Art Movie Night

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Author: Wadems

Not selfish.

Fourteen years ago, my family returned to the city after a hiatus in suburbia. I was no longer working a 9-5 corporate job, but instead freelancing graphic design and art direction, setting my own hours and working in my art studio. I was exhibiting my artwork frequently and had acquired a rented studio on Routh Street in the old Screw Products building. That two-story, brick building is now gone and One Arts Plaza sits in its place, holding down the east end of the glitzy Dallas Arts District. Our decision to move our home to the M-street area caused dominos to fall in many directions, so-to-say, but one priority of mine was to re-educate myself on contemporary art. I’d been away from it while I advanced my graphic design career with the JCPenney Company. With selfish motives, I searched for films about contemporary artists and hosted a monthly event in my home called Art Movie Night. Each month, after finding a film, I’d make (or purchase) a delicious dessert to serve everyone and invite all the artists I knew over to watch it with me. The dessert was created to “match” the artist we’d be learning about. For example, when we watched a film on Cindy Sherman, I had Barbie cakes made to reflect her use, at that time, of staging doll and body parts into her work. After the film, we’d sit around and discuss the ideas and techniques that were presented.

Although the idea was born out of selfishness, it was an idea that appealed to many. Within a few months, my living room was filled with old and new friends, always eager for the show to begin.

It’s hard to believe but back in the late 1990’s, films on contemporary artists were hard to find! There were plenty of films on Picasso and Monet, but that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to learn about artists that were currently working. I would not only search the Dallas Library system, I’d drive to area colleges and universities. It was exhausting to track down this kind of film. But I persevered and month after month the group grew.

Toward the end of the first year, I was desperate to find a film. On the way to my studio I stopped by the now-extinct D-Art on Swiss Avenue and begged then-Executive Director, Katherine Wagner , to allow me to use one of their library films. After she’d listened to my story about how Art Movie Night began, and how desperate I was, she made me an offer I couldn’t refuse…she asked me to move the monthly event there and open it up to the City of Dallas. She also offered to write a grant that would enable me to purchase movies AND purchase food for attendees! Although most of the group hated to give up the homey atmosphere of my living room, we all understood this generous offer and we decided to move the event, knowing the happiness we’d found could be shared with even more people.

This successful event started with a personal desire for personal growth. It ended up bringing intelligent conversation and inspiration to many. Sometimes when we think we are doing something only for ourselves, there’s actually a bigger picture. Our desire is only one thread in the tapestry that is being woven. When you get an urge to do something that will inspire or add happiness, do it! We tend to see one-dimensionally. I know I’ve thought I was “the star of the play” many times, only to find out my seemingly selfish desires were needed to bring change, and happiness, to the world. What I’ve found is that, A) it’s not selfish and, B) whatever change is needed in the world can only happen if you act upon what your heart is telling YOU. You were created for a reason. Go and Do. Bring action to your dreams. No one but you can think the thoughts that you think and the world is waiting for what only you can give it.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

9 thoughts on “Art Movie Night

  1. […] or documentary films about artists.  Anita Horton recently wrote her weekly blog about the film gatherings she and others organized in the late 1990’s. She really missed these viewings. Coincidentally, […]

  2. Bettina says:

    Hey Anita,
    what good timing!
    I was just thinking that maybe I’m being selfish in wanting to interview people who were successful on Kickstarter but I know that it would help more people than just me.
    Thank you for writing.

  3. Claudia says:

    Thank you Anita, this is really inspiring and thought I need to reflect on and try out. Thank you, for handing me a threat of thought for guidance.
    L.
    Claudia

    • Claudia! You could do this…even as a critique for your own films. It would be fun and educational. I can’t wait until we can talk to one another face to face! Do you have any “trailers” of your films that I can see?

  4. Barbie Dolls and Cindy Sherman was a fantastic combo!

    Are there any current private/ public film gatherings? I know of one that I recommend. The Dallas Center for Architecture shows architecture-related films once a month. On October 10th, “Women in Dirt” is next in the line-up. I’ll be there.
    http://www.dallascfa.com/

    Also, here is a link to one of my posts about my friends’ (including yours) and my favorite movies on art:
    http://megfitzpatrick.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/good-films-about-art-and-artists/

    Great post, as always, Meg

    • Hi, Meg!
      I wish I would have known you back in the late ’90’s! I know you would have been a faithful attendee. 🙂 We used to have a ton of fun! Thanks SO MUCH for giving the DCA’s website AND the link to your blog! Love it.

  5. Aaaahhh, Mom that is so sweet!!!! Thank you. 🙂 I love you.

  6. Lena Hobbs says:

    Anita, each week as I read a new blog, I think “is this the best one yet”? At this point, I cannot make that decision, but this one is up there! As your mother, it will not be difficult to understand that as I make my copies of your weekly blog (so I can have them in hand) to study and reread as I sit close to Dad’s bed, I am finding it difficult to concentrate on other good reading, but you are making it possible for me to not miss it one bit. Thank you, Mom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Let's Enjoy Art

simply for fun

A year of reading the world

196 countries, countless stories...

And Then We Moved To ...

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step into the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.”

Coffee in San Diego

Independent coffee houses we love

The Dallas Whisperer

Answering Questions About Dallas

schooled in love

Where home meets schooling.

Art Teacher in LA

K-8th grade art lessons

janeyinmersin

Have a dose of what life is really like living here – from Turkish in 1000 easy lessons to learning the secrets to making the perfect kebab! Highs or lows this is our random observations from the melting pot of crazy that is my life in Mersin.

Live In Inspiration

travel . lifestyle . inspire .

What's up, Turkey?

a blog about Turkish politics and society

Inside Out In Istanbul

Living in Istanbul, Turkey

Curious Souls Get Together

We meet to watch and discuss inspirational TED Talks !

PenCameraPassport

Stories and photos about life and the world

Enderle Travelblog

A resource for brave artists, teachers and travelers who prefer to live life differently

TheTravelingTeacher

A resource for brave artists, teachers and travelers who prefer to live life differently

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

VENKMAN'S LAW

Thoughts, comments, opinions and sarcasm from humanity's leading expert on absolutely nothing.

megfitzpatrick

Dallas-Based Contemporary Artist

The Perpetual Vagabond

Art, Travel, Photography, and Adventure!

travelola

reflections on travel & expat life in australia

%d bloggers like this: