Clementine Hunter never learned to read or write, but the images she taught herself to paint on canvas, cardboard, window shades or anything she could find, so vividly captured life on Cane River in the early 20th century.
On October 15, 2016, the short documentary, ‘Clementine Hunter’s World,’ premiered in Natchitoches, Louisiana to thunderous applause inside the auditorium of the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts.
Soon scores of audiences around the world will have the opportunity learn more about her journey from farm hand to prolific folk artist and cultural historian.
Clementine Hunter was born near Melrose, Louisiana in December 1886. In her 50s, the field worker used discarded paint supplies to create her first scenes of plantation life in the early 1900s. These primitive images are now treasured around the world.
According to Melrose Plantation’s website, “Hunter’s unique style of social commentary eventually went on to leave an indelible mark on the art world. She has become one of the most renowned, self-taught artists in the United States and is often referred to as the Black Grandma Moses. She was the first African-American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Delgado Museum (now the New Orleans Museum of Art) and achieved a significant amount of success during her lifetime, including an invitation to the White House from U.S. President Jimmy Carter (which she declined).”
Noted author Art Shiver wrote and directed the film. He was determined to create the entire film in Louisiana, using local production firms and talent. In 2012, Shiver and Thomas Whitehead co-write the first comprehensive biography of Hunter.
Screenings of the documentary are planned in several cities in the coming months.