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'Wealthy Theatre Presents' highlights 16 experimental films by Michigan filmmakers

The Wealthy Theatre and Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) have partnered to exhibit local films in a gallery setting. Running from Oct. 7, 2023, to Jan. 14, 2024, the "Wealthy Theatre Presents" showcase features Michigan filmmakers pushing artistic boundaries.

/A still from Caroline Bells' Someday You'll Be Gone short film, featured in the exhibition.

Related Event:

Visionnaire Series: Experimental Film Panel Discussion

Thursday, October 26, 6 - 8 pm

GRAM Auditorium

A panel discussion exploring the Michigan Artist Series exhibition Wealthy Theatre Presents with guest curators Nicholas Hartman from Wealthy Theatre and Spencer Everhart from Grand Valley State University. This event is free as part of Meijer Free Thursday Nights.

Wealthy Theatre Presents is curated by Nicholas Hartman and Spencer Everhart as an extension of the Open Projector Night series that highlights Michigan filmmakers, in collaboration with the Grand Rapids Art Museum.


The Wealthy Theatre and the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) teamed up this month to showcase local films and filmmakers, giving spectators the opportunity to view short films from a new perspective — from a gallery rather than a theater. 

As the newest installment of the GRAM’s Michigan Artist Series, Wealthy Theatre Presents: Experimental Film Selections from Open Projector Night is a 14-week exhibition, on view Oct. 7 through Jan. 14, 2024, featuring films and filmmakers from Michigan that are “expanding the boundaries of the medium.”

"Film is art; it is expression,” said Exhibition Guest Curator and Wealthy Theatre Operations & Film Coordinator Nicholas Hartman. “With Wealthy Theatre Presents, I'm thrilled to provide an opportunity for audiences to look at film through a different lens. I want to educate viewers that a film can be viewed the same way a painting is viewed in a gallery, with emotion and thought. I want audiences to know the screen is a blank canvas and the camera is the artist's paintbrush."

The selection of 16 films will change midway through the exhibition period. Visitors can experience the first selection of films beginning Oct. 7 through Nov. 26, and the second selection from Nov. 28 through Jan. 14, 2024.

Selection 1 includes: 

  • Julia Yezbick, Roses, Pink and Blue (5 min., 26 sec.)

  • Anal Dilip Shah, The Odisha File (5 min., 6 sec.)
Caroline Bell, Someday You'll Be Gone (5 min., 17 sec.)

  • Darius Quinn, CHITA. (8 min. 37 sec.)

  • Rissa Groves, Skins (2 min., 11 sec.)

  • Tara Twal, BRAIN WORMS (2 min. 55 sec.)

  • Adeline Newmann, dreampop spider (9 min., 22 sec.)

  • Paul Echeverria, Selfie (3 min., 55 sec.)

Selection 2 includes: 

  • Peter Sparling, Seven Elegies (8 min., 18 sec.)

  • Jeremy Knickerbocker, DISTANT DREAM 001 (2 min., 41 sec.)

  • Veerendra Prasad and Ashwaty Chennat, Navarasa (7 min.)

  • Joanie Wind, THIS ONE WEIRD TRICK (6 min., 8 sec.)

  • William Milo Mosqueda, Enochian (3 min., 4 sec.)

  • Seejon Thomas, The Examination of a Species (5 min., 29 sec.)

  • Jack Cronin, The Wind That Held Us Here (6 min., 25 sec.)

  • Jennifer Proctor, One Door Closes (3 min.)

"Presenting work by Michigan artists has long been a key component of the Museum's exhibition program, and Wealthy Theatre couldn't be a better partner in helping us recognize the creativity and talent of filmmakers from our community and across the state,” said GRAM Curator Jennifer Wisel. 

Wealthy Theatre, a program of the Grand Rapids Community Media Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting communities through media, is a historic cinema built in 1911, performing arts center and community venue. The Theatre is home to several filmmaker organizations and events, like the Grand Rapids Film Society and Open Projector Night, which provides the opportunity for local and regional filmmakers to screen their work on the big screen and connect with other film enthusiasts in West Michigan.

"While we've showcased experimental short films in the past Open Projector Night shows for years, I couldn't be happier with this selection of works exclusively devoted to celebrating artists' cinema and the avant-garde," commented Exhibition Guest Curator Spencer Everhart. "In their own unique ways, these filmmakers are opening up new possibilities for what filmmaking is and can be. The sheer variety of approaches and modes of expression on display in Wealthy Theatre Presents speaks to how rich and vital moving-image art is outside the commercial mainstream-especially here in Michigan."


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