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“Out of view of the high art world and the hip gallery scene comes this heartening story of unlikely partners in middle American working together to reexamine their histories, celebrate what makes their towns unique, and imagine their futures in the form of monumental community murals led by Lawrence artist Dave Loewenstein. Called to Walls is a thoughtful and uplifting film that not only leaves viewers reassessing their notions of art, but also with an itch to go out and do it themselves!”
"The highest, most logical, purest and most powerful type of painting is mural painting. It is also the most disinterested, as it cannot be converted into an object of personal gain nor can it be concealed for the benefit of a few privileged people. It is for the people. It is for everybody."
- Jose Clemente Orozco, Mexican Muralist
Cast and Crew
Nicholas Ward is a filmmaker, visual artist and poet residing in Lawrence KS. Ward has created numerous short films and community-based murals that highlight the people and places that make their respective communities unique. Since 2010 Ward has been the co-director, co-editor and director of photography for the feature documentary Called to Walls. His work has been supported by organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, Mid-America Arts Alliance and the Charlotte Street Foundation.
Co-director, Editor, Composer
Artist/educator Amber Hansen holds an MFA in drawing and painting from the university of Kansas where she graduated with honors. From 2010 - 2012 Hansen held the esteemed position of artist in residence at the University of Kansas. She is actively exhibiting/performing both locally and nationally in the mediums of film, drawing, and musical performance. Hansen has been the lead artist in many public murals located throughout the Midwest. She has been the assistant to lead artist David Loewenstein in Community-based mural projects in Tonkawa, OK (2010,) and Joplin Missouri (2011) and Hastings Nebraska (2013). Establishing a dialogue between her formal education and the ethics of her rural upbringing. Hansen creates socially engaged, public work that raises questions about the ethics of animal welfare and food.
David Loewenstein is a muralist, writer, and printmaker based in Lawrence, Kansas. In addition to his more than twenty public works in Kansas, examples of his dynamic community-based murals can be found across the United States in Missouri, Arizona, Mississippi, Iowa, Illinois, Oklahoma, New Orleans, New York City, and in Northern Ireland. Dave's stencil prints are exhibited nationally and are in the permanent collections of the New York Public Library and the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles. He is the co-author of "Kansas Murals," a 2007 Kansas Notable Book Award Winner, published by the University of Press of Kansas; and the co-director of the documentary film "Creating Counterparts" which won Best Documentary at the 2003 Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee. Dave is one of the founders of the Lawrence Percolator community art space.
Guest appearance, writer and cultural activists
Arlene Goldbard is a writer, speaker, consultant and cultural activist whose focus is the intersection of culture, politics and spirituality. Her two newest books on art’s public purpose—The Wave and The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & The Future were published in spring 2013. Prior books include New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development, Community, Culture and Globalization, an anthology published by the Rockefeller Foundation, Crossroads: Reflections on the Politics of Culture, and Clarity, a novel. Her essays have been widely published. She has addressed academic and community audiences in the U.S. and Europe and provided advice to hundreds of community-based organizations, independent media groups, and public and private funders and policymakers. She is President of the Board of Directors of The Shalom Center.
Five of the songs off the Called to Walls soundtrack can be found on a compilation that was recored by Whatever Forever in 2013. The compilation is title Family Vacation and is a collection of primarily Lawrence based musicians who in some way associate with the Whatever Forever Family Corporation. The album was mostly recorded in Lawrence living rooms and at the Whatever Forever Production Office at Seedco Studios. The album was mixed and mastered by Brian Miller.
Dubb Nubb is a freak-folk trio out of Columbia, Missouri, formed by twin sisters Hannah and Delia Rainey and accompanied by sister Amanda Rainey on percussion. The sisters have put out four DIY releases since 2009, most recently their 2013 album Wild Dreamin’. River Front Times described the album as “elliptical songs about travel and roots and friendship that don't tell stories as much as they establish moods.” Originally from St. Louis, Dubb Nubb frequents their harmonic folk ballads around Columbia, and also enjoys touring throughout the Midwest and South whenever they can. Photo by Kylee Gregg.
Jacob Hiser is a recent graduate of Missouri State University with a bachelor's degree in jazz studies. He plays both piano and violin, and enjoys playing all styles of music. With his brother, he has performed professionally around the United States as the Hiser Brothers; and with the band Powder Mill, he has traveled as far as France to perform. He is also a member of the Springfield (MO) Symphony, playing 1st violin.
No Magic is the Lawrence-based psych-folk project of Ben Sauder. The self-titled six-song EP features a variety of unexpected sounds, including wine glass drones and leaf crunches. Sauder's sound is influenced by Karen Dalton, Animal Collective, Brian Wilson and Lou Reed, among others. He is currently working on his debut full-length album.