REVISED Art of the Storm
Friday November 10, 2006
American Legion Hall, BSL
A documentary about survival of art & artists along the Mississippi Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina
a Watts Up Video Productions film produced by Stephanie Watts & Amity Johnson
Filmmakers Stephanie Watts and Amity Johnson tell the story of how Hurricane Katrina devastated an art colony along the Mississippi Gulf Coast in The Art of the Storm. Through this documentary, you will meet the artists, hear their stories and fall in love with their work.
The Art of the Storm chronicles the effect of Hurricane Katrina on several Mississippi Gulf Coast towns. As the eye of the hurricane passed over towns such as Bay St. Louis, Waveland and Clermont Harbor, an arts community was devastated.
Travel to Mississippi and meet the artists who survived and who are trying to rebuild. Hear the story of how Mary Gray, the founder of MinnesotaHelpers, embarked on a mission to keep the artists working while they work on building their lives along the coast.
This uplifting and inspiring story shows how Minnesota galleries, colleges and individuals all pulled together to bring hope to an entire community.
Contact: Stephanie Watts, Producer: 952-465-8190 Download pdf version
‘The Art of the Storm' is documentary about survival, creation
Hurricane Katrina did more than devastate the Mississippi Gulf Coast – Katrina's chaos and destruction gave new vision to a group of artists.
“Art does survive. Better than anything else,” said painter Hamilton Guenard. He is one of 10 artists who tell their story in a powerful, moving new documentary, “The Art of the Storm,” by local filmmakers Stephanie Watts and Amity Johnson.
The film will have its first screening on Saturday, Aug. 26, at 8 p.m. in at the Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. N.E. , Minneapolis. The event is free and open to the public. A reception begins at 7 p.m.
“We watch CNN, so we thought we knew about Katrina,” Watts said. “But nothing prepared us for what we found. The absolute destruction was beyond words. Yet in the midst of all this, we met some of the most talented, beautiful people. We are proud to help bring their story and their struggle to Minnesota .”
Painter Mary-Pat Forrest of Biloxi, Miss., fled to Tallahassee, Fla., to ride out the storm, only to return to find her home and life's work completely destroyed. “There is no way you can describe it. It's just like a war zone.”
Artist Lori Gordon of Clermont Harbor, Miss., one of the towns hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, began rebuilding her life by creating art from the debris of the storm. “Every time I would …visit where my home used to be, I'd go through the woods and I'd find little bits of fabric or pieces of canvas…and little pieces of furniture.” Five weeks after the storm, she began using the bits of chaos to begin the Katrina Collection, mixed media pieces which range in size from small pieces to one as large as four-by-three feet.
Gordon, Forrest and fellow artist Julie Nelson will be at the documentary screening and will update the audience on their progress and how people can help the Gulf Coast . There will be an art auction featuring the work from artists featured in “The Art of the Storm.” Thanks to the kindness of Minnesota-based non-profit MinnesotaHelpers, the art featured in the documentary is now on display at the Hennepin County Government Center Gallery through the end of August. The auction will help to continue providing a market for their work and an income for their families.