#2036 Documentary: Art for the People: Eric Bransby, American Mural Artist
2019 Rocky Mountain Women's Film Selection
Growing up in Iowa and Kansas in the early 20th century, Eric Bransby viewed the country through the keen lens of a first generation immigrant. He loved it all: the land, the Omaha Indians, the sod houses and the old Civil War veterans who gathered in town. From his earliest days, his life-long interest in the history and people of America’s pioneer heartland, coupled with his fascination in the beauty and motion of the human figure would set him on a life-long trajectory to become an artist. There was never a moment when he didn’t want to draw.
His formal art studies began with Thomas Hart Benton at the Kansas City Art Institute, renowned American mural artist. Four years into Bransby’s time at the Kansas City Art Institute, World War II broke out and he was inducted into the army. After the war, Bransby continued his studies with mural artist, illustrator, and political cartoonist Boardman
Robinson, and painter and muralist Jean Charlot at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Bransby would secure his MFA while working with noted colorist and abstract Bauhaus teacher Joseph Albers at Yale University.
But after the war the art world had changed. Mural art had fallen out of favor and abstract expressionism was the popular art form. Staying true to his own vision, Bransby went on to establish a unique style, producing a prolific outpouring of public murals, drawings, paintings, frescos, and reliefs. With characteristic good humor, he became an inspiring and devoted teacher.
The film was initiated by cinematographer and filmmaker Jay Kriss in 2015 who passed away unexpectedly before completing the film. The biggest challenge was taking the raw footage and shaping it into a finished film in the months between September of 2018 and June 2019. It was also challenging to work through the complicated legal maze of arts rights and permissions. The film required intense and at times complicated historic photo and image research, which was accomplished with the help of local librarians Virginia Carlson and David Doman. It was a privilege to meet and learn about the life of Eric Bransby who is truly beloved by all who knew and worked with him. Completing this film has been a true labor of love by the whole community. Three Colorado Springs music groups (the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble, and the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony) plus composer Mark Arnest provided all the music for the film score. Marionette puppeteer David Simpich, dancer Kinsley Bullock, and narrator Birgitta DePree also lent their unique talents to the film. The producer, directors, writer and narrator all live in Colorado Springs.
After the documentary, there will be discussion on the film.
Wednesday, July 22, 10am