About

“I’m a homeboy, I suppose. And that’s okay.”

Who am I?

I’m Robert Qualters. I’m an artist from Pittsburgh and I hope you will support a film by Joe and Elizabeth Seamans about my life and work.

What is the film about?

For most of my professional life, I have worked as an artist and educator in my home city, Pittsburgh. My paintings—exhibited in museum collections and galleries throughout the region—along with public murals, set designs, and collaborative projects with many local artists I admire form an unofficial, yet deeply personal visual chronicle of life in the Steel City.

This film is a glimpse into how I make art from my studio in Homestead. It’s also a chance to tell the story behind the art—from McKeesport to Clairton in the Monongahela Valley where I grew up to the Pittsburgh of today. With this film, I invite you to approach the canvas with me and to see Pittsburgh through my eyes.

Penn Station Rotunda, 2006, acrylic and collage on canvas, 42x48"
Penn Station Rotunda, 2006, acrylic and collage on canvas, 42x48"
McKeesport, 1969, watercolor on paper, 20x24"
McKeesport, 1969, watercolor on paper, 20x24"

Who is Making This Film?

Filmmakers, writers, producers, and directors Joe and Elizabeth Seamans are well known locally and in the wider film community.

For 25 years, Joe Seamans produced and photographed award winning PBS programming at Pittsburgh's WQED, including some of the classic "picture picture" segments for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. His long list of credits for Emmy and Peabody award winning National Geographic classics includes producer, writer, and director of photography for Great Lakes, Fragile Seas; Treasures from the Past; and co-producer and director of photography for Serengeti Diary and In the Shadow of Vesuvius. Seamans has produced many PBS programs dealing with social and environmental issues such as Road to the Future, which traces the impact of the car on the urban development of America. Most recently he co-produced, directed, and wrote The Great Robot Race for NOVA; and Car of the Future, featuring Tom and Ray Malliozzi of Car Talk on NPR.

Elizabeth Seamans is the founder of Seldom Seen Productions. Her work in film, television, and video began in 1972 when she became a scriptwriter and short filmmaker with Fred Rogers and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. You may also remember Elizabeth in the part of Mrs. McFeely on the program. Her work on Mister Rogers’ led to documentary film projects for Rogers’ two primetime series on PBS: Old Friends, New Friends and Fred Rogers’ Heroes, and the creation of Safe Havens Training Project and One on One: Connecting Cops and Kids, documentary-based training projects to help police officers and Head Start teachers respond to children exposed to violence. Conversations in Rhyme, a film in five short parts that celebrates children's first games, was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. She has also been supported by the Smithsonian Institution and the Child Witness to Violence project in Boston. Some of the Pittsburgh subjects she has profiled include sculptor Tim Kaulen and former Pittsburgh Superintendent of Schools Mark Roosevelt.

Where are we in the production process?

Principal filming will wrap soon, with some post-production already begun.

How will your contribution help?

Thanks to comprehensive and early fundraising, we have already secured the portion of the funding needed for planning, writing, principal photography, and initial postproduction. The funds we hope to raise from this Kickstarter campaign will support transcription, compositing, sound editing, color correction, design, special effects, duplication, audience development and distribution. 

Why are we making a film now? 

This film joins two other forthcoming projects: the publication of my biography, Robert Qualters: Autobiographical Mythologies by Vicky A. Clark, PhD; and a 45-year retrospective of my work, opening February 7, 2014 at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

  • For more information on all three projects and examples of my work, please visit: www.qualtersart.com

When will the film be screened?

We plan to screen the film at the opening of my exhibit at the Center for the Arts. Though the DVD will already be available for purchase, we plan to hold a more formal public screening at a Pittsburgh movie house, either in March or April 2014 either in March or April 2014. The date and location of the screening, as we learn of both, will be posted on this Kickstarter page, as well as at www.qualtersart.com and on a dedicated Facebook page. 

Rewards

In addition to the DVD of the film, we are pleased to offer a variety of one-of-a-kind rewards, such as digital outtakes from some of the works included in Robert Qualters: Autobiographical Mythologies, original prints and other art from my studio, and a limited-edition t-shirt from the featuring my 2012 work Night Bridge.

Night Bridge, 2012, mixed media on panel, 30x48
Night Bridge, 2012, mixed media on panel, 30x48
Night Bridge t-shirt (actual graphic on sample shirt)
Night Bridge t-shirt (actual graphic on sample shirt)

Some of the rewards will be available for shipment as early as January 2014; provided the campaign goal is met, all of the rewards will be fulfilled by March 2014.

“It’s the thing that I’ve done all my life. What would I do if I didn’t do that? What would I do?”

Thanks very much for your interest. I hope you'll visit this page again from time to time throughout the campaign and consider lending your support.

Risks and challenges

This Kickstarter campaign allows us to introduce the film to a wider audience and to ask for your participation in exchange for some unique rewards. Though we hope you will make a gift and play a role in the completion of the film, given our early fundraising success and the close collaboration among project organizers familiar with one another's work, we are confident the finished work will delivered by February 2014 as described.

The production team behind this film, including the filmmakers, other film crew team, and ancillary designers and project leaders, are among the most experienced and respected in the field. We are confident in their collective ability, not only to deliver the film for screening, as above, but also to ensure that the DVD will be available, initially in connection with this campaign and, after its conclusion, to the general public. We are also now, several months in advance, identifying a separate date for a formal public screening of the film. We expect to know that date and location very soon and will post both to this page and others.

Finally, provided we reach our Kickstarter goal, we are confident that we will fulfill the other rewards as described within the periods promised. As an example, the content that serves as the basis for some of the rewards is already available and will be completed in the format offered by individuals closely involved with the publication of "Robert Qualters: Autobiographical Mythologies" and the opening of the exhibit at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Personal acknowledgment for your support, signed by Robert Qualters.

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    DVD of the Robert Qualters documentary film plus signed acknowledgment.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Digital outtake from the forthcoming Robert Qualters biography "Robert Qualters: Autobiographical Mythologies" and signed acknowledgment.

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    Limited Blu-ray Disc edition of the Robert Qualters documentary film and signed acknowledgment.

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    Limited edition t-shirt featuring 2012 work "Night Bridge" and signed acknowledgment.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Limited edition t-shirt featuring 2012 work "Night Bridge," DVD of the Robert Qualters documentary film, and signed acknowledgment.

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Limited edition t-shirt featuring 2012 work "Night Bridge," Blue-Ray edition of the Robert Qualters documentary film, digital outtake from "Robert Qualters: Autobiographical Mythologies," and signed acknowledgment.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    In addition to the rewards offered at the $45 level, a 8x10 gallery-quality giclée print of Robert Qualters work included in "Robert Qualters: Autobiographical Mythologies."

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    In addition to the rewards offered at the $45 level, a 15x18 gallery-quality giclée print of Robert Qualters work included in "Robert Qualters: Autobiographical Mythologies."

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    In addition to the rewards offered at the $45 level, a 20x24 gallery-quality giclée print of Robert Qualters work included in "Robert Qualters: Autobiographical Mythologies."

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    In addition to the rewards offered at the $45 level, an original signed and numbered screen print, etching, or lithograph from the studio of Robert Qualters (artist's choice).

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    In addition to the rewards offered at the $45 level, an original Robert Qualters painting (artist's choice).

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    In addition to the rewards offered at the $600 level, as well as a DVD and signed acknowledgment, add your name to the list of supporters appearing in the film credits.

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Funding period

- (30 days)