Black Artist & Subject Films
Enjoy a selection of films about black Hudson Valley artists, photographers, and workers.
Black Artists & Subjects
Mickey Mathis Photographer
Mickey Mathis has been shooting all subjects for 50 years. In fact he says, "all subjects matter," He's always ready with his camera by his side ready for the image around the next corner. He has created a wide variety of photographs in color as well as black and white. Mathis, a Kingston native, moved to New York City to work in the early 1970s and subsequently settled in Jersey City. Mathis speaks about growing up in Kingston; the film includes dozens of his stunning images of people and places. After taking thousands of photographs, Mathis remains as enthusiastic as ever.
Group 212: An Intermedia Arts Colony
The 212 project ran summer retreats from 1967 to 1969 in the old Holiday Country Inn midway between Saugerties and Woodstock on Route 212. It was briefly home to professionals in the visual arts, music, performing arts, filmmaking and sciences. The collective fostered a collaborative meeting point and simplified time and space constraints for the participating artists. It encouraged them to experiment with the diverse new media and helped them to explore and synthesize the exploding potentials then being articulated through happenings, expanded cinema, environmental music, and multimedia theater, dance and sculpture.
Elizabeth Zunon & Her World of Books
Elizabeth Zunon is a book illustrator and author who specializes in African and African-American subject matter. After creating a book about Harlem Renaissance artist Romare Bearden, Zunon was deeply influenced by his style. She often uses both collage and painting in her artwork. One of her books tells of women in Africa who developed a creative solution to the problem of discarded plastic bags in the streets and rivers which were harming children and animals. The women collect and clean the bags, cut them into strips, crochet them into purses, and sell them. The inspiring story tells of both environmental protection and women's empowerment. Zunon also recently wrote and illustrated a book about her grandfather who cultivated cocoa beans in the Ivory Coast, a story her father recounts while baking a chocolate cake with his daughter. This short film gives a glimpse into Zunon's influences, unique style, and beautiful work on these three delightful books.
Barbara Masterson: Painter
A lifelong plein air painter, Barbara Masterson lives on a farm in the heart of the Hudson Valley's apple orchard region. Captivated by the sight of migrant workers who came into the scenes she painted, Masterson began incorporating them into her colorful paintings— first at a distance, but soon cultivating personal relationships and gaining a deep insight into the crucial work they perform in an increasingly harsh political environment. Her intimate, large-scale portraits of those who often remain "unseen" by society are unforgettable. Masterson was able to invite the subjects of her paintings to see their portraits exhibited in a gallery show and even meet the patrons who purchased the artwork. Audiences remember her stunning paintings long after viewing this artist profile film and have sought out her exhibitions around the region. The filmmakers had the opportunity to visit the orchards and meet the workers with whom Masterson has developed friendships over the years while creating this film in 2017 and were thrilled to watch the expert at work in her studio. Enjoy!