Opening Exhibition Thurs. April 21 at 6:00 PM : Works By Michael Sprouse: Revival House Theatre Project At The Milton Theatre.

If you’ve not heard or read about it, Revival House is spearheaded by local filmmaker Rob Waters. According to their website, “The Revival House is a platform to celebrate the experience of going to the movies.  Our mission is to foster a community through the shared experience of film and presenting programs that are unique, entertaining, and fun.  Within the walls of the historic Milton Theatre, we hope to provide monthly screenings equally dedicated to cinema and community.


Revival House – Docs that Rock Trailer from W Films on Vimeo.

"Paris. 1924" Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 36", ©2015 Michael Sprouse

“Paris. 1924″ Acrylic on Canvas, 36″ x 36”, 2015 Michael Sprouse

I was asked by Rob to be the featured solo artist for this month’s Revival House event and I’m really looking forward to it. In fact, the combination of visual art with the cinematic arts is a powerful mix (there will also be a live performance by The Cocks – so, let’s throw performing arts in the loop as well.) It was just an artistic coincidence that Rob asked me to be part of the event without his knowing that the cinema has long been a huge source of visual artistic inspiration for me.

I’ve been a fan of cinema and independent film for as long as I can remember. I was the kid who would sneak downstairs after everyone had gone to bed to stay up all night watching the midnight movie (usually some noir classic) or grainy silent and dramatic foreign films on the local PBS station in my home town. Long before I could even begin to comprehend the depth and the richness of the stories and the art of film making, I was moved by the visual language of it all.

"Future Influence" Acrylic & Mixed-Media On Canvas 24" x 24" ©2016 Available

“Future Influence” Acrylic & Mixed-Media On Canvas 24″ x 24″
©2016 Michael Sprouse

To this day, those memories and experiences still shape my work as a visual artist. I began creating large scale, “narrative” portraits modeled after vintage portrait and head shot photos of now long forgotten screen actors over 20 years ago. These works became a signature style for me and the portraits featured in this exhibit (all created within the last two years) continue that visual story.

My abstract works are equally inspired with cinematic visual references. Often, I incorporate found vintage ephemera as collage into cubist blocks of color that work as sort of a visual script where the viewer creates the story based upon their own interpretation of the elements. The color schemes of my abstracts are definitely influenced by film – or more so – the act of watching a film. Vivid color splashing across a rectangular screen, bright flickering, amber hued light leaks, blue and white reel change cue marks popping in the upper corner – all of these visual elements find their way into my work still inspired by my inner-kid gazing through the darkness and into the celluloid magical world of film.

So – I think this will be a great event filled with all kinds of art  – on the screen, on the stage and on the walls. Doors open for the event, called “Docs That Rock” (featuring screenings of the rock documentaries “Amy” and “Mistaken For Strangers”, at 6:00 PM. In addition to my work and a performance by The Cocks, the event also features beer parings by Dogfish Head, food pairings by Hari Cameron of a(MUSE.) restaurant in Rehoboth, and a dress as your favorite music idol costume party. Tickets are $5 (students & seniors)  to $10 (adults) and can be purchased here.