Artists to screen “Gulf” doc

Sonjiala Hotchkiss

Just five days after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, San Diego artists Richard Keely and Anna O’Cain were in Pascagoula, Mississippi handing out tools, supplies and donations.

“We didn’t plan on making a film, but we’re both artists, and we always have cameras and equipment,” Keely said.

World Cultures will sponsor a showing of Keely and O’Cain’s film “Gulf” and a discussion with the artists March 24 from 9:40 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. in D-121 A and B.

Katie Rodda, director of the World Cultures Program, said City College fine arts professor Terri Hughes-Oelrich brought the 23-minute movie to her attention.

“It’s not your CNN or Spike Lee kind of film,” Keely said, describing “Gulf” as a neighborhood drive with cameras peering from the windows.

The film shows Pascagoula residents talking in the dark nights before electricity was restored, a boat ride out into the Gulf and the efforts to rebuild after the storm. Keely and O’Cain completed the film in a Pascagoula hotel room in summer 2010.

A Pascagoula native, O’Cain had a personal perspective on the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast. Keely and O’Cain captured footage for “Gulf” over a span of two and a half years during their visits to O’Cain’s hometown.

According to, O’Cain and Keely also worked on “a storytelling record,” an art installation and a photographic book about Hurricane Katrina.

Keely is an associate professor of art at San Diego State University and O’Cain is a studio art instructor at MiraCosta College. Collaborative artwork by O’Cain and Keely has been shown at Art Around Adams, the Spruce Street Forum, Ben Maltz Gallery and Art Produce Gallery.

For more information about the showing of “Gulf,” contact World Cultures at 619-388-3552.