02 Oct

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

Streaming Online October 9

Q&A With Director: Matthew Kaplowitz

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 9: “Nothing Changes: Art For Hank’s Sake.” How far would you go to pursue your passion? At 87 years old, Hank Virgona commutes to his Union Square studio six days a week and makes art. Despite poor health, cancer, lack of revenue and obscurity as an artist, Hank is unrelenting in his quest to understand how life and art are the same.

October 16: “Curious Worlds: The Art & Imagination of David Beck.” 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: “The Original” followed by Q&A with director and artist, Richard McMahan, and “Little Fiel,” followed by Q&A with director Irina Patkanian and “A Day With Barkley Hendricks.” 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: “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.

November 6: ‘With Dad” followed by Q&A with director & 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.

Housatonic Museum of Art has welcomed more than 500,000 visitors to explore the exhibits and collection of almost 6,000 works that span the history of art from the ancient to the contemporary. As one of the premier college art collections in the United States, and the only museum in Bridgeport solely dedicated to visual arts, HMA’s permanent collection is on continuous display throughout the Housatonic Community College (HCC) campus, offering a rare opportunity for students, community members, art enthusiasts, and casual observers to view and interact with art on a daily basis. To learn more, visit www.HousatonicMuseum.org or call 203-332-5052.

The Connecticut Film Festival’s (CFF) mission is to excite, encourage, and teach, but most of all to connect audiences in ways that truly ignite creativity and imagination. CFF provides screenings statewide to tens of thousands of Connecticut’s citizens and tourists. Hosting films in multiple markets throughout the state creates an opportunity for a greater number of viewers to attend while also providing an excellent opportunity for the independent and international film industry to showcase to a large and diverse audience. CFF and its weekly event, FilmFest52, exhibits entertaining and thought-provoking visual stories with an independent point of view to inspire audiences to create change locally, globally, or in their personal lives.

Don’t miss the inspiring documentary Nothing Changes Art for Hank’s Sake, streaming online Friday, October 9th.

Caption For Photo Right: Don’t miss the inspiring documentary “Nothing Changes: Art for Hank’s Sake,” streaming online Friday, October 9th. Visit www.HousatonicMuseum.org for the film link.