September 09, 2005:
Western artist John Knowlton knows western art and has captured the special local flavor of the Eastern Sierra Nevada area in many of his paintings. No painting better demonstrates this understanding than Knowlton's "Mr. Burro- Mayor of Bodie."
Knowlton has contributed this painting to the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History and the painting will be given away at the 16th annual Lone Pine Film Festival to some lucky ticket holder. Tickets for the painting can be purchased at various businesses around town, and from Film Festival volunteers now and during the Festival. All donations will be contributed to the Museum coffers to be used in its work celebrating and preserving Inyo County's rich and diverse film heritage.
The Museum will be having its building inaugural on October 6 beginning at four o'clock on the museum grounds at 701 South Main Street. The short ceremony will be followed by a cocktail party and a dinner for members. William Wellman Jr. will be the guest speaker at the dinner and will be discussing his father's work. Director Wiulliam A. Wellman directed many classic films including Wings, the first movie ever awarded an Oscar for Best picture. Wellman's first feature directorial assignment was The Man Who Won, made in Lone Pine. Yellow Sky, starring Gregory Peck, Richard Widmark and Ann Baxter was made by Wellman on location in Lone Pine in the summer of 1948. Two other Wellman films shot scenes on location locally.
John Knowlton's painting is `18 x 24 inches and would be perfect on any wall. It shows a desert landscape, two red gasoline pumps and the "Mayor" himself posed near one. Tongue-in-cheek in style, the picture captures the quiet light and long shadows of a desert afternoon.
Tickets are availablable for five dollars a piece, three for ten dollars from Film Festival personnel, at the temporary museum office, Chamber of Commerce, La Florista or by calling 760-876-9103. The winner will be selected at the Closing Campfire Sunday night of the Festival, but the winner need not be present to win.