The new AMC series “Halt and Catch Fire,” about the dawn of the 1980s personal computer revolution, launches at 10 p.m. Sunday. Lisa Frank will be watching closely, but not necessarily at what lead cast members Lee Pace’s and Scoot McNairy’s characters are up to.
She’ll be looking over their shoulders.
Set designers working on the show bought several pieces of art created by Frank’s mother, Shirlee Frank, who died in 2008.
“When I heard it was the same channel as ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Mad Men,’ I thought, this could really be fun,” Lisa Frank said. “It’s fun she’s being discovered and appreciated.”
Shirlee Frank moved from Los Angeles to Atlanta in 2006 to be near her daughter, who has a history in art museum public relations. Unfortunately, cancer claimed her two years later. Shortly before her mother passed away, Lisa Frank arranged a show at a local gallery. Scores of pieces sold and she’s been selling pieces ever since.
“I had no idea it would have such appeal,” she said. An art buyer working on “Halt and Catch Fire” happened to see a piece someone had bought.
“I’m looking for this era. Are there more?” the buyer asked.
Are there ever.
“She was a prolific artist for about 30 years,” Lisa Frank said. “Right after my sister and I graduated high school, she took up art. She did the work personally. She tried to be in galleries here and there but really did it for herself, for her own creativity.”
Her mother’s works, which you can view online at www.shirleefrank.com, include watercolors, acrylic paintings, ceramic pieces and prints. Her vast repertoire ranges from bold geometric abstracts to landscapes and portraits to detailed figurines.
“She was very influenced by Picasso, Chagall, Modigliani,” Lisa Frank said. “We grew up going to galleries and museums all our lives. We were raised in Los Angeles. It’s sort of ironic that she moved to Atlanta and now the movie industry has come to Atlanta.”
The show is set in Texas but filmed locally. Look for local spots such as Georgia’s Gold Dome, the Plaza Theatre, Northside Tavern and Chops Lobster Bar and period accents like big hair, shoulder pads and video arcade games.
Lisa Frank will be looking for her mom’s work.
“I’m hoping for a closeup,” she said.