FREE Friday Night Flick: Nothing Changes: Art for Hank’s Sake

Emilee Geist

On Friday, October 9th the Housatonic Museum of Art presents the latest film in their FREE Friday Night Flicks online film series: “Nothing Changes: Art for Hank’s Sake.” The documentary chronicles the daily life of Hank Virgona, an 87-year-old artist in New York City who is grappling with aging, change, […]

On Friday, October 9th the Housatonic Museum of Art presents the latest film in their FREE Friday Night Flicks online film series: “Nothing Changes: Art for Hank’s Sake.” The documentary chronicles the daily life of Hank Virgona, an 87-year-old artist in New York City who is grappling with aging, change, and capturing the real faces of New York City life.

Virgona commutes six days a week to Union Square to “make what he sees,” spending time on the subways attempting to capture the essence of daily commuters. The 87-year-old artist captures a moment in time with his works, tapping into his idea that beauty is all around us and his vivaciousness for life is evident in those works. Despite his relative obscurity, Hank is content to dedicate his life to capturing the world around him, with no intentions of quitting–this is who he is, and what he has to do.

Despite his death in 2019 at the age of 89, Hank Virgona’s art lives on through film and pieces that can be viewed in multiple museums. His work was featured in prominent galleries in the New York Transit Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Smithsonian, and earned him a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators. The film garnered accolades including Best Documentary at Queens World Film Festival 2018 and Hector Leonardo Art & Inspiration Award at the Hamptons Doc Fest 2018. It was also an official selection in 14 international film festivals.

The film is part of an exceptional online, art-inspired film series presented by Housatonic Museum of Art and curated by the Connecticut Film Festival, and will go online at 7pm on Friday, October 9th. Visit www.HousatonicMuseum.org for the film link.

Mark your calendar for the entire ‘Friday Night Flicks’ series, with all films going online from the Housatonic Museum’s website at 7pm. Upcoming films in the series include:

October 16: “Curious Worlds: The Art & Imagination of David Beck.” Q&A With Director: Olympia Stone. This film pulls back the curtain on artist David Beck: a master sculptor, carver, and miniature architect who works in a fantastical genre all his own, creating intricate worlds that are alive with magical and brilliant observations. His pieces have been shown at the MET, the Guggenheim, and some of the world’s most prominent galleries. His work, “MVSEVM” was commissioned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where it is on permanent display. To the larger public, though, he is virtually unknown.

October 23 Triple Bill: “The Original” followed by Q&A with director Olympia Stone, and “Little Fiel,” followed by Q&A with Connecticut director Irina Patkanian and “A Day With Barkley Hendricks.” Q&A With Connecticut Director: Paul Ewen Outsider artist Richard McMahan is on a quest to painstakingly re-create thousands of famous and not-so-famous paintings and artifacts in miniature. From well-loved Picasso and Frida Kahlo paintings to the more obscure, McMahan has mastered dozens of genres over 30 years. “Little Fiel” is a stop motion animation/documentary loosely based on the life story of Mozambican artist Fiel dos Santos who grew up during the 16-year civil war. Fiel created eight figures representing his family from dismantled civil war guns. Three New York artists turned them into puppets and created immersive stop-motion animation, inspired by Fiel’s memories. Barkley Hendricks is considered one of the great painters of the mid-to-late 20th century, hear this great artist discuss his work, life and creativity.

October 30 Double Bill With Israeli Artists: “The Light of Fire” and “8000 Paperclips.” In “The Light of Fire,” a fire destroys American-Israeli artist Yoram Raanan’s studio and forty years of his work. But when he begins painting again, startling images he’s never painted before emerge, and he and his family begin to realize how different everything has become. 8000 Paperclips “8000 Paper Clips” explores the value of art, Israeli artist and TED Fellow, Raffael Lomas’s own history with depression and struggle, and what humans need – no matter their national status. It follows a group of extraordinary young people as they overcome adversity and build hope for their future – with the support of a team of people whose hearts they have touched. Both films will be followed a Q&A with Bentzi Avtzon of The Light of Fire and Nitsan Tal director of “8000 Paperclips.”

November 6: ‘With Dad” followed by Q&A with Connecticut director: Soren Sorensen & photographer Stephen DiRado and the film, “Summer Spent.” The short nonfiction film “With Dad” documents the work of photographer Stephen DiRado, specifically during the period of his father’s mental decline and eventual death from Alzheimer’s Disease in 2009. The film includes interview footage of DiRado, high-resolution digital scans of DiRado’s work and contemporaneous digital video footage. “Summer Spent” is a 40-minute documentary depicting DiRado’s obsessive, work discipline and life connected to people on Martha’s Vineyard for over 25 years.

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