Two Beloit, Wis., artists to be celebrated at Feb. 14-17 BIFF

Staff Report

BELOIT, Wis. — Two honored American artists with strong ties to Beloit College will be celebrated with films and shows of their art during the 2013 Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) Feb. 14-17.

Jay N. “Ding” Darling, a member of the Beloit College class of 1899 and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for political cartoons for the Des Moines Register and the New York Herald Tribune, is the focus of a new documentary, America’s Darling, which will receive its festival premiere at Beloit. The film will be accompanied by an exhibition of Darling’s original artwork and a showing of artifacts relating to his student years at Beloit at the Beloit College Library.

Franklin Boggs, world-famed muralist and Artist-in-Residence and professor of art at Beloit College for more than 32 years, is one of six World War II combat artists profiled in the documentary They Drew Fire. The film, first seen on public television in 2000, will be accompanied by representative pieces of Boggs’ combat paintings completed on the front lines of Pacific battle zones, on loan from the U.S. Army.

Samuel Koltinsky, director and producer of America’s Darling, will be on hand to discuss his film and the man who has been called “the best friend a duck ever had.” Darling, for whom the Jay N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is named on the West Coast of Florida, was the head of what became the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the originator of the National Duck Stamp and the architect of the national system of wildlife refuges.

Prof. Boggs, who died in 2009, painted murals that can be seen around the world and throughout Wisconsin. His use of new materials for these art works distinguished his work and won him many awards and commissions.

One of his largest murals, tracing the history of medicine in Louisiana and commissioned by Tulane University, was recently found where it had been stored and forgotten in a World War II defense bunker along the Mississippi River. It was restored and installed in the library at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The two films are part of a series of art films at this year’s BIFF. Each will be seen several times. For details, go to

From the Feb. 13-19, 2013, issue

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