En Plein Air: Local Color

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.

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Plein Air Painting Blog
Allison Malafronte

About Allison Malafronte

Allison Malafronte is the senior editor of American Artist magazines, and the project editor of  Plein Air Painting and Workshop With the Masters magazines. She is also the creative manager of the Weekend With the Masters Workshop & Conference (www.aamastersweekend.com) which was launched in 2009 and is now in its third year. She is author of the Art for Thought column in American Artist magazine (also on the Artist Daily site under The Artist's Life blog) and the 2008-2010 Plein Air blogs on Artist Daily. 

14 thoughts on “En Plein Air: Local Color

  1. Richard Schmid reviewed this moving awhile ago – I guess George Gallo sent a copy to him, and both Richard and Nancy loved it. Tony Pro gives it a thumbs up too.

    I can’t wait to see it – have watched some of the previews on the website.

    Will it eventually come out in a DVD that I can buy? I certainly hope so.

  2. Hi, Lori,

    I asked the co-producer of Local Color if they plan to put the movie out on DVD, and the answer is yes. They still don’t know the timing on that, so I will keep you posted. Thanks for the comment!

  3. This is odd but I actually saw this film well over a year ago. It is brilliant – I just can’t figure out how we’re discussing it as a new film.

  4. Hi, Jason,

    I’m not sure if it’s being released internationally, but it will be available on DVD after it’s U.S. run so you will be able to see it that way.

    Kak–you’re right, there has been some prescreening showings around the country but the movie will not be officially released and nationally shown until this summer.

  5. Looking forward to experiencing the movie “Local Color”.

    Studying with a master landscape painter is a life changing opportunity. This past school season I’ve had the opportunity to study with master landscape painter Dennis Sheehan at his Academy Of Painting in Manchester, NH. Watching frequent demos where one brush stroke placed with the proper value and color can bring a painting to life. Getting frequent critiques on composition and painting methods has been so valuable in making my painting experiences more rewarding.

    Many members of the Putney Painters (students of Richard Schmidt) stopped into the studio to paint with us. Other well know artists also stopped by to paint along side the students giving us insight into what it takes to be a successful artist, including the dedication, promotion and struggles.

    My thanks to Dennis for giving me this opportunity and I’ll certainly look forward to the inspirational story in “Local Color” with a heightened understanding.


  6. Allison, come to think of it, you’re right about the pre-screening thing. But what I actually saw was a series of HD trailers for the film. I am now looking avidly forward to seeing the whole film. I’m a big fan of Meuller-Stahl’s acting.
    Susan – You’re so lucky! Sheehan is a fabulous landscape painter and he apparently keeps mighty good company!

  7. Hope it comes to a theatre near me! Looks like it’ll just be showing in select cities this summer, but I’m hoping it does well enough to branch out for a wider release.