Tom Anderson’s documentary, “A Sense of Place” follows the life of Mark Messersmith. Messersmith, a native of the Midwest, is interested in capturing this present moment in his new home, the “wilderness” of North Florida, before it is lost to commercial development. The characters in Messersmith’s paintings are specific to this region, but the locations are more vague, representing a universal “just outside of town.”
This documentary by Tom Anderson and Barry Fraser is an exploration of Messersmith’s artistic history, his teaching, and his creative process. The film follows Messersmith through the creation of a large painting, predella box, and pediment.
The artist, focused on color, form, and romantic notions, begins with very loose lines and sensory marks. He doesn’t start with a perfected image in mind, but allows the landscape and characters to form themselves on his canvas. The focus of all of Messersmith’s paintings is on the implied threat in a beautiful landscape. They accept the inevitability that these animals and where they live will soon be gone and serve as a portrait of the moment before all is lost. His epic narratives, filled with hidden vignettes, allow for viewer interpretation and engagement with the work.
To more images of Messersmith’s work, please visit his artist website.
The screening for this engaging documentary will be on
Monday, November 11th, 3pm and 5pm, at All Saints Cinema.
A reception for Messersmith and the filmmakers will be at 4pm.
Admission is $5 with proceeds benefiting the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.
Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 850-386-4404.