David Winton Bell Gallery

Past Events

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Falling from the Sky 天降 (2009)
Directed by Zhang Zanbo 张赞波
124 min. Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles.


On the occasion of Jin Shan's exhibition My dad is Li Gang! 我爸是李刚!, the David Winton Bell Gallery will host a special screening of Chinese documentary filmmaker Zhang Zanbo's "Falling from the Sky" (2009). The screening will be introduced by Prof. Joshua Neves of Brown University's Department of Modern Culture and Media and followed by a question and answer session with Prof. Neves and gallery curator Ian Alden Russell.
Film Synopsis
Little-known Suining county lies directly in the path of falling debris from the Xichang Satellite Launching Base, one of three satellite launching bases in China. Ten times in the last 20 years, the county has been visited by dangerous “aliens from the skies”: falling satellite debris that smashes into the tranquil lives of the 160,000 impoverished local inhabitants. In China, 2008 was both “the year of the Olympics” and “the year of space exploration.” While the people of Suining, like their fellow countrymen and women, eagerly awaited the Olympic Games, their pride about Chinese development, particularly in terms of space exploration, was tempered by the fact that they had to endure falling wreckage from constant satellite launches.


Director's Statement
The film Falling From the Sky aims to represent the life under the strong will of nation in a magical and realistic area of Suining and wishes to raise awareness to our homeland and subsistence with the concern of individual life under the will of the nation. The title Falling from the Sky not only refers to the debris; it is an allusion to fate, something befalling of these people. Moreover, its meaning can be extended to point to a kind of heavenly destiny looming over their heads, hinting not only to the physical sky, but also the ancient Chinese concept of the “mandate of heaven”, the will of the nation. Thus, the expression of the film about remote Suining is somehow much closer to a real China rather than the splendid Olympics and Shenzhou 7 spaceship in 2008.

About Zhang Zanbo 
Independent documentary filmmaker Zhang Zanbo was born in the 1970s, and earned his master’s degree in film directing from the Beijing Film Academy in 2005. His films have been screened at many international film festivals in China and abroad.

  • Falling From the Sky (2009)
  • A Song of Love, Maybe (2010)
  • The Interceptor from My Hometown(2011)
  • My grandfather's address in Taipei (2010)
  • Red White and Blue(2011)
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Sex(2011)
  • Disappear in the green grass, dried grass and duckweed(2011)
  • Righteous Flame(2011)
Location List Art Center Auditorium
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Location List Art Center Lobby
Friday, September 7, 2012

Jin Shan and curator Ian Alden Russell will discuss the artist's work
at 5:30 pm

Reception to follow

Location List Art Center Auditorium
Friday, June 8, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012

Whether he's singing about catfish, pontificating on possums, extolling the virtues of dandelions, pondering the “nature” in human nature, telling wild snake tales or wailing out a jivey harmonica tune, storyteller Doug Elliott, is known for his lively presentations as well as his broad, practical, scientific, and cultural knowledge of how to get along in the natural world.

Doug Elliott is a naturalist, herbalist, storyteller, basket maker, back-country guide, philosopher, and harmonica wizard. He has performed at festivals, museums and schools from Canada to the Caribbean. He has been a featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, TN. and has conducted workshops and programs at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and the Smithsonian Institution. Doug has trained rangers for the National Park Service and guided people on wilderness experiences from Down-east Maine to the Florida Everglades. He was named harmonica champion at Fiddler's Grove Festival in Union Grove, N.C.

Doug regularly writes articles for regional and national magazines. He has authored five books, produced a number of award-winning recordings of stories and songs, and is occasionally seen on PBS-TV and the History Channel.

Location List Art Center Auditorium
Monday, April 9, 2012

On the occasion of the exhibition Lucas Foglia: A Natural Order, MacArthur "Genius Grant" recipient, community activist, and internationally renowned authority on urban agriculture Will Allen will speak about his revolutionary work with Growing Power Inc. and his thoughts about a Good Food Revolution.

Will Allen, son of a sharecropper, former professional basketball player, ex-corporate sales leader, and longtime farmer, has become recognized as among the preeminent thinkers of our time on agriculture and food policy. The founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc., a farm and  community food center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Allen is widely considered the leading authority in the expanding field of urban agriculture. At Growing Power and in community food projects across the nation and around the world, Allen promotes the belief that all people, regardless of their economic circumstances, should have access to fresh, safe, affordable and nutritious foods at all times. Using methods he has developed over a lifetime, Allen trains community members to become community farmers, assuring them a secure source of good food without regard to political or economic forces. In 2008 Mr. Allen received the prestigous MacArthur "Genius grant" for his efforts to promote urban sustainable food systems. Later, in 2010 Mr. Allen joined First Lady Michelle Obama as she launched the White House’s “Let’s Move” campaign to address issues affecting American youth and the risk of obesity and later that year was also recognized as one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. Since then, Mr. Allen has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the James Beard Award in 2011 and the NCAA Theodore Roosevelt Award in 2012.

Growing Power was started in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1993 by Will Allen. It is a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities. Growing Power implements this mission by providing hands-on training, on-the-ground demonstration, outreach and technical assistance through the development of Community Food Systems that help people grow, process, market and distribute food in a sustainable manner.

This event is made possible by funding from the David Winton Bell Gallery, the Arts Initiative courtesy of the Creative Arts Council, the Visual Art Department, the Center for Environmental Studies, the Department of History, the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage and course development funding courtesy of Prof. Kathryn DeMaster.


Location Martinos Auditorium, Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, 154 Angell St.
Thursday, April 5, 2012

Forrest Gander
The Adele Kellenberg Seaver Professor of Literary Arts and Comparative Literature
Moving Around for the Light, A Madrigal, a response to Folgia's A Natural Order

Artist lecture by Lucas Foglia

Location List Art Center Auditorium
Friday, March 2, 2012
Location Lobby
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Location List Art Center Auditorium
Friday, January 27, 2012
Location List Art Center Lobby
Friday, November 18, 2011

Dominico Quaranta
on "Media, New Media, Postmedia"

Conversation with exhibition artists Meridith Pingree,
Jasper Rigole, Jonathan Schipper, and Gregory Witt

Reception to follow

Location List Art Center Auditorium and Lobby
Friday, September 9, 2011

Nathanial Robert Walker
Guest Curator on Industria, Here and Now

Location List Art Center Auditorium and Lobby