Through A Glass, Lightly

This award-winning documentary profiles three “outsider artists” from Chicago.  Each is a seeker – and discoverer – of hidden possibilities.

Through a Glass, Lightly follows Mr. Imagination, David Philpot, and Kevin Orth as they search Chicago’s streets and alleys for the raw materials of their work. In weeds and bottle caps, rusted metal and broken glass, things thrown away and places abandoned, lies the stuff of art. Possibilities abound if only we will only look.

We see how the artists transform unwanted, discarded objects into color, form, texture; images and ideas; craft and art. The artists reveal how they have transformed themselves into artists, and how African and other cultures have shaped their vision. And so, though ostensibly about outsider artists, Through a Glass, Lightly addresses broader themes: multiculturalism, the impact on environment, inner city life, and the creative process and self-esteem. The artists talk of seeing differently, appreciating the world around us, and having relations with people and the environment that are “more careful and loving and sacred.”

“This wonderful video will stimulate anyone’s imagination… this video addresses broader themes of inner-city life, multiculturalism and finding one self in creative work. A perfect video for high school students and adults.”

-Susan Owe, 

Library Journal

“…appropriate viewing for all age and audience levels, in both academic and public libraries. … the program goes beyond the obvious one of art, to include environmental, urban, and multicultural studies.”

-Rue Herbert,

MC Journal

“The video is one of the best productions of its kind…”

-Art Muscle Magazine