KET Arts


The Producer

Guy Mendes

Guy Mendes has written, produced and directed a wide variety of programs during his 30 years at KET. Mendes produced Poof! and The Ryan Interview for American Shorts and produced and directed the companion documentaries for both. His recent programs include two documentaries, Passage to Freedom - Kentucky's Underground Railroad and Ellis Wilson - So Much to Paint (2000) a portrait of African-American painter Ellis Wilson, a Kentucky native who became part of the Harlem Renaissance, as well as a series exploring the creative process of 14 Kentucky painters, Looking at Painting (2001).

Mendes produced the Signature series on contemporary Southern writers, which includes documentaries on Marsha Norman, Bobbie Ann Mason, Ed McClanahan, and Lee Smith. The Signature program on playwright-director George C. Wolfe won the National Educational Telecommunications Association's "Best Program" award for 1997, and the one on Barbara Kingsolver, which he also directed, won NETA's "Best Documentary" award the following year. Both programs won regional Emmys, and both aired in national prime time on PBS.

Mendes wrote and co-produced Mountain Born, a documentary on the Appalachian folksinger Jean Ritchie that aired on the national prime time schedule in 1997. He directed and produced World of Our Own: Kentucky Folkways, a documentary series on traditional crafts and folk practices funded by the Lila Wallace - Reader's Digest Community Folklife Program. A native of New Orleans, Mendes studied writing under Wendell Berry and photography with Ralph Eugene Meatyard. He is the author of two books on photography, Local Light and Light At Hand.