Coffee Shop Culture and Art Documentary to be Filmed Cross-Country
How the Idea Came About
When Kyle Maier and Eric Stahl became friends at The Ragged Edge, a local coffee house, art gallery, and eatery, they had no idea that they would end up filming a documentary on coffee shops.
"Our goal is to make enough money selling our paintings to take a road trip across the country to make a documentary on coffee shops like this one," Filmmaker Maier said of The Ragged Edge, located in downtown Gettysburg, Pa.
Maier, originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, lived next-door to the coffee house. He, along with his girlfriend, Aimie, thought it would be a great idea to document the phenomena of massive communication that occurs at local coffee shops.
"It's a meeting point for so many cultural sects," explained Maier. "And this seems to be one of those places where everybody meets, and comes together. So, it really opens up the line of communication."
Both Maier and Stahl had seen the evolution of The Ragged Edge over the past decade. They also had the misfortune of witnessing two fires in six years. The first time an adjacent apartment building caught fire. Some of the artwork being displayed in the coffee house sustained smoke damage. A few years later, arsonists set fire to a Civil War chapel that was built on a vacant lot next to the coffee house.
Maier and Stahl both admit the notion of filming a documentary about coffee house culture in America has been totally experimental.
"I'm super excited about the movie," Stahl said.
Setting Up Garage Studios
Maier, 24, graduated from the University of New Mexico Film School last summer with a degree in Media Arts. On the other hand, Stahl, 23, originally from Taylor, Texas, had no formal schooling in the arts, but has been painting since he was 18 years.
"It was so hard to get into art galleries because I had no formal training," Stahl explained.
Stahl knew a man in Chambersburg, Pa., who owned a parking garage. So, he offered to clean out the garage in exchange for a place to host his art shows. Stahl said it was just a matter of getting his name out there as an artist. Before long, the idea took off.
"We would just go into a parking garage or warehouse, and just go clean crazy on it to fix it up nicely," Stahl explained.
He also inquired about another parking garage in close proximity to The Ragged Edge. Stahl and his friend Chris Lauer of Gettysburg, Pa., offered to paint a mural on the outside of the garage in exchange for the use of the building. Lauer is also an aritst/painter. After completing the mural, they hosted an art show in the parking garage, which meant no place for people to park!
"So, the cars in the 7-11 parking lot were full of parking tickets," Stahl said grinning.
Helping Other Artists Along the Way
One of the artists main goals is to make an open forum for people of any age to partake in art. Stahl said there are people who want to do art, but don't have the means to do it, or the knowledge.
"I'm trying to produce artists," Stahl said. "I'm trying to take people who want to do art, and allow them to do it."
Stahl said they have even given art supplies away. He noted that paint and supplies aren't expensive. It is just a matter of finding someone who wants to just hang out and do art.
Maier's technique involves the use of spray paint and stencils, which he cuts out himself.
Stahl's style involves freehand. He starts with a blank canvas, and goes from there. Stahl also incorporates spray painting and paint pouring techniques together with acrylics. Lately, both Stahl and Maier have been combining their techniques.
Art for Sale
So, just what do their paintings sell for? At shows, they get anywhere from $200 to $700 per painting. But right now, they are offering them at a reduced cost for $50 to $100. The artists said the sale of their street art will act as a fundraiser for their cross-country trip.
"We've even given some of our paintings away for free," Stahl said, noting that they are non-profit.
No Bad Artists
Stahl said so many people are afraid to let others see their work because they think they are bad artists. He said they paint in private, and hide out in "the closet."
"But there is no bad art. There is just room for technical advancement," he added.
Both Maier and Stahl do the paint pouring technique jointly. This technique involves mixing different amounts of water with acrylic paint. Some are thinner. Some are thicker. Then they are poured over top of the canvas.
"It has a mind of its own. You have to babysit it," Stahl explained.
And They're Off!
At the time of this writing, the two artisans were packing up their belongings and getting ready to head out cross-country. Where they land, nobody knows. But one thing is for sure . . . This won't be the last we hear of these two ambitious individuals!
"It has been a scary, awesome, fun, ride!" said Maier of the journey.
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To purchase art or to contact Kyle Maier email: email@example.com
For more information on The Ragged Edge coffee house, call (717) 334-4464
For more interesting videos on People of RECH (Ragged Edge Coffee House), click HERE