Movie Review of Wrightwood Arts Center Documentary “The Inspiration You Find: Exploring The Arts in Wrightwood”

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Panel after the film included the film makers and the artists in the movie. Pictured Left to Right: Director of Photography Zachariah Budd, Director Scott Mahoy, Greg Jones, Mary Duman, David Svenson, Reyna Rivera, Patricia Saviano Farrell, and moderator Timothy Green

On Sunday, October 16th, the Wrightwood Arts Center hosted the world premiere of the short film “The Inspiration You Find: Exploring The Arts in Wrightwood.” The event was held in the evening at the Wrightwood Place, and many attended to watch the highly anticipated documentary about the arts culture in Wrightwood. According to WAC president Joan McCandless, the film was a community effort and stated “This project is a year in the making, and the name has changed three times.”

The short 30-minute film was filled with interviews of various Wrightwood artists, each creating different mediums of art, including sculptures, painting, glass blowing, pottery, and music. The story weaves together the multiple artists seamlessly as one story while artists openly describe their creative process in their studios while creating their art of choice. Besides art, there is another commonality between all of them: living in Wrightwood, which each of them calls their peaceful place. It’s extremely difficult to put into words the attraction and feelings you get when living in Wrightwood. Still, this film harnesses not only the beauty of this town but the sense of community prevalent in the art created here.

Wrightwood artist Mary Duman’s interview from the film. The Wrightwood Arts Center is featuring an exhibit by Duman which opens Friday, November 25th. (Photo By: Director of Photography Zachariah Budd)

The Director of Photography and Wrightwood resident, Zachariah Budd, beautifully captures familiar locations like the Angeles National Forest, Inspiration Point and Park Street with breathtaking ariel views. During the panel following the film, Budd mentioned that this filming experience helped him to reconnect to these common locations he regularly sees, stating, “It was really cool to actually like deep dive into those different locations that we shot at and having those people invite us into their houses and really experience it and tell us their story, that whole process was just really awesome.”

Director Scott Mahoy effortlessly guided the artists to vulnerably create their art while being filmed. Each interview is genuine and authentic and truly envelops the viewer in the creative process and the emotions behind each artist. President of the WW Blues Society, Greg Jones, and one of the musicians interviewed in the film stated during the panel: “One thing I can say about our music is that it brings us together. It brings us together in a way that is very pure and very honest, and my hats off to you guys [Budd & Mahoy] for capturing that because I think there’s a bigger story that, in all communities like this, it is what unites us, there is no division.” Mahoy’s film indeed captures the artists’ true sense, which can only be done by creating a beautiful work of visual art himself.

Artist Patricia Saviano Farrell sold copies of her drawing of Downtown Wrightwood at the event which was also featured in the film.

The Wrightwood Arts Center is working on future plans for the film and looking into options to hopefully share this captivating documentary with the rest of the world. In the meantime, there is still plenty of art to experience here in Wrightwood. The WAC has a photo exhibit by photographer Karen Godfrey that will continue to be open on weekends through Sunday, November 13th. While a new exhibit featuring ceramist Mary Duman is set to open on Friday, November 25th. An art exhibit by Wrightwood artist David Svenson will also be featured at the Claremont Lewis Museum of Art. A private tour will be given on Saturday, November 12th, so visit if you are interested in signing up or learning more about the event.

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