September 18, 2013
Lorentz Productions has produced a documentary film "Beyond These Walls" that will premiere at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2 at Shawnee State University's Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.
The documentary tells the story behind the Portsmouth Floodwall murals and the role they play in transforming Scioto County.
As many communities struggle to survive in these economic times, the film explores how one river community came together to use art and history to bring visitors from all 50 states and around the world. It is one of the largest outdoor art exhibits in the world.
"The question of how to transform a struggling community into a vibrant place to live and work is a fascinating and relevant topic, especially in today's difficult economic climate," said John Lorentz, producer, Lorentz Productions.
In 1992, Louis Chaboudy and his wife Ava formed a non-profit organization called Portsmouth Murals Inc. (PMI). Their goal was to take a large 2,200 foot section of the massive grey Portsmouth Floodwall and turn it into a vast canvas.
Their plan was to commission 52 artistic murals, each nearly 20 feet high, depicting the region's history. They gambled that this would bring the community back to the river, revitalize the waterfront area of town, and improve the local economy.
In 1993, internationally-known muralist Robert Dafford came to Portsmouth and over a period of 10 years, he and his team of artists transformed more than 2,000 feet of floodwall.
The documentary delves into how the murals are helping to transform a struggling community into a vibrant place to live and work.
"To date, we are not aware of any film that has explored the unique and successful approach towards community-based art taken in Portsmouth," Lorentz said.
The film will premiere at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2. Tickets for the film are free and available at the McKinley Box Office in Shawnee State University's Vern Riffe Center for the Arts beginning Monday, Sept. 23 with a limit of four tickets per person.
Portsmouth Murals Inc. is sponsoring a Fundraiser and Dinner Reception at 6 p.m. before the film premiere. Tickets for the Fundraiser and Dinner Reception are $50 per person and include special reserved seating for the premiere of "Beyond These Walls," two complimentary beverage tickets, a dinner ticket in the Shawnee State University Sodexo Ballroom, and a Meet and Greet with the Muralist, the film Producer and Director, the Los Angeles Composer of the original music score for the film. Proceeds from the event will be used for maintenance of the murals.
Free film premiere tickets may be picked up at the McKinley Box Office 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For Fundraiser and Dinner Reception tickets, contact the Scioto County Welcome Center at 740-353-7647.