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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Holiday Nights: December 9 – January 1

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 14th

Spend the holidays with one of Southwest Florida’s holiday traditions, the 35th annual Edison & Ford Holiday Nights at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers.  Edison & Ford Holiday Nights attracts visitors from throughout the world annually to view the lights and seasonal decorations that fill 20 acres of gardens, and the recently restored Edison and Ford historic homes. 
 
The theme for Edison & Ford Holiday Nights has always been a combination of historical decorations amidst the orchids, exotic trees and plantings that fill the gardens.  Visitors will have the option of a self guided tour or guided tour (6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.).  Guided tours include the historic homes, gardens, lab and museum with an historic site interpreter and are available on a first come, first serve basis.  
 
This year there will be events including the artist and craftsmen exhibits and appearances in the “Creative Cottage” as well as book signings and demonstrations located in the Edison Caretaker’s House;  nightly entertainment by local school and community groups; Santa visits; Horse and Wagon Rides; and a “Children’s Tree Trail.”  The “Trail” will be a veritable forest of lighted trees with handmade ornaments from Lee County students and is FREE to the public. 
 
During the holidays the homes of Thomas and Mina Edison and Henry and Clara Ford will be open nightly from 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The event also includes special exhibitions, nightly performances of dance, instrumental and choral music (by area groups and schools) and holiday items in the “Creative Cottage”, Museum Store, Garden Shoppe and the historic Ford Cottage Shoppe.  The Estates Museum and Edison’s Lab will be open nightly as well as the Estates Banyan Café for refreshments.  Tickets for a self guided tour are $15 for adults and $1 for children (6-12); guided tours are $20 for adults and $11 for children (6-12).  Groups may schedule guided or unguided tours from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. and will receive discounted group rates.  In addition, the Estates will be offering Lee County residents special “hometown discounts” on December 9, 10, 11, 12, 2010.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Southwest Florida Residents Half Price Day

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 21st

Just in time for the end of summer vacation, on Saturday, August 21 from 9 AM – 5:30 PM, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is offering half price admissions for all Southwest Florida Residents to tour the Estates Museum, Laboratory, Homes and Gardens.  Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5.50 for children (ages 6 -12, 5 and under are free).  Groups of 20 or more will also receive a special ticket price but must reserve in advance by calling the Estates.  Residents must present a driver’s license or voter registration card with photo ID to show their address in Lee, Hendry, Collier, Charlotte or Glades County.

In addition to an Estates tour, visitors will enjoy new Museum tours and invention demonstrations throughout the day. Demonstrations include the Edison phonograph every half hour, presentations on antique cars and tours of the Edison Research Laboratory. 
 
The Estates recently completed more than $12 million in improvements and restoration to the homes, gardens, swimming pool and other areas on both the Edison and Ford Estate.  They have been successfully managed by a new non-profit organization since 2006, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc. and have recently won both National Trust and National Garden Council top awards.
 
The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The Estates is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.efwefla.org.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Celebrates Henry Ford’s Birthday

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 9th

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates will celebrate the 147th birthday of Henry Ford on Friday, July 30 at 10 AM.  The celebration will include cake and a “Sneak Peek” tour of the Ford Estate with Henry Ford.  Admission is FREE to Estates members; non members $20 adults, $11  children 6 -12, children 5 and under are free.  Admission includes a guided tour or self guided tour and audio wand of the historic homes, gardens, lab and Museum. 

“Ford’s birthday marks a very important day in American history, and we invite the public to share in the celebration…. Learn about Henry Ford…. And visit the beautiful winter homes of one of America’s greatest industrialists,” says Chris Pendleton, Estates president & CEO.  “Ford’s remarkable history spanned decades and totally changed our way of life.”

Ford facts include:
• Henry Ford grew up on a typical nineteenth-century farm in Dearborn, Michigan. At an early age he demonstrated an interest in mechanics and a dislike for farm work.
• Ford married Clara Bryant in 1888. He would later refer to Clara as “the Believer” for her faith in and support of his ideas.
• In 1891 Ford became an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company, and was soon promoted to Chief Engineer. This position allowed him time to experiment with the internal combustion engine. Ford idolized Thomas Edison and met him during an 1896 company convention in New York, where Ford relayed his ideas for the engine. Ford recalled the importance of Edison’s encouragement: “[O]ut of the clear blue sky the greatest inventive genius in the world had given me complete approval.”
• In 1896, at the age of 33, Ford completed the Quadricycle, a self-propelled vehicle with four wire wheels which was steered with a tiller and had two forward speeds. Ford traveled around Detroit in his “horseless carriage,” to the amazement, as well as disdain, of its citizens.
• The Ford Motor Company was incorporated in 1903 with the Model A. In 1908 Ford introduced the Model T, realizing his lifelong dream of a vehicle that was easy to operate and maintain and able to handle the rough roads of the era. The Model T quickly became a huge success, with more than 10,000 sold in 1909.
• Ford is considered the father of modern manufacturing. As the popularity of the Model T escalated, Ford devised a system that combined division of labor, standardized and interchangeable parts, and the assembly line. This revolutionized automobile production by reducing the amount of time involved in automobile manufacturing and consequently lowering production costs. Mass production was born. By 1913 some 1000 cars were produced in a typical eight-hour shift.
• By the late teens, Ford was an American celebrity and the public could not seem to get enough of him. Ford came into his office one day and said, “You know, I think I ought to get a pair of whiskers. Everybody seems to spot me.”
• In 1914 Ford made his first visit to Fort Myers at the invitation of his friend Thomas Edison. From there the two embarked on an Everglades camping trip. Calling themselves “the Vagabonds,” Ford and Edison, along with Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs, would make many more camping trips throughout the next fifteen years. In 1916, Ford purchased his Fort Myers retreat, The Mangoes, for $20,000 and enlarged it by adding two family and staff wings.
• Ford was seriously interested in unifying urban and rural industry. He encouraged the idea of using agricultural products for industrial purposes. For example, Ford experimented with an automobile trunk made from soybean-based plastic. He was a partner in the Edison Botanical Research Lab located on Estates’ property.
• In the mid-1920s the New York Times estimated the assets of the Ford Motor Company at $1.2 billion, or about $13 billion today. Ford himself drew an average of about $4.5 million per year during this decade, or about $50 million in today’s dollars. Said Ford, “I’m in a peculiar position. There is nothing I want that I cannot have. But I do not want the things that money can buy. I want to live a life, to make the world a little better for having lived in it.”
• In 1928 Ford established and endowed The Edison Institute in Dearborn, MI (now The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village), an indoor/outdoor museum created to illustrate and preserve the American experience and celebrate American ingenuity.
• In 1929 Ford threw a lavish party in Dearborn in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Edison’s invention of the incandescent lamp. Ford presented his friend with a detailed reconstruction of Edison’s Menlo Park and the original 1887 Fort Myers laboratory at The Edison Institute. Edison became misty-eyed and remarked that “the memories of eighty-two years were flooding back.” Ford told reporters at the event, “We are ahead of all other countries today, simply and solely because we have Mr. Edison.”
• Ford loved dancing and in the 1920s began a massive effort to revive old-fashioned dancing. He sponsored a national tour of dancing master Benjamin Lovett. Dancing was also an important part of Ford’s social life in Fort Myers.
• Henry Ford earned the American Legion Distinguished Service Medal for his efforts on behalf of disabled veterans in both World Wars. In 1997, Life Magazine named him one of the “100 People Who Made the Millennium,” and in 2000 Time Magazine named him one of the “100 Most Important People of the Century.” In 2000 Forbes Magazine called him the “#1 Industrialist of the Century.”
• Ford returned to The Mangoes only sporadically after Thomas Edison’s death in 1931. In 1945 he sold it to Thomas and Gladys Biggar. In 1988, the City of Fort Myers purchased Henry Ford’s estate for $1.5 million, restored it to its historic appearance and opened it to the public in 1989.
• Henry Ford’s Fort Myers estate is open daily and now managed by the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc., a non-profit organization.
• On July 30, 2007 a statue commemorating Henry Ford’s achievements and time in Fort Myers was created by D. J. Wilkins and donated by Orvall McCleary to the Estates.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Open July 4th

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 29th

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, located at 2350 McGregor Boulevard will be open Fourth of July weekend including, Sunday, July 4th from 9 AM until 5:30 PM.

Programs include regular tours of the homes, garden and lab of the two inventors as well as orientation and touring in the Estates Museum. The 15,000 square foot air conditioned Museum has an impressive collection of inventions and artifacts, special exhibitions and archives. Demonstrations throughout the day include the Edison phonograph every half hour, and other Museum presentations including antique cars and the Edison Research Laboratory.

Throughout the summer the Estates offers visitors of all ages a chance to step back into “old Florida” and learn more about the world through unique historical, scientific and cultural experiences.

Admission includes use of the free audio wand tour. Estates members are FREE. In addition to providing the opportunity to explore the winter retreats of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, the site also offers opportunities for the public to enjoy its park-like environment for special events, weddings, corporate functions, and art and musical presentations as well as educational programs throughout the year.

The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The Estates is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.efwefla.org.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – June 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 7th
June at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of the Dead Fish Printing Workshop, Free Admission for Fathers on Father’s Day, and a new Botanic Lab Exhibit in the Museum.   Regular guided tours of the historic buildings and gardens as well as audio wand tours are available daily. Expanded Botanic Tours are available on Thursday and Saturday mornings at 9 AM and they include the botanical gardens as well as the propagating nursery. The Estates are open daily from 9 AM until 5:30 PM. Special activities include:     
 
Fish Printing Workshop, June 19, noon – 3 PM
Just in time for Father’s Day join guest artists and  architects for a Dead Fish Printing Workshop (ancient Japanese art form, gyotaku) on t-shirts or other clothes for a one-of-a-kind gift for dad. The workshop is free (a $5 donation is suggested  for Estates Summer Camp scholarships) and participants are encouraged to bring their own shirts, although shirts in limited sizes will be available for purchase.                                                                                                                                                          

Free Admission for Dads on Father’s Day, June 20

The Estates is offering FREE admission to any father accompanied with their paid child on Father’s Day. Free admission includes a tour of the newly restored homes, the historic botanical gardens, the Estates Museum and Edison’s Research Laboratory.

New Volunteer Orientation, June 8, 10 AM
Join Estates staff to learn about volunteer opportunities, Estates policies and general Museum information. This is a mandatory training for all new Estates volunteers but potential volunteers are welcome. Volunteers receive free Membership in the Edison & Ford Winter Estates and other benefits.
 
Docent Training, June 17, 9AM
New Estates volunteers who are interested in becoming Edison & Ford porch docents, Lab and Museum docents, or group tour docents of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory lecture and meeting.
 
Quilting and Stitchery Demonstration, June 26, 10 AM – 1 PM
Quilter’s from the Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild and members of the Southwest Florida Embroidery Guild will demonstrate quilting, knitting and stitching techniques. In the early 1900’s Henry and Clara Ford collected, celebrated and displayed quilts and other historical objects in their museums and homes. The Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild presented the Estates with a replica Ford Collection Quilt that is on exhibit in the Estates Museum. Demonstration is FREE with purchase of Estates Home and Garden Tour ticket. 
 
Registration for Edison & Ford Winter Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp
The Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp is back again this year and the Wild Wizard is here all summer long. Camp begins on June 7, 2010 and runs through August 20, 2010.  Camps are open for grades 1-6 and sessions are separated by grade levels. Campers will make movies, become science detectives, launch objects into orbit, construct bridges and animate their own short films.  Registratin forms are available online at www.efwefla.org or are available at the Estates.  Estates Members $200; non members $230. Scholarships are available. For more information on specific topics, dates and times contact the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.

The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The Estates is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.efwefla.org.

Fort Myers Cultural Visionary Wins Award of Excellence

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 18th
Chris Pendleton, president and chief executive officer of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, has been honored with a national “Award of Excellence” from National Garden Clubs Inc., the largest volunteer organization of its type in the world. Pendleton is recognized for her leadership in the restoration and the implementation of new horticulture programs in the gardens on the site of the winter homes of American inventor Thomas A. Edison and automobile industrialist Henry Ford at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers.

 

Chris Pendleton, President & CEO, Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Pendleton, whose vision for the Edison & Ford Winter Estates included the restoration of its gardens and historic buildings, was integral to securing funding from local, state and federal agencies, foundations and private donors for preservation of the site, as well as in the development of new visitor amenities, classrooms and public gardens. The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is one of the top 10 most visited historic home sites in America attracting more than 200,000 visitors annually from all over the world.  

Pendleton’s career includes managing museums, gardens, science and natural history centers in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida.  Pendleton’s nomination was sponsored by the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs Inc. The award was presented at the National Garden Clubs‘ annual convention May 15,2010 in Atlanta.

The Moonlight Garden, Photo by Michael Shapiro Photography

National Garden Clubs Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that offers service projects such as Garden Therapy, Habitat for Humanity Landscaping, Golden Days, Plant It Pink, Blue Star Memorials, school gardening initiatives for children, flower shows, and a host of civic beautification and improvement efforts. Founded in 1929 and headquartered in St. Louis, NGC (www.gardenclub.org) has 200,000 members connected through a vast network of 6,300 local clubs, 50 state clubs and a national Capitol area club, as well as a sizable group of international affiliates.

The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The Estates is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419.  For more information on What’s Blooming at the Estates visit the Estates web site at www.efwefla.org

Sneak Peek Behind the Scenes Tour Ends for Season April 29

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 20th

 April 22 & 29, 2010 at 10:30 AM the Edison & Ford Winter Estates will be offering the last weekly scheduled Sneak Peek Tours for the season. Sneak Peek Tours can be scheduled throughout the year for groups of 15 or more people with pre-registration.  Estates Sneak Peek Tours will resume in September 2010. 

The Estates Sneak Peek Tours are a behind the scenes tour inside the Edison and Ford homes.   These unique tours are offered at no cost to Estates Members and $40 for non members.  In addition lunch is served in the Edison Caretaker’s House following the tour for $15 per person.  Due to the intimate nature of Sneak Peek Tours space is limited and registration is required.

To register a group for a Sneak Peek Tour or to become an Estates Member call the Estates at 239-334-7419, or visit our website www.efwefla.org and fill out a membership application to receive free admission to the Estates and hundreds of museums and gardens throughout the United States and Canada; discounts in the Museum Store, Garden Shoppe and Ford Cottage Shoppe; invitations to special programs; discounts on classes, children’s camps and educational programs; and an inside look into the homes of two of the nation’s greatest inventors and their families.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – May 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 18th

 May at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of the of Mother’s Day Brunch on May 9, Florida Trust for Historic Preservation Statewide Conference and FREE admission to Veteran’s and their families on Memorial Day, as well as a variety of special exhibits, children and adult programs, throughout the month of May.  The May schedule of programs and events include:

• Mother’s Day Sale & Book Signing  in Museum Store, May 8, 11 PM – 3 PM
Looking for the perfect gift for a Mother who has everything?  Estates  Artists and Authors will personalize artwork and books for a one of a kind gift and shopper’s will receive 10% off all merchandise in the store including orchids, herb baskets, jewelry and special gifts for Mom.  Invited authors include John Sheppard, I Can See Clearly Now; Harry Adams, The Dancing Porch; Doug MacGregor, Get Creative, Turn on the Bright Side of Your Brain; and Tom Smoot, The Edisons of Fort Myers.

• Mother’s Day Brunch in the Gardens, May 9, 11 AM
Celebrate your Mom with a delectable brunch in the Estates Coconut Grove overlooking the Caloosahatchee River.  The diverse menu will please every member of your family.  Leave time to enjoy the historical ambience and create treasured memories with a tour of the historic homes, gardens and Museum.  Ticket price includes brunch, entertainment, an Estates tour and a special gift for Mom.  Registration required.  Estates Members, adults $30, children ages 4 – 12 and $12; non members adults $35, children ages 4 -12 and under $12; children 3 and under FREE. In the event of rain, Mother’s Day Brunch will be served in the Estates Museum.

• Free Admission to Mom’s on Mothers’ Day, May 9, 1 PM – 4 PM
The Estates is offering FREE admission to any mother accompanied with their paid child on Mother’s  Day.  Free admission includes a tour of the newly restored homes, the historic botanical gardens, the Estates Museum and Edison’s Research Laboratory.

• New Volunteer Orientation, May 11, 10 AM
Join Estates staff to learn about volunteer opportunities, Estates policies and general Museum information.  This is a mandatory training for all new Estates volunteers but potential volunteers are welcome. 

• “Destination Preservation” 32nd Annual Statewide Preservation Conference, May 12 – 14, Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort and Spa.
The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation’s Annual Statewide Preservation Conference kicks off on May 12, 2010. Showcasing Lee County, the conference will offer workshops, tours and special events designed to teach participants how historic preservation can play a key role in conserving national resources. To register, please call (850) 224-8128. To download the conference program, please visit http://www.floridatrust.org/news/373.  For information about the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, please visit www.floridatrust.org.

• Docent Training, May 20, 9AM
New Estates volunteers who are interested in becoming Edison & Ford porch docents, Lab and Museum docents, or group tour docents of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory meeting.

• Home Schoolers:  “Stormy Weather”  May 21, 1 PM – 3 PM
Students will test their skills as meteorologists by learning the science of weather.  Home schooled students and their parents can enroll in a half day of curriculum that follows the Florida Sunshine objectives for learning.  The program follows the Lee County mandated program and addresses environmental science, history and reading SOLS.  Pre-visit curriculum materials will be mailed to registered families.  Registration required. Estates members $5; non members $15 (one adult, one child) additional $5 per child. 

• Quilting and Stitchery Demonstration,  May 22, 10 AM – 1 PM
Quilter’s from the Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild and members of the Southwest Florida Embroidery Guild  will be demonstrating quilting and stitching techniques on the Edison porch.  Members of the Guild will be available to answer questions on techniques and care.   In the early 1900’s Henry Ford collected, celebrated and displayed quilts and other historical objects.  The Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild presented the Estates with a replica Ford Collection Quilt that is on exhibit in the Estates Museum.  Demonstration is FREE with purchase of Estates Home and Garden Tour ticket. 

• Free Admission to Veteran’s and their families on Memorial Day, May 31
The Estates is offering free admission to United States Veterans and their families on May 31.  Free admission includes a tour of the historic homes, botanical gardens, the Estates Museum and the Edison Research Lab.  Veterans must present a VA identification card or their DD214 papers to receive free admission. 

• Registration for Edison & Ford Winter Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp The Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp is back again this year and the Wild Wizard is here all summer long.  Camp begins on June 7, 2010 and runs through August 20, 2010.  Camps are open for grades 1 – 6 and sessions are separated by grade levels.  Campers will make movies, become science detectives, launch objects into orbit, construct bridges and animate their own short films.  Registration forms are available on line at www.efwefla.org or are available at the Estates.  Estates Members $200; non members $230.  For more information on specific topics, dates and times contact the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.

International Film Festival Returns to Southwest Florida

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 5th

What:   Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival
When: Fri., March 26, 7:30 PM, Edison & Ford Winter Estates (rain date March 28)
           Sat., March 27, 7:30 PM, Edison State College
           Mon., March 29, 7:00 PM, BIG ARTS, Sanibel

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Edison State College and BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island  will host the Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival in Florida for a fourth season since the Festival began its national tour in 1981.  The Festival has the added attraction of being shown outdoors in the gardens of the Estates as well as indoors in the newly renovated Auditorium in the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College and the Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island. 

The award winning festival will be held on March 26, 2010 at the Estates; March 27, 2010 at the Auditorium at the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College; and March 29, 2010 at Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island.  Black Maria Film Festival Board Directors Member and filmmaker, Clayton Hemmert will introduce the films and facilitate discussion afterwards.  Hemmert was awarded a 2010 Director’s Prize from the Black Maria Film Festival for his film Banana BreadBanana Bread will be shown at all three sites as well as an additional thirty films. 

The Black Maria Film Festival, named after Thomas Edison’s first motion picture studio, honors Edison’s pioneering work in cinema.  The Festival is hosted by museums and colleges throughout the country and showcases independent and experimental film and video.  The films include a variety of contemporary works drawn from the annual juried selection of award winning films and videos.  The Black Maria is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an Academy Awards qualifying festival for short films. 

Tickets may be bought in advance at the Estates, 2350 McGregor Boulevard; and BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel Island.    The cost is $7 per evening for adults, $5 for students.  Tickets for all three nights can be purchased at a discounted rate of $15.  Estates Members are free on March 26 and Edison State College students are free on March 27.  Seating is limited.  For more information call 239-334-7419 or visit the following websites: Edison & Ford Winter Estates at www.efwefla.org, Edison State College at www.edison.edu/artsedison/events.php, BIG ARTS at www.bigarts.org, and the Black Maria Film Festival at  www.blackmariafilmfestival.orgOn March 26th  the Estates will host the Festival along Caloosahatchee River in the Royal Palm Allee at the historic Ford Estate.  This year the Estates is offering “Dinner and a Movie.”   Viewers can enjoy a BBQ dinner under the night skies at “The Mangoes,” the winter home of Henry and Clara Ford, for an additional cost (reservations must be made in advance by calling the Estates 239-334-7419).    In the event of rain the Festival will be held on March 29th.  Films to be screened at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates include:
 
Pickles to Nickels 8 min. by Danielle Ash, of Brooklyn, New York, NY

STELLAR ANIMATION SELECTION
Enter a cardboard world where monkeys steal pickles and store fronts shift and disappear and two eccentric characters enjoy a certain simpatico. An elder Jewish pickle vendor and a bakeshop owner find that change is everywhere, even on their zany old neighborhood.

Second Hand Dolls 5:31 min. by Anthony Weeks, San Francisco, CA
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
In this parallel story documentary the filmmaker and his central individual address our throw away culture, where anything that is not of the moment or no longer young is too often dismissed. But an elder dancer asserts her vitality in this engaging black and white documentary.

Balance 3:46 min. by Debra Sea, Greensboro, NC
The product of a 30 day video diary project and made with a simple flip camera. Balance’s images are taken from the perspective of a camera mounted on the handlebar of a bike. The front wheel transitions across landscapes, textures, and seasons from rain to gravel, desert to snow, and into the lovely green of springtime, all woven together in an energetic package.

Banana Bread 9 min. by Barton Landsman and Clayton Hemmert, New York, NY
Perhaps owing part of it’s sensibility to the work of director Quentin Tarantino, this droll fictional film with a clever plot twist breaks boundaries but for those who can appreciate irony, incongruity and over-the-top action, this will be a hoot.
Coda  2:40 min. by Vincent Grenier, Ithaca, NY, 2009
This is a work which is about the moment, about seeing, absorbing, distilling the essence of something and which places the viewer in a garden where the veteran filmmaker seemingly meditates on the space through elegantly articulated framing and graceful camera moves.

 Breaking Boundaries: The Art of Alex Masket 19 min. by Dennis Connors, Montclair, NJ
This gripping and insightful documentary chronicles the story of 22 year Alex Masket, an extraordinary, young man who has created a rich and varied body of work through which he expresses himself vibrantly. Appraisals of Alex’s work by art experts testifies to the quality of his creations. The wholly individualistic style of Alex Masket helps bring ideas about artistic communication and the creative impulse into focus. “Is Alex’s art not clear evidence of a highly articulate, even amazing visual language that is just as meaningful as verbal language?” “Is it not our own limitations that establishes the primacy of verbal communication over the visual, and in fact is not Alex just as much a fully realized, creative human being as anyone?” More about Alex and his art can be found in Esopus magazine’s cover story. (Esopus.org).

Jelly Fishers 5:48 min.  by Steven Subotnick, Providence, RI
Jelly Fishers is a mischievous hand drawn animation in which a fly visits a family floating at sea but there is nothing to eat, so granny goes fishing. While she is away, the stormy sea engulfs everything. In the end, they are all saved by jellyfish. The offbeat story line is enhanced by the filmmaker’s artistry.
My Girlfriend Sleeps Like Superman  2:13 min. by Steve Gentile, Boston, MA
A droll animated portrait of the artist’s nightly battle for bed space where insomnia and romance intersect and restful sleep is a prized commodity owing to partner’s dream maneuvers.

My Dearest Love 3 min. by Marc Wiskemann, Columbus, OH
In this poignant short the viewer sees a bride dressed in a traditional silk sari as she’s being attended by her bridesmaids, in moments before her marriage. The bride wistfully turns her attention to a nearby window and love note is left behind as she arises to meet her awaiting husband to be.

Thomas Edison’s Last Film 16:12 min. by Eli Shapiro, West Orange, NJ
YOUNG FILMMAKER/AUDIENCE CHOICE SELECTION
In this work made by a high school senior the protagonist is on a quest to find an cinematic artifact of his hero, Thomas Edison, the inventor of motion pictures. A buddy and the young man embark on a madcap adventure and finally dig up a long missing film at a hidden location in the town that is the birthplace of motion pictures.

On March 27th at the Auditorium in the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College, films to be screened include:

LOOPLOOP 5 min. by Patrick Bergeron, Montreal, Quebec
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
The 1000 images in this experimental work are based on video shot from a train going to Hanoi Vietnam and are stitched together in one long panoramic strip that is stacked upon itself. Using digital manipulation of images and sounds warping with time shifts this video runs forwards and backwards looking for forgotten details, mimicking the way memories are replayed in the mind. That internal slice of life samplings, houses, fences, textures, bicycles, a woman dancing, become more apparent as the images become more magnified. There’s a sense of humor in the juxtapositions of the image ribbons as they slide and shift across the screen.

The Passenger 7 min. by Julie Zammarchi, Marshfields Hills, MA
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
In this polished animated, dreamscape narrative a woman peers out her window to see an almost Disney-esque rabbit being chased by a cat as a car pulls up which carries her toward her own euthanasia death. She applies lipstick as if it’s all quite normal and upon seeing herself in the mirror, visions and memories crowd her consciousness. The film is a ride through the disparate images of her mind’s eye and a quest to piece together her life’s meaning.
Balance 3:46 min. by Debra Sea, Greensboro, NC
The product of a 30 day video diary project and made with a simple flip camera. Balance’s images are taken from the perspective of a camera mounted on the handlebar of a bike. The front wheel transitions across landscapes, textures, and seasons from rain to gravel, desert to snow, and into the lovely green of springtime, all woven together in an energetic package.

Second Hand Dolls 5:31 min. by Anthony Weeks, San Francisco, CA
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
In this parallel story documentary the filmmaker and his central individual address our throw away culture, where anything that is not of the moment or no longer young is too often dismissed. But an elder dancer asserts her vitality in this engaging black and white documentary.

When Herrons Dream 10:34 min.) by Serge Gregory, Seattle, WA
JURY CITATION SELECTION
This distinctive black and white observational work imagines the perspective a Great Blue Heron as it moves throughout the seasons of a Northwest landscape. But more that this, When Herrons Dream is a distilled meditative, elegantly simple and subtly rewarding film.

Banana Bread 9 min. by Barton Landsman and Clayton Hemmert, New York, NY
Perhaps owing part of it’s sensibility to the work of director Quentin Tarantino, this droll fictional film with a clever plot twist breaks boundaries but for those who can appreciate irony, incongruity and over-the-top action, this will be a hoot.

Coda  2:40 min. by Vincent Grenier, Ithaca, NY, 2009
This is a work which is about the moment, about seeing, absorbing, distilling the essence of something and which places the viewer in a garden where the veteran filmmaker seemingly meditates on the space through elegantly articulated framing and graceful camera moves.

Bouy 6:21 min. (2008) by Seoungho Cho, Elmhurst, NY
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
A hauntingly beautiful and arid, semi abstract desert landscape in yellow ochre belies the title of this visually poetic work accompanied by Brian Eno music performed by Steven Vitiello.

Corporate Art Policy 5:30 min. by Neil Needleman, Katonah, NY
This ironic send up of fickle corporate taste features a cascade of images found on the walls of the filmmaker’s employer. Copies of works by artists ranging from Kandinsky to the kitschy are satirized by the filmmaker. Neil Needleman is perhaps best known as an experimental filmmaker but also is a crazed humorist whose work is always engaging.

Fuzzy Insides 5:20 min. by Michael A. Olsen, Bedford, NH
A model animation has vaguely voyeuristic scene which peek into the secret nightlife of the suburbs. Four stop-motion vignettes portray awkward relationships that fitfully develop romantically and sexually as realized by the deft creativity of the filmmaker.

Hourglass 4 min. by Fern Seiden, Stockholm, Sweden
Rain pours and rubbish soars while light-bulb creatures party up a storm at the edge of the earth. In this photo-collage animation – laced with a turn of the century scientist in his laboratory – a child realizes that the state of the planet hangs in the balance. The film’s lyrical hourglass/alarm clock sounds a critical warning to humanity.

Never Too Late 7:45 min. by Wendy Weinberg, Philadelphia, PA
After 25 years together, two middle aged San Francisco hotel maids decide it’s finally time to marry. Then along comes Prop. 8. What to do? Never Too Late inserts new dialogue into vintage TV show and movies clips to achieve a biting commentary on popular culture’s insensitivity to bans on gay marriage. The filmmaker states that it’s her way of injecting ironic humor into what is the painful inequity which Lesbians and Gays face daily.

Spectrology 11 min. by Kerry Laital, San Francisco, CA
Interest in Spectrogy (the “Spectral” realm) is said to be related to Spiritualism and especially in the 19th century there was a fascination such ideas. This elegiac film is evocative of the apparitional images sometimes found in pre-20th century magic lantern shows. Spectrology is very much an illusionist-like work employing reprocessed vintage films and images that are redolent of the paranormal realm.
Missed Aches 4 min. by Joanna Priestley, Portland, OR
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
This uproarious animation by one of the nation’s iconic animation artists colorfully serves up a cascade of malapropisms.

Young Continent 6:30 min. by Sarah J. Christman, Brooklyn, NY
On a geologically young island, the earth’s heat rises bubbling through the surface, volcanoes hibernate below ice caps and glaciers recede. Containing both unrestrained forces and energy harnessed for human use, the landscape of Iceland
conjures echoes of medieval sagas and whispers of an imagined future.

March 29th in the Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS, Sanibel, films to be screened include:

Breaking Boundaries: The Art of Alex Masket 19 min. by Dennis Connors, Montclair, NJ
This gripping and insightful documentary chronicles the story of 22 year Alex Masket, an extraordinary, young man who has created a rich and varied body of work through which he expresses himself vibrantly. Appraisals of Alex’s work by art experts testifies to the quality of his creations. The wholly individualistic style of Alex Masket helps bring ideas about artistic communication and the creative impulse into focus. “Is Alex’s art not clear evidence of a highly articulate, even amazing visual language that is just as meaningful as verbal language?” “Is it not our own limitations that establishes the primacy of verbal communication over the visual, and in fact is not Alex just as much a fully realized, creative human being as anyone?” More about Alex and his art can be found in Esopus magazine’s cover story. (Esopus.org).

Pickles to Nickels 8 min. by Danielle Ash, of Brooklyn, New York, NY
STELLAR ANIMATION SELECTION
Enter a cardboard world where monkeys steal pickles and store fronts shift and disappear and two eccentric characters enjoy a certain simpatico. An elder Jewish pickle vendor and a bakeshop owner find that change is everywhere, even on their zany old neighborhood.

Making Merit Buddhist Daily Duties 8 min. by Dennis Darmek, Milwaukee, WI
A procession of colorful images depict brightly robed monks as they process, chant, collect alms, and practice traditional rituals. Arresting close-ups of Elephants are a powerful presence throughout the film. The pachyderms occupy a special place in the film and culture as they sway in sync with the monks’ chants, and make for a fanciful addition to this sumptuous video.

Missed Aches 4 min. by Joanna Priestley, Portland, OR
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
This uproarious animation by one of the nation’s iconic animation artists colorfully serves up a cascade of malapropisms.

Corporate Art Policy 5:30 min. by Neil Needleman, Katonah, NY
This ironic send up of fickle corporate taste features a cascade of images found on the walls of the filmmaker’s employer. Copies of works by artists ranging from Kandinsky to the kitschy are satirized by the filmmaker. Neil Needleman is perhaps best known as an experimental filmmaker but also is a crazed humorist whose work is always engaging.

Second Hand Dolls 5:31 min. by Anthony Weeks, San Francisco, CA
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
In this parallel story documentary the filmmaker and his central individual address our throw away culture, where anything that is not of the moment or no longer young is too often dismissed. But an elder dancer asserts her vitality in this engaging black and white documentary.

Banana Bread 9 min. by Barton Landsman and Clayton Hemmert, New York, NY
Perhaps owing part of it’s sensibility to the work of director Quentin Tarantino, this droll fictional film with a clever plot twist breaks boundaries but for those who can appreciate irony, incongruity and over-the-top action, this will be a hoot.

Worlds of Sound:  The Ballad of Folkways Records 52:25 min. by Andrea Kalin – Director, Richard Carlin (Book Author) Washington DC
This is a fulfilling and energetic chronicle of Folkways records with Pete Seeger, Lightn’ Hopkins, Jean Ritchie, Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, Woody Guthrie, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Ella Jenkins, Oscar Brand, Furry Lewis, Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan and a raft of other songsters all delivering lively performances.

Film selections are subject to change. 

In 1892 the world’s first motion picture studio was built by Thomas Edison and nicknamed the Black Maria.  The studio has become an emblem of the exploratory spirit in film which the Festival celebrates.  The Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival  celebrates Edison’s pioneering contributions to the film industry.

NEW Sneak Peek Tours Behind the Scenes Inside the Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 7th

On January 14, 21, 28 and February 4, 11, 18, 25 at 10:30 AM the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is offering a NEW behind the scenes tour inside the Edison and Ford homes open to the public and Estates Members.   These unique tours are offered at no cost to Estates Members and $40 for non members.  In addition, lunch will be served riverside by the Ford Estate (weather permitting) otherwise in the Edison Caretaker’s House following the tour for $15 per person.  Due to the intimate nature of “Sneak Peek Tours” space is limited and registration is required.

To become an Estates Member call the Estates Membership office 239-334-7419, or visit the website www.efwefla.org and fill out a membership application to receive free admission to the Estates and hundreds of museums and gardens throughout the United States and Canada; discounts in the Museum Store, Garden Shoppe and Ford Cottage Shoppe; invitations to special programs; discounts on classes, children’s camps and educational programs; and an inside look into the homes of two of the nation’s greatest inventors and their families.