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Art Talk with Paul Bryan and Chris Ramos

The MAC is pleased to present an Art Talk with Believe It Anyway! film maker Paul Bryan and composer Chris Ramos. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

6:30 pm

Film screening immediately followed by an art talk and discussion with the artists.

The MAC is honored to welcome artist Paul Bryan and composer Chris Ramos for a screening and discussion of the making of the films in Believe It Anyway!.

Paul Bryan’s Believe It Anyway! is a series of silent short films which depict five stories from the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The films were created in collaboration with Chris Ramos who, drawing inspiration from music of both Jewish and Christian traditions, wrote and conducted the original score for each of the films.

Exploring the complex idea of faith in modern society through film, Bryan seeks to find the relevance of these epic Old Testament stories which display incredible feats and trials for the characters they feature. Creating a series of films about faith engaged the artist himself and those involved to contemplate questions of why modern educated individuals will make the conscious decision to accede to faith-based thinking over the physical evidence of this world. Believe It Anyway! discusses faith with careful intentionality, focusing upon the experience of the one who believes anyway, taking the audience with the artists in their journey to meet the unknown.

Each film, 3-10 minutes in length, depicts a different story of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible: the creation narrative (Genesis 1-3), the flood narrative (Genesis 6-8), the story of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22), the fall of Jericho (Joshua 6), and the book of Job. These stories were picked for their incredibleness, the story of trial inherent within, and their aesthetic appeal within the context of each other. Seeking a style appropriate to each film, a variety of cinematic techniques and treatments are used including animations, stop motion, puppetry and live action.

These films first culminated in a live performance in the Concert Hall of the music building at Texas A&M University-Commerce on April 26, 2013. This live performance was recorded and used for the final cuts of the films that are installed at The MAC.

Paul Bryan grew up in Washington D.C., moving to Texas in 2001. He now lives in the small town of Commerce, Texas where he has served as an adjunct instructor, photographer and creative director for Texas A&M University-Commerce. As a photographer and video artist, Paul’s personal work has consistently dealt with religious themes. Born and raised in the traditions of the Church of Christ and a member of the First Christian church in Commerce, Texas. Bryan strives to be an earnest and devout Christian in both life and art. He earned a BFA from Abilene Christian University in 2005 and is currently pursuing a MFA from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Paul and his wife, artist, Ashley Bryan, run A Space, a small art gallery in downtown Commerce, Texas, which attempts to engage the community in the arts while generally making things pretty.

Chris Ramos is currently a senior music performance and education double major at Texas A&M University-Commerce. He is a member of the university’s pioneering Honors College and is the assistant director of the Piano Academy at TAMU-C. Chris has studied piano and French horn in detail and enjoys finding new avenues of making music and art with others. He also formed and co-directs the Secret Sauce, a jazz combo that performs around the DFW metroplex and East Texas. Dedicated to the development of the surrounding community, Chris is the college intern at Commerce Community Church where he leads the college ministry on and off campus, encouraging students to ask hard questions and wrestle with controversial ideas.

The McKinney Avenue Contemporary Art Talk series is sponsored in part by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.

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