"Maynard Dixon Art and Spirit" Named Spur Award Winner Best Documentary 2008 By the Western Writers of America, Narrated by Oscar-Winner Diane Keaton.

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Narrated by Oscar-Winner Diane Keaton, "Maynard Dixon: Art and Spirit", a feature length documentary film written by Jayne McKay and Daniel Dixon, has been voted 2008 Best Western Documentary by the Western Writers of America.

Burbank, CA. (PRWEB) June 6, 2008: "Maynard Dixon: Art and Spirit", a feature length documentary film written by Jayne McKay and Daniel Dixon, has been voted 2008 Best Western Documentary by the Western Writers of America.

The Spur awards will be presented at the upcoming annual conference of the Western Writers of America to be held June 10-14, 2008, in Scottsdale, Arizona. The film profiles the life and art of Maynard Dixon, one of the West's most influential artists. Narrated by Oscar-winning actress, Diane Keaton, a collector of Dixon's paintings, the film features over 400 of Dixon's works. Maynard Dixon's words are brought to life by singer/songwriter Don Edwards and the original soundtrack was written and is performed by Grammy-award winner John McEuen, a founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

"I chose to produce this film about Maynard Dixon because I've always felt that Dixon is truly one of the finest American artists who ever painted in the West, yet his name isn't widely recognized. Artists all revere Dixon, and credit him as a genius for his understanding of light, and his ability to mix colors that are so accurate on canvas. In addition, his illustration work deserves to be recognized right up there with the work of Remington and Russell.

My intention was to produce a film that would introduce Dixon's life and his work to the largest audience that I could reach. It was a thrill to show the film at the Vallarta Film Festival in Mexico last December. The audiences were so enthusiastic about seeing the work of an American Master painter like Maynard Dixon, and couldn't believe that they hadn't heard of him before. We now have plans to screen the film at venues in Europe and Japan later this year."

Comments about "Maynard Dixon: Art and Spirit":
"Jayne McKay has pursued the making of this film about my father, Maynard Dixon, with diligence and dedication, with artistic taste, sensitivity and downright dogged determination for six years. Jayne has produced a film which captures the spirit and breadth of my father and his work. We are proud to have had a small part in her endeavor."- John Dixon, son of Maynard Dixon and Dorothea Lange.

"This first film on the art and life of Maynard Dixon is painstakingly researched and brilliantly scripted. Jayne McKay's lively film provides rare insight and understanding of this giant among 20th Century American Artists," said Abe Hays, Paradise Valley, AZ.

"Jayne's film will bring Dixon's extraordinary life to a much broader audience who do not yet know his journey through a changing American West," said Donald J. Hagerty, author "Desert Dreams: The Art and Life of Maynard Dixon"

Comments about Maynard Dixon:

"Great American artists like Maynard Dixon had a big influence on us with his landscapes of the southwest, particularly in the clouds that he painted. Dixon had a wonderfully reductive way of organizing the world of the Southwest. He often painted towards the sun, so there is a powerful brightness in some of his work. Even though he stylized the world, he got a true sense of the weather and the lighting of the place."
-Bill Cone, Disney/Pixar Production Designer for 'Cars'

"To me, no painter has ever quite understood the light, the distances, the aboriginal ghostliness of the American West as well as Maynard Dixon. The great mood of his work is solitude, the effect of land and space on people. While his work stands perfectly well on its claims to beauty, it offers a spiritual view of the West indispensable to anyone who would understand it."
-Thomas McGuane

"When he was with the cowboys he was the sophisticated artist, while when he was with the artists he was a cowboy." -Dixon's wife, documentary photographer, Dorothea Lange

Official selection: Santa Fe Film Festival and Vallarta Film Festival

Contact: Jayne McKay
Cloud World LLC.

About Western Writers of America:
Western Writers of America, Inc., was founded in 1953 to promote the literature of the American West and bestow Spur Awards for distinguished writing in the western field. The founders were largely authors who wrote traditional western fiction, but the organization swiftly expanded to include historians and other nonfiction authors, young adult and romance writers, and writers interested in regional history. Winners of the Spur Awards in previous years include Larry McMurtry for Lonesome Dove, Michael Blake for Dances With Wolves, and Tony Hillerman for Skinwalker.

Spur Awards Schedule (During WWA Annual Conference)
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Producer/Director Jayne McKay will speak at an informal panel at 3:15pm during the WWA Conference
Spur Awards Reception at 6:30pm
Spur Awards Banquet at 7pm
The Awards Banquet tickets can be purchased on the WWA website $65.        

Location of main Spur Awards events-
Chaparral Suites Resort
5001 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
(480) 949-1414

Location of DVD and Book Signings:
Friday June 13, 2008 7-9pm
All of the Spur award winners will be signing DVD's and books, and it is open to the public.
Barnes and Noble
10500 N. 90th Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85258


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