A Seed is Planted

Posted Dec. 15, 2010

My idea of a perfect Sunday morning includes CBS Sunday Mornings on the tube, a Dallas Morning News turned to the entertainment section, coffee with french vanilla creamer, and rain.  It’s not rare for these simple pleasures to come together, but when they convene to include the seed of a future documentary and possible feature film, well, imagine my surprise some eight years later.

That fortunate Sunday in 2002, I read an article on Frank Reaugh and thought – how have I never heard of this artist?  Unfortunately, I have found over time, not many people have.  And while I toyed with the script over the years, I put the story aside because of freelance work and thinking again – surely, someone is already working on this?  It wasn’t until this past year, some good friends nudged me to produce a project that I was passionate about.  Friends and Frank Reaugh will do that to you.

Pre-production Steps

In the last six months, I discovered and have had the pleasure of collaborating with historians and writers Robert Reitz and Gardner Smith.  Pioneers themselves, they created Sun and Shadow Press some twenty years ago to document their travels to West Texas and New Mexico and create an artistic response to the very landscape that Frank Reaugh captured in his small pastel sketches.  Their fascinating books introduced me to this man’s endearing personality and his many artistic endeavors.  It was with their assistance, a lot of research, the aid of a generous crew of film professionals, and time donated by a group of captivating interviewees that led to this initial glimpse into Frank Reaugh’s life.

Production To Continue

It cannot be said too often that the man is larger than his artwork, but as one delves deeper into Frank Reaugh’s legacy, you too will find this to be true. Frank Reaugh’s contributions are extensive making our production and travel quite hefty as well.  Plans are in the works to travel to Austin to hear more stories from Lucretia Donnell Coke along with an interview with Peter Mears, Associate Curator at the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and a trek to the very spots Frank Reaugh and his students sketched including a stop at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum to tape Michael Grauer, Curator of Art, and to record some of their over 700 Frank Reaugh works. We also plan shoots in Houston, Terrell, Fort Worth, Dallas, and of course, Oak Cliff.

Making a documentary on Frank Reaugh is as equally great as the man’s work. And while most of my productions come with a client’s budget attached, this is a non-profit project and will take fundraising. In that effort, I’m pleased to announce that Pastel Poet of the Texas Plains is now a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of Pastel Poet of the Texas Plains may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Fiscal sponsorship will allow us to apply for grants. Realistically, the majority of funding will most likely come from generous donations by Frank Reaugh fans across Texas and even the world. Any funds that extend the documentary’s expenses will be applied to future programs on early Texas artists.

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