Award-winning writer, director, and painter George Gallo’s new film Local Color is touching artists and audiences everywhere with its inspirational message of pursuing your life’s passion and never giving up on your dreams. In this semiautobiographical story, Gallo shares the journey of an 18-year-old artist—played by Trevor Morgan—who is frustrated by modernist art education and is desperately trying to learn how to paint landscapes in the tradition of the great Impressionists of the past. He seeks out an elderly living master—played by Armin Mueller-Stahl—to be apprenticed to for a summer, and a mentorship and friendship ensue that allow both characters to see the beauty of life and art through each other’s eyes.
Although not yet officially released, Local Color has already begun garnering awards and accolades during its prescreening promotion. “The reaction from the art world has been amazing,” says Gallo. “Just from one screening, we had 10,000 hits on our website. We showed this in New York, and people were crying and standing up and cheering at the end. Someone from The Metropolitan Museum of Art saw the film at the Tribeca Film Festival and wants to make it required viewing for their patrons. As a film director, you always hope that the movie you create will connect with a certain percentage of the audience, but this story seems to be resonating with more people than I imagined. I think everyone gets behind this character not necessarily because he’s an artist but because he is someone with a dream, and that is a universal longing.”
Local Color is not only inspirational in its message but also timely in its relevance, as it sheds light on the challenges realist painters continue to confront in the face of modernist art movements. Gallo can relate to this resistance firsthand, having started his professional painting career in 1970s New York before moving to Los Angeles to become a film writer and director. As an artist, Gallo has had solo exhibitions at Grand Central Art Galleries, in New York City, and has been a finalist in the annual Arts for the Parks competition. He created all 400 paintings shown in the film, and his experience in the art world helped shape the content for the movie. “I know this audience personally, I belong to these organizations, I hear the conversations that go on and the topics that representational painters are passionate about,” he says. “Many of those conversations inspired the storyline and dialogue of this film.”
Produced by Jimmy Evangelatos and Julie Lott Gallo, co-produced by Alex Kirkwood, and staring Armin Mueller-Stahl, Ray Liotta, Ron Perlman, Trevor Morgan, Samantha Mathis, and Julie Lott Gallo, Local Color will be released nationally this summer by Monterey Media. For more information on Local Color, visit www.localcolormovie.com. For more information on George Gallo, visit www.ggallo.com.
George Gallo will soon be releasing a series of instructional DVDs titled Plein Talk With George Gallo and has launched a website by the same name devoted to plein air painting.
Weekend With the Masters Presenter
George Gallo will be attending American Artist’s Weekend With the Masters Workshop & Conference this fall in Colorado Springs and will be giving a presentation on the making of his movie Local Color. Participants will be able to view this film after listening to Gallo’s inspirational story and will have the opportunity to ask him questions immediately after. For more information, visit www.aamastersweekend.com.