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Feb. 15: Documentary, film director discuss celebrated painter

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

FREDERICK, Md.—A documentary film in which an internationally celebrated abstract expressionist painter discusses his life and work with a noted filmmaker will be shown March 22 at 6 p.m. in the Whitaker Campus Center at Hood College.

The screening will be followed by a discussion led by the film's director.

The event is part of the College's annual colloquium series, funded in part by a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant. This year's series is themed "The Humanities at Work: How Media Shape Society."

Since the early 1960s, Sam Gilliam has been recognized as an original and innovative color field painter, a style of abstract painting that emerged in New York City during the 1940s and 1950s. One of the key painters of the Washington Color School and credited as being the first artist to introduce the idea of a painted canvas hanging without stretcher bars, Gilliam is known for his edgy, jazz-like works on stretched, draped and wrapped canvases. His most recent works are multimedia installations that employ brightly stained polypropylene, dozens of layers of painted and printed color, computer generated imaging, metallic and iridescent acrylics, hand-made paper, aluminum, steel and plastic.

Gilliam's works are in museum collections throughout the world, including the Metropolitan of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Tate Gallery in London and the Moderne in Paris. Committed to the teaching of art, Gilliam worked for nearly a decade in the Washington, D.C., public schools, then at the Maryland Institute College of Art, the University of Maryland and Carnegie Mellon University.

Rohini Talalla is a filmmaker whose globally produced archival documentaries have been screened in major museums throughout North America. The Malaysian native brings a background in urban development and minority issues to her work as a filmmaker and as a board member for organizations targeting economic development and the arts. She is currently working on a four-part film series for Public Broadcasting Service.

The final spring colloquium event is a lecture April 12 on WikiLeaks and national security by former on-air CNN and ABC News correspondent investigative reporter Mark Feldstein.

The Hood College Center for the Humanities was founded in 1990 by a group of Hood faculty members in the humanities. During its more than 20-year existence, the Center for the Humanities has presented a distinguished roster of events, including lectures, symposia, film series, concerts and poetry readings. In 1999, Hood was the recipient of a major challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that helps fund an annual lecture series and an NEH visiting scholar.

The event is co-sponsored by Hood's African-American studies program, the provost's office and the office of multicultural affairs and international student programs.

For more information about the colloquium and the scheduled events, contact Rebecca Prime, Libman Professor of Humanities, by e-mail at or visit