Monday, September 30, 2013

Art+Practice Recommendation: "Lucid Inc."

This week Art+Practice recommends a collection of award-winning short documentaries and an ongoing web series, from Lucid Inc., that showcase fascinating people and places in America.
Probably the group's most popular, The Roper” is a six-minute portrait of Kendrick Domingue: an African-American calf-roper trying to qualify for the Las Vegas National Rodeo Finals. Artfully shot, edited, and scored “The Roper” is a must see for fans of short films that delve into the lives of interesting people.

Lucid’s films are even more impressive when one learns that they are self-financed by Anna Sandilands and Ewan McNicol, the films’ co-directors. To do this, the pair run a successful ad agency that works with high-profile clients like Nike, Nokia, Dentsu, and Blackberry. However, unlike most ad agencies, which put profit before passion, Lucid continues to make both interesting ads and beautiful films that are truly inspired. 
Another example is Lucid's portrait of "Harrold Little": owner of a model train museum in Tyler, Texas, with over 2,500 items that can be seen behind glass cases or inside miniature villages where the trains whistle their way through tunnels, over bridges, and around the miniature landscapes created by Little.

Or check out our personal favorite, "Bavarianism": a short film on Leavenworth, Washington, with a population of around 2,000 people. To save the once busy logging town from economic disaster, Leavenworth transformed itself into a unique tourist destination by modeling its town center on a Bavarian Village. The people, so it seems, then followed suit.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Revisit an Amerikan Classic

Revisit an Amerikan classic: "Napkin Tales", episode #7 of The Amerikans. Written by Ethel Moyers, who also acted as the Art Director, "Napkin Tales" is a great example of Art+Practice's unique model, which relies on co-authorship and community partnerships. Pictured behind Moyers, and featured in her documentary, is an aluminum étagère, decorated in autumnal colors and various ornaments.

Like a traditional Japanese home, where hanging scrolls are changed in relation to the season, Moyer's étagère also reflects the passage of time, changing to reflect Christmas, Valentine's Day, spring, summer, and fall.

Also featured in "Napkin Tales" is a napkin from Wales, which pairs English words with their Welsh counterpart. As a memory, this napkin reminds Moyers of her Welsh heritage and her grandparents who taught her how to count to ten in Welsh. See more at

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Art+Practice Recommendation: "Interview Project"

This week Art+Practice recommends "Interview Project": an online series of mini-documentaries that began in 2009 with a 20,000 mile road trip across the United States. On a 70 day drive, filmmakers Austin Lynch and Jason S. completed 121 interviews with people they randomly encountered along the way, asking questions like “What were your dreams as a child?” and “When did you first experience death?” 

According to filmmaker Jason S. “We hope that people will see that even though we are all different we are all also the same…The people that we interviewed are not celebrities, they are ordinary people who when given a chance, prove that they are quite extraordinary.”

Produced by David Lynch, who introduces each episode, The Interview Project's next phase was a road trip across Germany, which led to a new website and 50 interviews, this time in translation. Simply titled "Interview Project Germany", both sites include immaculately designed maps that trace their separate routes and successfully merge independent cinema with an interactive web-based platform. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Meet Yinyu Zhan

Meet Yinyu Zhan, a student from Canton, China, majoring in  Psychology and Economics at Oberlin College. Yinyu is the manager of The Amerikans in China, a project by Art+Practice in which select episodes of The Amerikans are being be uploaded, in translation, to and China’s two most popular video hosting services. According to Yinyu "My goal is to promote the community spirit of The Amerikans in China, which I see as a way to encourage people to be curious about the communities they live in."

Help support The Amerikans in China by watching “Love & Venom” on at:

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dolls and Minis

Twenty-eight pieces of shrimp, caviar, sprouts, lemon slices and a bowl of cocktail sauce rest gently on a jade colored bed of lettuce. This piece of art is one of twenty-thousand plus miniatures found at Dolls and Minis, a shop owned by Dawn Reese: the subject of episode #14 of The Amerikans. Dolls and Minis is a place where the fantastic and real blur: a parallel universe where childhood memories, dreams and imagined spaces co-exist amongst the tiny furniture and hand-made objects, most of which are one inch scale, which equates to one foot in real life. For a closer look, watch Who Lives There.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Art+Practice releases episode #14 of "The Amerikans"

Art+Practice announces the release of Who Lives There, episode #14 of The Amerikans. The new episode is a portrait of Dawn Reese, owner of Dolls and Minis: a full service dollhouse and miniature store that recently relocated to Olmsted Falls, Ohio. Talking about the move, Reese said that "Even though they're only miniatures, when you have over 20,000 of them, it's a big move." Reese also runs a miniature club, with over forty members, that meets once a month and is featured in the video. Who Lives There has an original score by Alexander Overington and sound design by Isaac Jones. We are especially thankful to the Community Foundation of Lorain County for making this episode possible. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Local Premier of "Who Lives There"

Art+Practice would like to thank The Community Foundation of Lorain and Oberlin College for sponsoring the local premier of Who Lives There, on Sunday the 25th, at the Apollo Theater in Oberlin, Ohio. Who Lives There is episode # 14 of The Amerikans. After the screening and a short discussion with Dawn Reese, the new star posed for photos outside the  historic Apollo Theater, which was built in 1913 and used to host live musicals and vaudeville acts. Also at Sunday's screening were the stars of episode's #12 & 13, Walter A. Frey, Jr. and Kaori Mitsushima. Photos below from Saturday's screening.

Dawn Reese outside Apollo Theater in Oberlin, Ohio.

Amerikans Kaori Mitsushima (#3), Walter A. Frey, Jr. (#12) and Dawn Reese (#14) at premier of "Who Lives There".