SPOTLIGHT: Robbie Cribbs’ ‘The Art of Opening Doors’ will be shown at the Clyde Feb. 24

Posted in Feature, Spotlight, Visual Art

Submitted by Lynn Willeford
Feb. 12, 2013

If you’d like to see what a fervent imagination and a good sense of humor can do with a video camera, don’t miss the third in The Clyde Theatre’s Films & Filmmakers series. South Whidbey’s own Robbie Cribbs will be presenting “The Art of Opening Doors,” a compilation of his short art, experimental and animated films to be shown at The Clyde in Langley at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24.

Cribbs, a multi-media and recording artist and the owner of Sound Trap Studios in Freeland, is one of artist Ann Cribbs’ five artistically blessed children and describes himself as self-taught. But what an education!

Robbie Cribbs uses all manner of materials in his mixed-media animations. (Robbie Cribbs photo)

Robbie Cribbs uses all manner of materials in his mixed-media animations. This figure is made partly from a walnut shell. (Robbie Cribbs photo)

“I’ve been living around the feet of artists all my life,” Cribbs said, “starting with my mother and her friends.”

He spent his earliest years in Claremont, Calif., where he was allowed to roam the Scripps College campus, dropping in on art classes and absorbing techniques and ideas like a sponge. A wax piece he shaped at age 6 or 7 so delighted the studio’s owner that he cast it in bronze and dubbed it “Dancing Angel.”

Once Ann Cribbs moved her young family to rural Ireland, this early exposure to art in all its forms was followed by years absorbing crafts and craftsmanship. Cribbs’ entire body of multi-media work is informed by the lesson he learned there in that post-war time of scarcity: use what you find around you.

Growing up in a backwater, Cribbs didn’t even see his first VCR until 1983, but by the mid-‘80s he was making his first videos, a passion that has only grown in the past 30 years. He especially enjoys combining video with other forms of artistic expression, like graphic art or sound. It helps that Cribbs is also a trained sound engineer with his own Sound trap Studios nearby.

The collection of films to be shown at The Clyde includes some of Cribbs’ experiments in what he calls “Stilm,” videos that are actually fast-cutting slide shows tied to the rhythm of a sound track. His films vary from the abstract to the very concrete. You’ll see people and places that are very familiar, and some that don’t exist in the real world. He’s created interesting animations as a bridge between the individual videos. Cribbs calls a lot of what he does “enhanced documentaries.”

“The Art of Opening Doors” will play at The Clyde Theatre on First Street in Langley at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24. The film will be followed by a Q& A period with Cribbs. See a preview of Cribbs’ film here.

Admission is $7; $5 for those under 17 or over 65.  Visit The Clyde for more info.

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