Wednesday, February 22, 2012

PREMIERE at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art

Introducing our documentary in my studio

These are two production stills from my introduction to our documentary "Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist's Process: Oklahoma" which will be premiering at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art in the Sarkeys Performing Arts Center, Shawnee, Oklahoma on March 17th at 7 pm.  Call the museum to RSVP if you would like to attend. 405-878-5300
We travel all over the state of Oklahoma interviewing people and visiting places that show the intersection between art, ecological sustainability and cultural preservation. Be inspired as we emphasize mentoring and creativity as solutions for ecological preservation. To see a 'teaser' for the documentary:
Here I am working on trees from Oklahoma for the exhibition at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art that I am curating of my work and the artists we interview across the state of Oklahoma. The piece on the floor behind me, which is in progress, is of a cypress swamp in oil over egg tempera. YES.....there are cypress swamps in south east Oklahoma as you will see in our documentary. Tahlequah Sycamore above it, is going to the permanent collection of the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art. 

Take a unique journey with the producers of the Creative-Native Project around our state of Oklahoma:
Travel to three diverse Nature Conservancy preserves in Oklahoma.
In the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, director Bob Hamilton talks with Fran, we hike a trail and see buffalo that are integral to the preservation of the tallgrass. See how a controlled burn inspires Fran Hardy’s ‘TreeBeard lives in the Tallgrass Prairie’.
Have an inside look at remote Four Canyons Preserve and talk with preserve director, Chris Hise and see how his and his friend Kevan’s passion for this unique environment created the preserve.
See a remnant of the once vast and virtually impenetrable crosstimbers forest at the Keystone Ancient Forest.

Learn more about the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art and their innovative educational programs that relate art to the environment and cultural history as well as the fascinating story of Father Gerrer who built the impressive permanent collection of the museum.

See an inspirational interview with Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen about the community of St. Gregory’s Abbey and the monks who are doing sustainable projects that contribute to the museum, their community and the environment.

Kim Baker, Oklahoma conservation photographer is one of the artists interviewed, as well as a visit to her Illinois River Survey events May 2011. Be impressed with the work that Kim is doing with her photography to bring attention to the beauty of Oklahoma and the need to preserve it’s rivers.

In Oklahoma City, founder of ‘Closer to Earth Youth Gardens’, Allen Parleir, tells the moving story of how a garden project has saved and united a community. 
Go to the Wichita Mountains with artists Katherine Liontis-Warren and Jack Bryan to see how they have documented these ancient mountains with her beautiful detailed drawings and his expressive drawings and paintings. It is fascinating to see how they have interpreted this magnificent place in such different ways.

Visit Tulsa artist Grace Grothaus, recipient of OVAC’s Art 365 grant in her studio. See Grace at work on her synthetic landscapes, inspired by aerial views of Oklahoma and the effect industry has played on the landscape of Oklahoma. Art 365 has taken Tulsa artist Grace Grothaus high into the sky and around the entire state of Oklahoma in preparation for her body of work titled, ‘OK Landscape: From cornfields or oilfields’. See her innovative approach with work that uses light, layering and interactive arduino micro controllers.

Visit the Choctaw ponies on James Stephen’s Fossil River and Chahta Isuba Ranches.
See how Bryant Rickman’s dedication to saving the ponies inspired Jim to create a more sustainable environment on his ranches because of and for the ponies. Francine Locke Bray, archivist and research consultant on the Choctaw Ponies talks about their collaboration.

Henry Moy,  Director of the Museum of the Red River shows us the museum’s Caddo pottery collection that inspired Caddo potter Jeri Redcorn to reclaim her history by reviving the tradition of her ancestors. In Jeri’s studio we talk with her about how she was inspired to teach herself since there were no longer active potters in the Caddo tribe. She now mentors and teaches other Caddo the ceramic art of their ancestors. Her work was chosen by Michelle Obama for display in the White House Oval Office.

Talk with Quintus Herron, co-founder with his wife, Mary, of the Museum of the Red River as an outgrowth of their passion for collecting the work of Oklahoma native artists bringing an exceptional museum to rural Idabel Oklahoma.

David Weaver, preserve director of the Little River National Wildlife Refuge takes the filmmakers to a hidden cypress swamp where they brave voracious mosquitos and don hip waders to see a champion cypress tree.

 Dr Ian Thompson Choctaw archaeologist, anthropologist, artist takes us to the Choctaw Nation and shows us all the programs to preserve their environment and artistic heritage and language as well as a pit firing of Choctaw pottery and the gathering of endangered mussels for the traditional body of their clay. We also talk to Sue Folsom about other Choctaw traditions and see her beautiful beadwork. Tribal elder Israel Adams tells us about his work to preserve the Choctaw language.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Creative Native Project is now being called the Earth Chronicles Project with a new blogspot. Please follow us at our new blogspot address.

Same Exciting Project with a New Name

underpainting in egg tempera for Oklahoma Cypress Swamp in progress
Fran Hardy copyright

I have chosen the underpainting in egg tempera for this blog post because like our projects in various regions of the United States it is a work in progress. This underpainting will have numerous layers of oil glazes applied over it to create the final painting in oil over egg tempera, an early renaissance technique that I utilize with a very contemporary voice. 

In the same way our project with our educational documentaries about the intersection of art, ecological sustainability and cultural preservation, the exhibits I curate to accompany them and educational programming we are developing has many layers and keeps growing, expanding and being refined. 

We renamed our project Earth Chronicles Project, formerly Creative-Native Project because some of the museums and venues we are working with were concerned that their audiences would think that native referred to native americans as opposed to our broad definition of all things native such as native plants, native americans, native culture, native trees, etc etc. Since our documentaries are still so much about stories of individuals who are passionate about making a different and preserving through creative solutions our art, ecology and culture in different regions we thought this title would represent us well.

I have been away from blogging for a while now as I have been so busy with our project. In my next post I will talk about all the various hats I have been wearing and what we have been doing in Oklahoma and then New Mexico on our project.

Our Oklahoma documentary will be premiering at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art March 17, 2012 at 7 pm. So today we need to work on my on-camera segues for each of the segments in the documentary so I am off to get ready for at least a day of shooting in my studio with Bob.

Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record.[1] A 'documentary film' was originally shot on film stock — the only medium available — but now includes video and digitalproductions that can be either direct-to-video, made as a television program or released for screening in cinemas. "Documentary" has been described as a "filmmaking practice, a cinematic tradition, and mode of audience reception" that is continually evolving and is without clear boundaries.[2]

It is a large tree, reaching 25–40 m (rarely to 44 m) tall and a trunk diameter of 2–3 m, rarely to 5 m. The bark is gray-brown to red-brown, shallowly vertically fissured, with a stringy texture. The leaves are borne on deciduous branchlets that are spirally arranged on the stem but twisted at the base to lie in two horizontal ranks, 1-2 cm long and 1-2 mm broad; unlike most other species in the family Cupressaceae, it is deciduous, losing the leaves in the winter months, hence the name 'bald'. It is monoecious. Male and female strobili mature in about 12 months; they are produced from buds formed in the late fall, with pollination in early winter. The seed cones are green maturing gray-brown, globular, 2-3.5 cm in diameter. They have from 20–30 spirally arranged four-sided scales, each bearing one or two (rarely three) trianglular seeds. The number of seeds per cone ranges from 20–40. The cones disintegrate when mature to release the large seeds. The seeds are 5-10 mm long, the largest of any species in the cypress family, and are produced every year but with heavy crops every three to five years. The seedlings have 3–9 (most often 6) cotyledons.[2]
The main trunks are surrounded by cypress knees.
The tallest known individual specimen, near Williamsburg, Virginia, is 44.11 m tall, and the stoutest known, in the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has a diameter of 521 cm.[4] The oldest known specimen, located in Bladen County, North Carolina, is over 1,620 years old making this one of the oldest living plants in Eastern North America .[5]

From my original blog, our magical trip to the cypress swamp that inspired this painting.