The Mecca at Modella

Story provided by Hazel Modella Gallery

Modella Gallery is pleased to present our film series, The Mecca at Modella.

Located in historic downtown Stillwater, Modella Gallery is connected to a rich lineage of cinematic institutions that were situated along Main Street as early as 1900. Around 1916 as many as four movie theaters dotted downtown Stillwater, including two in the 700 block on Main Street, The Mecca and the Camera. Modella Gallery is excited to offer a monthly film series, The Mecca. These screenings will take place one Friday each month at dusk in the main gallery space.

The Mecca at Modella will begin on June 30 with a screening of short, non-narrative films made by visual artists. The series will continue for the next two months by also exhibiting work made in an artisanal or experimental mode of production that is motivated by artistic, cultural, and intellectual concerns first, with monetary reward and popularity being secondary or negligible issues. These artist’s experiments with the moving-image range from abstract animation that is hand-made and drawn or painted directly on the filmstrip, photographically produced material that is edited in-camera without post-production, found-footage work that re-contextualizes familiar and spectacular imagery and lyrical abstraction that combines novel photographic techniques with painted, hand-processed, and expressive layers of imagery.

Described variously as avant-garde, experimental, underground, or independent, these films were not commodities for mass consumption as they were self-financed and produced with the small-gauge, amateur film formats of 8mm, Super-8, and 16mm film. Each program will be presented by Jared Ashburn a doctoral student in the Screen Studies Department at OSU.

The first three programs of The Mecca at Modella will feature films by artists Jordan Belson, Harry Smith, Robert Breer, Jonas Mekas, Maya Deren, Oskar Fischinger, Bruce Connor, Kenneth Anger, Mary Ellen Bute, George Kuchar, Stan Brakhage, and Gunvor Nelson. Following our initial three-month program, the series will then begin to exhibit similar non-commercial works alongside narrative feature films.

Many thanks to our sponsors Daddy O’s Music Co, Stillwater, OK and to the Stillwater Arts and Humanities Council.

Modella Gallery is a non-profit art gallery dedicated to bringing contemporary arts to Stillwater, Oklahoma. The gallery will provide unique opportunities and the pleasure of enjoying works of contemporary art to the people of Oklahoma and beyond. These works include, but are not limited to the visual and performing arts; intended to enhance the quality of life and promote community pride in Stillwater, OK. The gallery presents a continuing program of art exhibitions of local and national artists, music and performance events, screenings, and special projects.

Modella Gallery is located at 721 South Main Street in historic downtown Stillwater, OK. Hours are Thursday and Friday 5-9pm; Saturday 11-5pm, and Sunday 1-5pm. For further information please contact the gallery at (405) 880-4434 or visit