The O’Hanlon Center for the Arts is kicking off its 2017 Art Film Fridays series on Jan. 13 with the colorful documentary film Painting Bolinas about the late eccentric Bolinas artist Peter Lee Brownlee. Mill Valley resident Wendy Elkin, who created, produced and directed the 2010 film, will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A.

Painting Bolinas focuses on the then 90-year-old Brownlee, whose lifestyle mirrored a king in a court of chaos and imagination. Known as the “cake decorator” because of his massive layering technique, creating rich textures, Brownlee’s paintings are of urban and rural downtowns and famous landmarks all across America.

Painting Bolinas was a 2010 Documentary Silver Award Winner from the California Film Awards, and became an official selection at the 12th Sacramento Film & Music Festival a year later. In 2013, Painting Bolinas was invited to premier in the Sausalito International Film Festival and was accepted into the California History collection of the San Francisco Main Library featuring their November Film Series.

Elkin, a former special Education teacher and photographer in Santa Barbara and San Franciscoe has permanent exhibitions in the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, the Rosa Parks History Museum in Montgomery, Alabama and the Smithsonian American History Museum in Washington, D.C. A social justice advocate, producing and directing a film about marginalized populations has been influential in understanding how Elkin’s experiences highlighting unsung heroes and photographing various political and social events has given her a unique perspective into the world of documentary film.

The 411: Painting Bolinas screens on Jan. 13 at 7pm at the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, 616 Throckmorton Avenue. Director Wendy Elkin will be available for a Q & A after the screening. ​A $5 donation is requested.

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