This is a biweekly series about art and artists in the region. Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts serves the community through arts education, exhibitions and artist resources.
During the long hot days of summer, does your mind turn to mush? Do you fear the leakage of all those lessons learned in school?
Consider re-charging your gray matter at Pittsburgh Filmmakers in July with a series of morning presentation/conversation sessions with six local artists. Starting at 9 a.m. these accomplished filmmakers and photographers will individually present their work in an air-conditioned theater. The sessions are 75 minutes each, so you'll still have time for the pool.
Need another nudge? Breakfast treats will be served.
The day begins with viewing films and photographs, and listening to the artists discuss their practice, various projects they've worked on, what drew them to a particular medium in the first place and what continues to motivate them. Informal conversations follow.
Some of the artists include:
• Brady Lewis, an optical effects specialist, is director of education at Pittsburgh Filmmakers. He has made more than 15 short films and also worked in commercial film production. His shorts have won dozens of film festival awards, and he's presented his work at venues such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Flanders International Film Festival in Belgium, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. He also wrote and directed "Daddy Cool," a feature-length experimental film.
• Photojournalist Martha Rial fell in love with photography as a teenager while studying Look and Life magazines. In 1998 she won a Pulitzer Prize for her work documenting the lives of Burundian and Rwandan refugees. She has shared her skills with students at Western Kentucky University's Mountain Workshops, Sundance Photographic Workshops, and Silver Eye Center for Photography. Ms. Rial is a former staff photographer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
• Filmmaker Will Zavala is the founder of Documentary Salon, a regional organization of filmmakers and fans of documentaries, where audiences get involved in post-screening discussions. Mr. Zavala earned a master's degree in communications at Stanford University. He teaches courses in video, 16mm film, and audio and documentary production. As an artist, he specializes in making nonfiction films.
The sessions will be July 10-12 and 17-19 and are open to teenagers (rising sophomore and above) and adults. A different artist is featured at each session -- sign up for one or all six. They are $10 each. Register at 412-681-5449, ext. 201 or 202.