COMMENTS

ART NEWS: Gale Fulton Ross Documentary Receives Honor

/

12.00

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

GaleFultonRoss

Gale Fulton Ross

The Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists recently honored WEDU and Meat Captain Productions (MCP) with its Best Documentary Award. The award was given for “Baby Artist: The Gale Fulton Ross Story," a biographical documentary directed by Mark Reese featuring Gale Fulton Ross, a Sarasota-based painter and print-maker. This d0cumentary is featured in Diamonds Along the Highway, a five-part, PBS documentary series showcasing vignettes on life in the Sunshine State.

“Baby Artist” begins with art. Fulton Ross' prints and paintings range from personal narrative to pure abstraction. It’s powerful stuff. But these powerful images are just the starting point. The documentary uses her art as a portal to the story of her life. More importantly, as a doorway into her father's story.

The artist’s father, Herman Fulton Jr., committed suicide when she was a young woman. An artist and industrial designer in his own right, Fulton battled with depression his whole life. According to this documentary, that battle became a war when his greatest creation was appropriated — the signature Cadillac fin. Such is the claim. Was Herman Fulton the “father of the fin?” And, did General Motors confiscate the unsung African-American designer's blueprints and give undeserved credit to a white designer? The documentary examines these claims and presents the evidence. But that’s not the main point.

The narrative is highly personal — a father and child reunion, at least in the realm of memory. Fulton Ross didn’t know the whole story when filming began. As Herman Fulton Jr.'s story unfolds, she learns more about the man she called “Daddy” and his legacy. The viewer does, too. Art history and personal history converge. In the process, the forgotten creator of an American icon is remembered.

According to the artist, “So much of African-American experience has been erased. The page is blank; the story lost. I hope this documentary will help get my father’s story back on the pages of history. It’s a story that needs to be told.”

 

 

Last modified: January 17, 2014
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published without permissions. Links are encouraged.
COMMENTS