Invitation to the Muse

Invitation to the MuseInvitation to the Muse
A Mystery: artists and their unique creative processes

Invitation to the Muse explores the mysteries of the creative process through artists who share self-reliance, faith that beautiful work will emerge, and the ability to be in the here and now.

A documentary film by Karen Cantor
TRT: 35 minutes, released 2011
DISTRIBUTED by Filmakers Library, a division of Alexander Street Press,

About the film

Why do humans create art?  Filmmaker Karen Cantor came to Santa Fe to find out and then wove the myriad responses into a charming documentary film.  Invitation to the Muse presents a diverse array of artists: sculptors, painters, weavers, musicians, and writers.  Whether beginning with a slab of stone, a blank canvas, or a pile of wool they share their journeys into the unknown.

Filmed in a poetic style, the filmmaker uses the metaphor of a spider creating its web, endlessly spinning the strands produced from its own body, just as the artists reach into their inner selves and formulate their creations.  Working in a beautiful natural environment we see how nature is incorporated into art. The poet, for instance, is seduced by the rolling fields before her; the rhythm of her poetry captures that. A visual artist and a composer talk about “the grid,” the structure underpinning their creations.  The tapestry weaver speaks about the colors that appeal to him; we see his personal rainbow resplendent in his work.

Invitation to the Muse reflects artists’ inner journeys while it offers a feast for the eyes and a celebration of the creative force.

Artists appearing in the film include Wesley Berg, Gay Block, Tony Buchen, Lisa de St. Croix, David Dunn, Cal Haines, James Koehler, Ellen Koment, Carolyn Lassiter, Carol Moldaw, Michael Naranjo, John Rangel, Dave Robinson, Teena Robinson, Victoria Rogers, Danielle Shelley, Jane Shoenfeld, Beth Surdut, John Tinker, and Judy Tuwaletstiwa.

The film is a real jewel, allowing us all to see what the muse may be and focusing on the artists in a way that makes them very real to the viewer.  With the director introducing the film by appearing in the first scene, a direct link is subconsciously forged to the artists, themselves.  John Rangel’s music is wonderful in the film.  Claudia Feldman, sculptor, Bethesda, MD

This beautiful film, reflecting artists’ efforts to create beauty, sparkles with the insights of the artists, themselves.  Fyllis Hockman, travel writer, Gaithersburg, MD.

“Invitation to the Muse” is beautiful, stimulating and very useful. Useful for thinking about artistic plasticity and the depth and travail necessary to make fine work.  Even if the muse alights, that is only the beginning of a very arduous journey.  Arduous, but who said that work isn’t fun? Jack Leissring, artist and art collector, Santa Rosa, CA

“Invitation to the Muse” is a gem, compelling to watch.  It sparkles with insightful artists looking deeper into themselves, providing excellent portraits of interesting people.  Mike Maggid, photographer, Petaluma, CA

The Production Team
Written, Directed, Edited, and Produced by Karen Cantor
Director of Photography and Sound Matt Schulze
Story Consultant Fernanda Rossi
Post Production Phil Courter at Courter Films
Music, Score, and Audio Sweetening by John Rangel USA

The film was created in the spring of 2010 when Ms. Cantor was an artist-in-residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute. It is dedicated to the memory of tapestry artist James Koehler (1952-2011)