During the Writers Strike one artist, Lois Keller, saw the opportunity to document a historic moment with plein air painting. Joining forces with the strikers on the lines, Lois became part of the strike. She set up her easel and spent her days witnessing and documenting the individual stories and shared experiences of the writers and their allies. Lois’ method has produced real-time paintings that are full of movement and energy, against the backdrop of the guarded gates of Hollywood Studios like Netflix, Paramount and Disney.
The impact of Lois's work extended beyond the canvas. "Off the Walls Gallery," a IATSE union member gallery and Lois partnered to turn the art into fuel for the strikers. Off the Walls Gallery rents art for productions and was greatly affected by the strike. Through their partnership, Off the Wall Gallery and Lois are offering the original paintings and prints, with 50% of the proceeds going to The Entertainment Community Fund.
The response has been overwhelming, with orders from all over the country. One message from a supporter read, "Lois— I was a captain at this gate and am so grateful for your work. I bought this print with my first-ever residual check. Thank you so much for capturing such an important moment in my life. It means the world."
The story of Lois's plein air painting and its resonance with people affected by the Writers Strike encapsulates a strike which will be noted as historical time Hollywood and for the labor movement. As an industry confronts what it means to live in a digital age of streaming and digital creation, Lois chose a method that was designed to freeze a fleeting landscape. After 148 days, Lois’ brushstrokes confront the reality of what it means to create art in the digital age.