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Collaborations and Constraints,
a documentary by Los Angeles filmmaker Mary Trunk

View the film (Quicktime required - free download here)
Director and Producer: Mary Trunk
Editor: Caren McCaleb

Words from filmmaker Mary Trunk

The idea for the chaplets came from Marjorie's successful creation of The Roberts Street Chapel. This Chapel is located in downtown Fargo. Marjorie wanted her paintings to be available to the public and she wanted people to find them with ease and experience them in an atmosphere that was peaceful and comforting. She did not want to sell art or charge admission. All visits to the chapel are free. She bought a building, hired an architect and when the building was complete she hung three large canvases on the walls. There she began to paint and has continued to paint large colorful abstract murals. Visitors can see and use the chapel in their own ways. A wedding took place there, people play music, some celebrate special occasions, while others mourn loved ones. The space is open to interpretation. Marjorie has insightfully understood that people needed a space to think and possibly pray in their own individual ways. Her paintings are colorful narratives that are like symphonies of movement where viewers can wander and interpret in different ways. Often there is a sense of something recognized, a memory, a song, a taste or a smell all conjured up by the mix of lines and colors on the canvas. Marjorie's intent is to create an ecumenical space and an artistic experience. There is room for all faiths and beliefs and there is the hope that visitors will open themselves up to the even broader and wiser experience of art.

The Chaplet Project is process oriented. I believe that a film documenting this process will only deepen the experience of visiting the chaplets themselves. Knowing how a cooperative effort of this magnitude began and how it was completed will enrich every person's experience with this project. I plan to follow Marjorie and each architect, from the very beginning of their chaplet plans throughout the process of building and presenting them. As each chaplet is completed I will then document Marjorie's journey of painting inside them. I will also document the first visitors to the chaplets during the Opening Show in August 2006. If possible I will also create a short film loop that visitors can view inside the North Dakota Museum of Art during the show. That short film will allow the viewers a glimpse into the innovative process all the participating artists/ architects went through to complete this project.