Archive Divers, Unite!

Guinness World Records recognizes her as the top art teacher in the world. With more than 17 million students ranging from Johnny Carson and Dave Letterman to “drug addicts in Hong Kong and amputees in India,” Conni Gordon has been teaching folks to paint using her patented four-step method “since television began.” The Wolfson Moving Image Archive has the videos to prove it. The group collects, preserves, catalogues, and occasionally celebrates the film materials that reveal Florida’s history and culture. This Thursday through Sunday, such a celebration will take place when the Rewind/Fast Forward Film Festival places archived films in the spotlight via screenings, lectures, and workshops galore.

Helen Kohen, a founding member of the Vasari Collection, which collects and archives materials about the art scene in Miami from 1945 to present, will lead a discussion Thursday night at the festival’s kick-off event. Invasion of the Historians marks the first cooperative effort between the two archives, and will reveal 50 years of local art through moving images, amateur films, and television clips long before Art Basel made it all a commercial enterprise. And Gordon, who describes herself as “a living legend that’s still alive,” is excited about it. “Since my business is visual, what could be better than being represented on a visual medium?” she says. Film buffs should get a front-row seat at 7 p.m. at the Miami-Dade Public Library. The event is free. Visit for a complete schedule, which includes live painting with Conni Gordon this Saturday.
Thu., Aug. 21, 2008
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Jacob Katel
Contact: Jacob Katel