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Fresh Docs Screening of “Earthcaster,” April 24 at Full Frame Theater

An illustration of an earthcasted scupture. Photo by Jim Sink.

An illustration of an earthcasted scupture. Photo by Jim Sink.

The Center for Documentary Studies and the Southern Documentary Fund present a free screening of directors Georgann Eubanks and Donna Campbell’s Earthcaster as part of the Fresh Docs series featuring documentary works-in-progress. Following screenings, SDF director Rachel Raney moderates a conversation with the filmmaker during which the audience provides valuable feedback.

Friday, April 24, 7 p.m.

Full Frame Theater, American Tobacco Campus
320 Blackwell Street, Durham, North Carolina

Note that while Fresh Docs screenings are free, all attendees must reserve a ticket via Eventbrite, available beginning at 9 a.m. on the day of the event.  

Earthcaster is a two-year journey with sculptor Thomas Sayre as he has seeks to portray the relationship of humans to their environment and to each other. Thomas Sayre is one of North Carolina’s most energetic artists—known best for massive public art installations that attempt to make meaning of the past and the future, the natural world and the manmade. His work can be found all over the world—from Thailand to Turkey to Tuscon, Arizona. But his home is a re-purposed warehouse in Raleigh NC. Raised in Washington DC in the shadow of the National Cathedral where his father was the Dean, Thomas was challenged as a child by dyslexia but found his expression in art—specifically in a technique called earthcasting. This unique process requires many days of digging in the dirt with heavy machinery, then engineering the form of the sculpture and pouring concrete, which cures for several weeks before being lifted out of the ground by very large cranes. Earthcasting demands a particular physical strength and endurance most often found in construction work. It also requires cooperation among many non-artists. Thomas Sayre approaches each project as an opportunity to extend his “ministry” about public art. And the results are powerful—for the artist and everyone involved.

For the past two years, producers Donna Campbell and Georgann Eubanks have followed Thomas Sayre as he has created new sculptures in urban and rural parts of North Carolina and in Portland, Oregon. They have interviewed the artist, his family, his mentors, art historians, backhoe operators, clients, citizens and others—getting up close and personal with dirt.

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