Monday, November 30, 2020

CONTEMPORARY ARTIST HELEN LAFRANCE DIES AT AGE 101 (NOVEMBER 2, 1919-NOVEMBER 22, 2020)



It is with a heavy hard that I tell you that American artist Helen LaFrance passed away peacefully in her sleep November 22nd. Her obituary has been published in newspapers around the country. Last November 2019, Helen celebrated her 100th birthday with friends, family and patrons of her work who traveled from as far as Nashville and Memphis to visit with her. Guests visited two churches that Helen went to, and watched a screening of the 2019 award-winning documentary Helen LaFrance Memories about her life and her art.

Over the years, starting in 1995, I've come to know the kind and generous and talented Helen LaFrance. I've written about her in articles and books, Outsider Art of The South and Helen LaFrance Folk Art Memories, and I may have sold you one of her paintings. For those of you who don't know of her, by now you should have. She had the rare ability to connect with people emotionally through her art. She also made wood carvings, quilted and created a series of visionary paintings. Please read her obituary and learn a little more about her on this blog and on my website www.justlookingantiques.com. 

Helen LaFrance was a Black contemporary American artist who witnessed a century of our country's life and who painted her truth and her memories. She was content whenever she was holding a paint brush which, as she'd told me many times, "when I'm not eating or sleeping, I'm painting." Sleep well, Helen.

https://www.inquirer.com/wires/ap/helen-lafrance-who-painted-rural-memories-dies-101-20201124.html

Monday, April 20, 2020

HELEN LAWRENCE MEMORIES DOCUMENTARY CRUSHED IT AT PALM BEACH INTERNATIONAL & MINI MOVIE FESTIVAL DECEMBER 2019

I am thrilled to report that the Three Palms Productions of the Helen LaFrance Memories documentary won three awards----for best documentary film, best feature film and best director Martin Scott! The film festival was held at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida and the film was screened to a cheering audience. The film was in good company and it is pretty prestigious. Even Marilyn Monroe and Elvis showed up! I am honored to have appeared in the film and in such a great project that focuses not only on Helen's outsize talent but on her kindness, generosity and work ethic. The film would not have come about without the persistence of Bruce Shelton, who like myself has always wanted the world to know about Helen LaFrance. 

The film followed the November celebration of Helen's 100th birthday in Mayfield, Kentucky, with a screening of the film and a party in her church where attendees came from far and wide to pay their respects. The Associated Press picked up the story, and it was featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer, to name a few newspapers.

We are excited to see where the film will go next so the public can enjoy it. 











For a sneak preview of the documentary, copy & paste this               link in your browser.......
                           
                                                                   https://youtu.be/vU2tuiu1vis






Thursday, December 5, 2019

HELEN LAFRANCE DOCUMENTARY SCREENING AT PALM BEACH INTERNATIONAL FILM & MINI MOVIE FESTIVAL DEC. 9 AT NORTON MUSEUM


VERY EXCITED THAT THREE PALMS PRODUCTIONS' DOCUMENTARY FILM "HELEN LAFRANCE MEMORIES" WILL SHOWCASE AT THE PALM BEACH INTERNATIONAL FILM & MINI MOVIE FESTIVAL AT THE NORTON MUSEUM MONDAY, DECEMBER 9TH.

What an honor! Especially nice because this American artist just celebrated her 100th birthday in November.
If you're in the Palm Beach area, please come. The festival begins at 2:30. See the link below for tickets. See you there!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/palm-beach-international-mini-movie-and-film-festival-tickets-69272617263?aff=ebdssbeac&fbclid=IwAR1sCUzP6j1_AnwTTmahCtZmGX-aUo6tcABglSI-dF7-hmLrapXfPQTbIHA







https://www.eventbrite.com/e/palm-beach-international-mini-movie-and-film-festival-tickets-69272617263?aff=ebdssbeac&fbclid=IwAR3IvvETSw8risPIhT89uoXkE2rxCLtTeRNxlDG4_Uprvzw1c0vD6GqGcP8

Saturday, November 9, 2019

HELEN LAFRANCE ART DOCUMENTARY TO BE SCREENED DEC. 9TH PALM BEACH INTERNATIONAL & MINI MOVIE FESTIVAL THE NORTON MUSEUM, W. PALM BEACH

Three Palms Productions is happy to announce the premiere of our new documentary, Helen LaFrance: Memories at the Norton Museum for the Palm Beach International Mini Movie Film Festival.
Helen LaFrance's 100th birthday was celebrated on November 2nd in Mayfield, KY.  and was covered by the New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald, and the Philadelphia Inquirer among numerous other publications. At the party was a private screening of the film, which recognizes her as a modern American woman artist.




Please join us at the Norton on December 9th at 6:30 pm. For tickets and other inquiries please contact the Norton Museum of Art, or visit their website: https://www.palmbeachlwp.com/news/mini-movie-film-fest-12-9-19-at-norton/.


To view, the film trailer, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU2tuiu1vis.

Friday, November 1, 2019

HELEN LAFRANCE CELEBRATES HER 100TH BIRTHDAY NOVEMBER 2ND, 2019



CELEBRATED American artist HELEN LAFRANCE will turn 100 years of age November 2, 2019 in her hometown of Mayfield, Kentucky. Known best for her memory paintings which recall her life and times that span an entire century, she will be the subject of a new documentary film called Helen LaFrance: Memories. The film will be shown at 11 a.m. at her childhood church St. James A.M.E., where a mural she painted in 1947 is on view. The party moves on at 1 pm to Smith Presbyterian Church, 318 S. 5th Street. 

LaFrance's work has been held in numerous museums and collected by American art connoisseurs including Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Bryant Gumbel and contemporary superstar Red Grooms. She has starred in several documentaries and received the prestigious Folk Heritage Award, one of the Governor's Awards in the Arts presented by the Kentucky Arts Council. She is featured in my anthology Outsider Art of the South and in my book Helen LaFrance Folk Art Memories.

Born in 1919, Helen has observed a century of American history, growing up in rural Graves County, KY under the laws of Jim Crow and segregation. She witnessed the Great Depression, the Great Migration, the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement. Her particular vision and unique artistry have made her an authentic American voice and an important American artist. 

Happy birthday, Helen! What a life you've led! We are blessed that you have shared it with us through the unforgettable gift of your art. 









Saturday, August 24, 2019

HELEN LAFRANCE DOCUMENTARY IN 2019 FRANKLIN INTERNATIONAL INDIE FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP!


It's very exciting that the Franklin International Indie Film Festival in Franklin, Tennessee selected and showed "Helen LaFrance Memories" on August 18th among their 2019 winners.  The film, co-produced by Three Palms Productions and Bruce Shelton. Bruce was on hand with the other winners for a Q & A following the films. Directed by Martin Scott Grissom and shot by Andrew Spence, it is a fresh look into the renowned self-taught African American artist. Helen was born November 2, 1919 in Mayfield, Kentucky. That's right, folks. She's 99 years old!
Here's an unedited clip from the documentary, which has been entered into a few other film festivals. And I'll keep you posted on further news developments about Helen.

And if the link does not go live right away, just copy & paste in your browser and it should work.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hzu7jjk8kmi9za3/Helen%20LaFrance%3A%20The%20Teaser.mov?dl=0

Sunday, June 2, 2019

NEW DOCUMENTARY ON ARTIST HELEN LaFRANCE/TAKE A SNEAK PEAK

I was very pleased to take part in a new documentary on contemporary American artist Helen LaFrance, shot by Andrew Spence and produced by Martin Scott Grissom of Three Palms Productions, just before her 99th birthday in 2018. I first met Helen in 1994 on her farm in rural western Kentucky and wrote about her in a chapter of Outsider Art of the South and later in Helen LaFrance Folk Art Memories.

Helen is best known for her memory paintings, recollections of her life laid down on canvas and board, which strike an emotional chord with those who view them. Helen also did wood carvings, quilted, and painted a series of visionary paintings based on the Bible. She has been creating art since she was a child and began painting full time when she was in her forties using art supplies she purchased from the grocery store.

In this film, Helen's artistry is again recognized. But this documentary revisits Helen in a new light as a modern woman as well.

Have a look.

And if the link does not seem live, please copy and paste the link below in your web browser and it will take you to what I'm sure you'll enjoy seeing!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hzu7jjk8kmi9za3/Helen%20LaFrance%3A%20The%20Teaser.mov?dl=0