James Hubbell: Between Heaven and Earth

Friday, November 15th, 2019

I’m happy to report that I was able to play a small part as an executive producer in the production of a new documentary: James Hubbell: Between Heaven and Earth.


First, a note about James. No, he’s not connected to the telescope!


He is an internationally acclaimed southern California artist known for producing spectacularly original art in many mediums.


Director Marianne Gerdes writes about him this way: Inspired by nature and filled with humanity, at age 87, his is a quiet, yet compelling voice of an artist who shows us that power has nothing to do with how old you are, or how big you are, or how strong you are, that creativity transcends everything.


The film has been shown so far in two festivals (including New York Architectural and Design Film Festival) and won for Director Marianne Gerdes the Mary Pickford Award at the Coronado Island Film Festival. It has also aired on San Diego’s KPBS, and there is talk of plans to air it across the PBS network.  I’ll keep you updated!


Their mountain art/workshop/home compound is now a non-profit and is open to the public every Father’s Day. It’s called Ilan-Lael, which is Hebrew for “A Tree from God”. To find out more about his art, their home and the foundation, here is the link: ilanlaelfoundation.org


On a side note: Fred and I are blessed to know James and his wife, Anne, personally. In some ways, James is the unstoppable Zen master of how to do art at any age, no matter what intervenes. Some of the footage in the film (shot by Michael Gerdes, the film’s cinemaphotographer), is heart-stopping footage taken after the Cedar Fire ripped through the Hubbell’s compound in 2003, destroying many of his hand-crafted buildings and almost half of his produced art. Anne and James on-the-spot reframing the experience into one of gratitude is one of those transcendent moments everyone needs to see.


I’m so happy I have, and I hope you get to, as well.

Learn more about James Hubbell in this wonderful piece:

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