Connecting people with ‘Lines’

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A. Sue Weisler

Film production student Ryan Meadows made a movie about people making a single contribution to a piece of art.

An RIT student produced a film about a piece of art created by almost 3,000 people, and in the process, he connected a community. Ryan Meadows, who recently completed his second year as a film production major, calls the project “Lines.”

Meadows and his student crew traveled to various locations in Rochester and Syracuse, N.Y., with 100 canvases to collect 30 lines on each canvas. Each line was painted by a volunteer, and the project was open to the public. Participants picked a paint color and drew their line however they chose. The line was finished when the brush was lifted from the canvas.

Meadows created the project as an experimental film for his production workshop class. He produced the final short film, which shows how each line was drawn and also includes photographs of nearly all the 3,000 people involved.

The concept for “Lines” came to Meadows, who specializes in sound production, after toying with the idea of leaving an unattended easel in a public space and filming the results.

“I wanted to stray away from focusing on sound and do something that wasn’t the norm,” he says. “I started thinking about putting an easel in a park with paint next to it, but I realized I’d probably end up without an easel, so I started thinking of ways to have a lot of people each make one small contribution to a piece of art.”

His video was well received at the RIT School of Film and Animation’s end-of- quarter screenings in May.

Meadows also plans to enter “Lines” into several film festivals, and he is looking for galleries and charities to donate some of the painted canvases to.

“Each line reflects the personality of the person who drew it, so you have all those people’s personalities together, contributing to a single work of art,” he says. “It connects everyone involved.”

To watch “Lines,” go to