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AETN’s ‘Clean Lines, Open Spaces’ wins three Emmys

Posted 13 Nov 2012

CONWAY, Ark. (AETN) — “Clean Lines, Open Spaces: A View of Mid-Century Modern Architecture,” a production of the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN), received three Emmys in the 2012 annual awards competition of the Mid-America Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS).

“There is no greater sense of satisfaction than being recognized by one’s talented peers in this industry, especially those who vote in the regional Emmy Awards competition,” AETN Director of Production Carole Adornetto said.

“Clean Lines, Open Spaces,” a documentary by AETN Senior Producer Mark Wilcken, explores mid-century modern architecture through a regional lens of the American south. The film details how international influences helped shape the built environment of Arkansas after World War II.

The one-hour film was recognized with an award for Best Cultural Documentary, and Wilcken received individual awards for Best Writing and Best Editing.

“It’s always nice to have your work recognized,” Wilcken said. “I love these old mid-century modern buildings, and I’m glad I had a chance to explain what they are, where they came from and why they are important.”

“Clean Lines, Open Spaces” focuses on a design aesthetic from the mid-20th century that broke from past traditions of building and employed modern materials, such as concrete, steel and glass. The simple, unornamented – yet futuristic – designs represented a new way of living that helped define post-war America. The documentary looks at many examples around the state, from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville’s Fine Arts Center, designed by Arkansas native and internationally known architect Edward Durell Stone, to the Tower Building in Little Rock, the Fulbright Library in Fayetteville that reflects the aesthetics of the Chicago architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, and the abandoned Hotel Mountainaire of Hot Springs.

“Mark Wilcken and AETN are to be congratulated for creating a documentary that argues persuasively for the preservation of this often misunderstood and unappreciated mode of design,” Ethel Goodstein-Murphree, professor and associate dean, Fay Jones School of Architecture, University of Arkansas, said.

“These wonderful awards underscore how well, and beautifully, he made the case: mid-century modern matters; it is a real part of the Arkansas cultural landscape and, by extension, a part of us all.”

“Clean Lines, Open Spaces,” will air Monday, Oct. 1, at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 13, at noon on AETN Plus (AETN-3). The film, as well as behind-the-scenes clips, additional photos, downloadable information for educators and other materials, may also be viewed online at

“Clean Lines, Open Spaces” was funded by the Arkansas Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Arkansas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The NATAS Mid-America chapter, which includes television markets primarily in Arkansas, Illinois and Missouri, was chartered in 1962 and began honoring outstanding achievement in this region with local Emmy awards in 1976. The organization’s mission is to encourage excellence in the television community.