A NEW COLOR joyfully profiles the life and work of celebrated artist Edythe Boone whose colorful murals portray some of the major events of our time and illustrate the transformative power of art.
Long before Black Lives Matter became a rallying cry, septuagenarian Boone embodied that truth as an accomplished artist and educator. From humble Harlem roots, the indefatigable Boone pursued her love of art and her dream of someday creating a new color – “a color that no one had ever seen before.”
Boone moved her family to Berkeley in the 1970’s from Harlem to avoid the growing crack epidemic. In the Bay Area, she was drawn to community mural projects that channeled her artistic talent into public advocacy for racial and social justice, including the landmark MaestraPeace mural on the San Francisco Women’s Building. Boone has made community murals her primary vehicle for helping people of all ages and ethnicities find their artistic voice and express their hopes and visions.
For decades she has introduced underserved young people and seniors to art as a powerful vehicle for imagining new possibilities. A NEW COLOR highlights Boone’s work with West Oakland middle school students on a garden mural project and with seniors at a center in Richmond. Boone encourages self-expression and challenges her students to see their creative potential and find their voices.
Woven throughout the film is the personal journey that fuels her art, having lived through segregation and the Civil Rights movement, as well as the more recent tragedies of Ferguson, Trayvon Martin, and the death of her nephew Eric Garner, who became a national symbol of concern about racist policing.
Filmed over three years, A NEW COLOR illuminates how the passionate, heart-felt work of one resilient woman can reverberate throughout a community and inspire both art and a more powerful chorus for justice.
Reviews & Awards"An inspiring portrait of the ebullient artist-activist…. Art and activism often go hand in hand, yet, even among artists whose work is oriented toward social justice, it’s rare to find someone whose creativity and community-building work are as naturally entwined as Berkeley’s Edythe Boone.”
– San Francisco Chronicle
“A NEW COLOR is more kinetic and less rarified than your standard artist profile. From a West Oakland middle school to a Richmond senior center, Boone demystified the creative process by imparting techniques and encouraging unselfconscious participation.”
– Michael Fox, Oakland Magazine
"An exuberant and inspiring film about Edythe Boone, a 78-year-old African-American artist. Tough and compassionate, wise and funny, she lived through segregation and Jim Crow maintaining her faith in humanity, despite recent and alarming challenges to that faith. In the classroom, Edy’s creative example inspires students to imagine new possibilities, challenge stereotypes and become agents of change."
– Legacy Film Festival on Aging
“A vehicle to discuss inequality and racial justice….follows Boone’s lifelong work as an artist who uses the power of community-led art to advocate for social and racial equality. Long before the Black Lives Matter movement forced police brutality into the national spotlight, Boone has guided people in creating murals that tackle issues of racism, poverty, and violence against young people of color.”
Audience Favorite, Mill Valley Film Festival
Best Short Documentary, Peace on Earth Film Festival
Pan African Film Festival
Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival
Independent Film Festival, Boston
Sarasota Film Festival
San Diego Black Film Festival
International Black Film Festival of Nashville
Bushwick Film Festival
Harlem International Film Festival
Legacy Film Festival on Aging
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
Oakland International Film Festival
Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival