Ashley Bryan: Maine Master in Production

photo of Ashley Bryan at school with children
Photograph by Henry Isaacs
Ashley Bryan and students at the Ashley Bryan School on Little Cranberry Isle.
Ashley Bryan introduced students of the Ashley Bryan School on Little Cranberry Isle to the galleys of his newest book, Can’t Scare Me. Looking on are teachers Donna Isaacs and Lindsay Eyesnogle with grip, Jacob Kane, director Richard Kane (at camera), and executive producer, Robert Shetterly (standing right).
See footage in production here.
 


November 2013 Film Shoot in Boston and New York

Director Richard Kane and Co-producer Carl Little travel to Boston and New York to interview subjects for four Maine Masters projects. Interviewees include ALS Researcher Lee Rubin at Harvard, MOMA curator Deborah Wye, and artist Phil Allen (Jon Imber film); art critic John Yau and Yvonne Jacquette (Yvonne Jacquette film); Caitlyn Dlouhy, Editorial Director at Simon and Schuster (Ashley Bryan film); and scholar and authority of the modern craft movement Helen Drutt (J. Fred Woell film).


Completion Funds Needed

Funds are still needed for the completion of projects on the following artists: Yvonne Jacquette, Carlo Pittore, and J. Fred Woell.


Production Funds Needed

Funds are needed to begin projects on the following artists: William Irvine, Natasha Mayers, Emily Nelligan, and Abby Shahn


Maine Masters Archives

We have begun posting interviews and other clips from ongoing projects: See Ashley Bryan, Abby Shahn, J. Fred Woell, and Yvonne Jacquette.

Maine Master Legend Beverly Hallam dies at age 89

Beverly Hallam was one of Maine’s treasures and we were fortunate to record a portrait of her life and art in Beverly Hallam: The Artist as Innovator. For her obituary in the Portland Press Herald, click here.


Review of Maine Masters series in Yankee Magazine
by Edgar Allen Beem

Maine Masters Nominated for Emmy Award

April 12, 2011  Boston  Stephen Pace: Maine Master was nominated for an Emmy Award by the Boston/New England Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in the Outstanding Arts/Entertainment category.  The film portrait premiered at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab in New York City in 2009 and was broadcast as part of the MPBN Community Films series in 2010.   

 

Sponsored by the Union of Maine Visual Artists, an educational organization promoting Maine art.

© UMVA / Maine Masters Project 2009-2013