Art News

Watch It: This Denver Filmmaker Sears Your Mind (in a Good Way)

A still from "Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise," from 2011.
A still from "Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise," from 2011. Kelly Sears
Social distancing and already bored? It's time to get caught up on all the amazing Denver art you can consume from your home. In the days ahead, Westword will be highlighting creatives who make work that you can enjoy without getting off the couch.

This region has long been a hotbed of experimental media, with roots that go back at least as far as Stan Brakhage, who made his home in Boulder in the ’60s and is regarded as one of the most canonical avant-garde artists in film history.

In recent years, filmmakers like Kelly Sears have continued that tradition. Sears makes smart, short and unsettling animated films from her home in the Mile High City, works that have garnered international attention. Yet her films haven't received the attention they deserve here at home.

Sears pushes the boundaries of animation by recycling archival films, then processing and reanimating them to uncanny effect. Her works include snippets of medical manuals, military newsreels, yoga guides and more. 


"Through these animations, we glean bits of history that are recognizable but unsteady," she says. (Check out her 2014 interview with Westword.)

Sears has made 25 of her works available free of charge at Vimeo, so jump in. You're sure to be challenged, maybe enlightened, and definitely unnerved.

Do you know of an artist that Westword should highlight in the solitary days ahead? Let us know at [email protected].
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris