ZornesFilm has been organized by three experienced media professionals who have partnered together to create a feature length documentary telling the extraordinary story of master painter, Milford Zornes, who lived from 1908 to 2008
In early 2014 Art Kirsch joined Grace McKay and John Coleman (“Team”) to rejuvenate a dormant project and bring to fruition a film John & Grace had started as a work of love. The pair had met Zornes on the occasion of his 97th birthday and filmed him numerous times in his studio and elsewhere until his death at age 100. It is this rare and valuable first-hand footage which is the core of the current project.
In early November 2014 the Team met with Hal and Maria Zornes Baker, the keepers of Milford Zornes' legacy, executors of his estate, and the people behind MilfordZornesNA.com. Milford's trusted friend and long-time art dealer, Bill Anderson—an artist in his own right—joined them. All agreed to the value of a full-length documentary on Milford and his work. From that point, with the cooperation of the Bakers, the Team started their research into the details of the artist whose career spanned most of the 20th century. While some filming resumed in the Fall of 2014, major production is expected to commence after funding—projected to be in the spring/summer of 2015. The goal is a premiere at the end of 2015 or early 2016.
Grace McKay and John Coleman had individually been working on various visual art-oriented video projects. They compared notes and joined forces
Grace's background as a film collector and preservationist included acquiring much of the long-lost film library of Francis Line, a travel documentary film producer from the 1930s. Line made a very nice living narrating his self-filmed adventures around the US while exhibiting the films in person for civic and cultural groups, sort of like a traveling preacher. Line worked out of his home in Ontario, California, not far from Orange County where Grace and John are based and was a patron of the arts. He was also instrumental in founding the Chaffey Community Art Association (www.chaffeymuseum.org) and knew most all the luminaries of the California art world at that time. Among the films in Grace's collection is footage of Francis Line's cabin in Utah which he eventually sold to Maynard Dixon, an artist famous for his western landscapes. Dixon and Zornes were friends and after Dixon's death, Milford and his wife bought the cabin and lived there on and off for 35 years. All this came to light while researching Line's life and film. Grace connected with the Chaffey Art Association and in 2005 heard that they were going to celebrate Milford Zornes’ 97th birthday. Surprised to find that Zornes was not only still alive but still painting, Grace and John went to the party with a film crew which began a wonderful association with the artist.