Saturday, March 03, 2012

Winfred Rembert at the Hawthorne Hotel

Sometimes things happen unexpectedly and turn out to be all the more delightful because of that spontaneity. Thursday night this week was one of those times.

My husband and I went to see the movie kicking off the Salem Film Fest that night, "All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert." At the end of the film there was a Q and A with the director, the subject and the audience. At the end of that, and because PEM needed us all to be out of their building by 9 pm, the entire audience was invited by Mr. Rembert to "continue the conversation" over at the Hawthorne Hotel, where he was staying.

As I sat there hearing that announcement, I was racking my brain to try to remember if we had any space booked for such an event, and I was sure we did not. Having no idea how many people would actually turn up, nor how the principals planned this to take place, I left the situation alone, and figured that I had good people on, and they would make the best of it.

I was not disappointed as the team members who were on duty at the time reacted with their usual fine hospitality, and welcomed the approximately 30 to 40 people who arrived, unannounced, to see Mr. Rembert, get his autograph, and just visit. They quickly brought up easels for the canvases that he had, brought pitchers of ice water and glasses to the lobby, and took care of the folks who wanted an adult beverage from the Tavern.  I am very proud of the elan with which they handled everything.

Today we received this post on our FaceBook Fan Page, written by: ArtsGloucester/Castano Design Associates

Most gracious unexpected hosting in your lobby last night. Joe Cultrera suggested it seemed to be like a "flash mob" event, artists reception held after the showing of Winfred Rembert film held at the PEM's Salem Film Festival Screening. What a fabulous kick off to the Salem Film Fest. This is what the creative economy is really about, the artists. Thank you Hawthorne Hotel for a fabulous experience. You just got our North Shore Magazine vote for Best Hotel! All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert ALL ME: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert, a documentary about the artist filmed and produced by Vivian Ducat, Ducat Media.

I borrowed the following from the Internet post in regards to this movie:

With his intensely autobiographical paintings depicting the day-to-day existence of African Americans in the segregated South, Winfred Rembert has preserved an important, if often disturbing, chapter of American history. His indelible images of toiling in the cotton fields, singing in church, dancing in juke joints, or working on a chain gang are especially powerful, not just because he lived every moment, but because he experienced so much of the injustice and bigotry they show as recently as the 1960s and 70s.

 Now in his sixties, Rembert has developed a growing following among collectors and connoisseurs, and enjoyed a number of tributes and exhibitions of his work. In “ALL ME: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert,” the artist relives his turbulent life, abundantly visualized by his extensive paintings and, in a series of intimate reminiscences, shows us how even the most painful memories can be transformed into something meaningful and beautiful. A glowing portrait of how an artist—and his art—is made, “ALL ME” is also a triumphant saga of race in contemporary America.

For more information please contact us at

An exhibit of Mr. Rembert's work is currently on display at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, NY. Here is a link to that museum:  Hudson River Museum.

My husband and I actually have a trip planned to NYC soon, and we definitely plan to stop here on the way to see this exhibit.  Mr. Rembert's work is so striking, we do want to see it in person.

I hope you enjoy this story, and I hope to see you here, or maybe at the Hudson River Museum.


1 comment:

  1. Happy to bring you our pop-up art show. Thanks for hosting us. Even if they didn't see it coming your staff was great and gracious. In actuality I thought someone had called ahead