Film screening has been postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. We will be rescheduling for another date and will update our site accordingly.
Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts is a feature documentary film exploring the life of a unique American artist, a man with a remarkable and unlikely biography. Bill Traylor was born into slavery in 1853 on a cotton plantation in rural Alabama. Using historical and cultural context, the film brings the spirit and mystery of Traylor’s incomparable art to life. After the Civil War, Traylor continued to farm the land until the late 1920s. Aging and alone, he moved to Montgomery and worked odd jobs in the thriving segregated black neighborhood. A decade later, in his late 80s, Traylor became homeless and started to draw and paint, both memories from plantation days and scenes of a radically changing urban culture. Traylor devised his own visual language to record the stories of his life, translating an oral culture into something original, powerful, and culturally rooted. He made over a thousand drawings and paintings between 1939–1942. Traylor witnessed profound social and political change during his life spanning slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, and the Great Migration. Tap dance, evocative period music, and spoken word are used in dramatic and surprising ways in the film, balanced with archival photographs and footage, insightful perspectives from Traylor family members, and Traylor’s striking drawings and paintings, to reveal one of America’s most prominent artists to a wide audience.
Run time: 75 minutes
Appropriate for ages 13 and up. All patrons entering the theater require a ticket regardless of age. This includes children and infants. SMDCAC subscribers enjoy complimentary admission. Contact the SMDCAC Box Office for details.
It is the policy of Miami-Dade County to comply with all of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request materials in accessible format, and/or any accommodation to attend an event at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, please contact Stephanie Aponte, 786-573-5314, email@example.com, at least five days in advance to initiate your request, TTY users may also call 711 (Florida Relay Service).