Monthly Archives: August 2011

Chuck Jones at the Port of Portland

Beginning September 19th, a new Chuck Jones exhibit based on his drawings for his 1996 book, "Chuck Reducks–Drawing from the Fun Side of Life" will be featured along Concourse A at the Portland, Oregon airport.  If you're traveling through Portland then (particularly on Alaska or Horizon airlines) make sure you check out this original artwork, much of it never-before-seen, from the hand of Chuck Jones.  The exhibit will close at the end of March 2012.  

The exhibit focuses on drawings that Jones created to illustrate how he drew the characters that we've all come to know and love, including, Sam Sheepdog, Porky Pig, Marvin Martian, Bugs Bunny and others.  The works below are a sample of the original artwork that will be on display.

STYLE GUIDE -3 BEARS-16 copy

STYLE GUIDE -DAFFY-15 copy

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Agile Acrobats, Circus Strongmen and Artful Artifacts

You'll forgive us for that bit of alliteration, won't you?  It's hard not to be inspired when you see some of the outstanding drawings and fascinating news-clippings that preparing for the Chuck Jones Experience in Las Vegas has brought to our attention (and by default to yours).  

For instance, this drawing by Chuck Jones of a winsome, pony-tailed acrobat and a big, beer-bellied (of course, that is only our opinion about the beer belly, it could just as well be because to balance those guns and massive forearms one must have a counter-weight and Chuck thought a belly would do so perfectly) circus strongman is a perfect example of some of the art you'll be seeing at the Chuck Jones Experience when it opens in late September/early October at Circus Circus in Las Vegas.  

Acrobats copy

There'll also be several display cases filled with the ephemera a life such as Chuck Jones's accumulates.  Telegrams (who remembers those?), letters, photographs and news clipping such as this February 1958 review of an exhibit of Chuck Jones's life drawings at the Cowie Gallery in the Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles.  

Cowie gallery press coverage for CJexhib feb 1958 cropped for blog

Dr. Seuss AKA Stroogo Von M.

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Green Cat with Lights by Dr. Seuss

In his early career as a magazine humorist and advertising-copy artist, the nom de plume underwent a number of per­mutations—Theo Seuss 2nd, Dr. Theo­phrastus Seuss, and the cumbersome Dr. Theodophilus Seuss, Ph.D, I.Q., H2SO4. Geisel started to recede, even as Seuss enlarged. When a children’s book titled And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street by “Dr. Seuss” appeared in 1937, the future was set.  Four “fame-producing” decades later and Ted’s painting, Green Cat with Lights, has been completed and mysteriously signed, “Stroogo Von M.” But why? 

Audrey Geisel says “ Ted liked to hang that artwork in the entryway of Seuss House. When people would come in, they would invariably ask about the painting. Ted would answer, ‘That’s my Stroogo Von M. How do you like it?’ In return, what he would get from friends was an honest opinion without them knowing it was his painting.” 

 

Ted’s “tongue in cheek” humor may have prompted him to positively recycle the name “Stroogo.” Stroogo first appeared as the henchman who would walk up and down walls in Ted’s short-lived 1935 comic strip “Hejji.” He resurfaced as Dr. T’s henchman in the 1953 movie, The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T., a project Ted had high hopes for, but which soured him on moviemaking for the rest of his life.

Green Cat with Lights falls into the category of Ted’s “Big Cats” along with Joseph Katz, Indistinct Cat, Cat from the Wrong Side of the Tracks, Alley Cat for a Very Long Alley, and Wisdom of the Orient Cat. These are some of the most sought-after and cherished artworks of the entire collection.

Green Cat with Lights is a fine art edition measuring 34" x 24" unframed.  Call your Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant for more details and to add this beautiful new edition from the most iconic of American children's authors and illustrators to your collection.  

Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego: 888-294-9880

Chuck Jones Gallery–Santa Fe: 800-290-5999

Chuck Jones Gallery–Tustin: 800-959-7175

This artwork may also be ordered online at ChuckJonesGallery.com.  

CIRCUS CIRCUS LAS VEGAS GETS ANIMATED THIS OCTOBER WITH THE OPENING OF “THE CHUCK JONES EXPERIENCE”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                MEDIA CONTACT:  Kim Sudhalter, Urban Legend PR, 213-369-6062 or kim@urbanlegendpr.com

 HOLLYWOOD, CA, August 22, 2011 – The legacy and creativity of Chuck Jones, one of animation’s pioneering director-producers, will be brought to life with the opening of The Chuck Jones Experience, an interactive exhibit at Circus Circus Las Vegas designed to “Educate, Inspire & Entertain” people of all ages. The attraction will celebrate its grand opening in mid-October with a press conference featuring some of animation’s brightest stars.

A four-time Academy Award-recipient, Jones created some of today’s most beloved and enduring animated characters including Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner and Pepé le Pew among many others.  In 1999, with the establishment of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, Chuck Jones envisioned a time when people of all ages could explore their creativity…when all ideas would be welcome, when inspiration would be nurtured without prejudice, and creativity would blossom and grow. The Chuck Jones Experience, utilizing the art, writings and films of Jones, will nurture that spirit of creativity in an environment that is playful, lively, inspirational and educational. The project is being developed by Jones’ grandson, Craig Kausen, Jones’ daughter, Linda Jones Clough, and a group of Chuck Jones fans who have believed in and supported its creation for years.

“My grandfather said that if you provide the right materials and an environment of love, creative magic will come out of young people,” said Kausen. “The Chuck Jones Experience will provide kids, and animation fans of all ages, with an extraordinary place to not only learn about the art of animation, but to discover the creativity and magic that’s inside us all. We are thrilled to kick off Chuck’s Centennial year with the opening of this exciting new venture.”

The Chuck Jones Experience is a nearly 10,000 square-foot destination. At its entrance is the 1,000 square-foot glass-enclosed Chuck Jones Center for Creativity class room where creative art projects will be encouraged and guided by teachers from the field of animation and the arts. Heading inside, your first stop is the Chuck Jones Theatre, designed to simulate a 1930s-style movie theater. There, you’ll meet Chuck Jones via a short film, introduced by one of his characters, the Connecticut Cat.

Moving on, you’ll walk down a virtual street surrounded by many of Jones’ most memorable characters and a timeline of his extraordinary life. Next, you’ll arrive at a re-creation of Jones’ studio, where you’ll see how he worked, and discover what inspired him to create his beloved characters. From there, you‘ll enter the “How Do You Measure Up?” room where 3-D characters are on display.  You’ll learn more about how characters are developed and experience some of the original key drawings Jones drew during the creation of these characters.

Continuing along, you can view some of Jones’ fine art work from various periods in his life and see classic photos of him, his fellow animators and his family. This leads into “Animation Alley,” a multimedia wall where animation pieces are on display from the permanent collection of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and from other animation studios and collections.

Finally, you’ll arrive at the Acme Workshop, where you can create your own sound effects and voiceovers for a Chuck Jones cartoon at the Chuck Jones Experience Foley Stage. You can commemorate your experience forever at the Chuck Jones Experience Gift Shop with a variety of creative gifts and souvenirs.

“My father knew that creativity was the key to any innovation and breakthrough and therefore it must be encouraged and supported in order for society to succeed,” added Jones Clough. “It has been our family’s dream to develop locations where creativity could flourish. We established the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Orange County, CA, as a first step in bringing this vision to life. The opening of The Chuck Jones Experience represents a delightful next step in making creativity accessible to everyone, whether they’re visiting Las Vegas, or living nearby.”

“We are pleased to be joining forces with such a great partner as Circus Circus to make this project a reality,” continued Kausen. “Creative inspiration can be achieved in a very short time and being on vacation is a perfect time to tap into it.  Circus Circus is well known for the fun and wonderment it inspires in guests, and it’s a crossroads for travelers from around the world. These qualities make it a great location for The Chuck Jones Experience.”

The Chuck Jones Experience is an exciting addition to our assortment of family-friendly entertainment offerings at Circus Circus and we are honored to become home to such a fascinating interactive attraction,” said Don Thrasher, president and chief operating officer of Circus Circus. “This experience is unlike anything else in Las Vegas and it is certain to create hours of fun and enlightenment for guests of all ages.”

"Speaking on behalf of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, I am very excited that the programs which have been so successful here will be accessible by a much broader group of people at The Chuck Jones Experience,” said Tracy Tanner, president of the Chuck Jones Council for Creativity.

About Chuck Jones:

Chuck Jones created the legendary Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts for Warner Bros. Tom & Jerry cartoons and the TV version of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas for MGM, along with many other well-known classics such as The Phantom Tollbooth, George Selden’s The Cricket in Times Square, Rudyard Kipling’s Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and The White Seal.

About Circus Circus Las Vegas

The hallmark of the 3,767-room Circus Circus Las Vegas lies under the legendary Big Top, where celebrated circus acts perform on the Midway Stage as part of the world's largest permanent circus.  The Adventuredome, America’s largest indoor theme park, offers five acres of climate-controlled fun for all ages.  Guests of Circus Circus may dine in a variety of restaurants including THE Steak House, rated the best steakhouse by Zagat and recognized a record 20 times in Las Vegas Review-Journal’s “Best of Las Vegas” awards, and Rock & Rita’s, where flair bartenders and live music enliven the scene.  Circus Circus also offers a casino, wedding chapel, meeting and convention space and a 30-acre RV park.  Circus Circus is a wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International™ (NYSE: MGM).  For more information and reservations, visit www.circuscircus.com or call toll free at (800) 634-3450 or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

And the Winner Is…

At the Chuck Jones Experience (coming to Circus Circus–Las Vegas in October) there's going to be an entire display case devoted to all things Oscar® and Chuck Jones.  There'll be all sorts of memorabilia, including congratulatory telegrams, letters and official Academay Award nominations.  One letter that caught our eye (and interest) was this one from Walt Disney.  He's responding to a letter from Chuck Jones (which we hope to find) and he has some interesting things to say:  

  OSCAR LETTER DISNEY 3-29-1950 5 x 7 300 dpi
 

Newly Discovered Photographs of Chuck Jones

As we prepare for the opening of the Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus in Las Vegas, we've been going through the archive and have recently discovered some really wonderful photographs of Chuck Jones that haven't been published before and we thought it would be fun to share them with you.

   PAINTING AREA HOME STUDIO (Large) copy

A corner of Chuck's home studio, circa 1980s.  Please note that creativity does not take a holiday.

Untitled-25 (Large) copy
Chuck Jones holds a leopard cub at the San Diego Zoo, circa 1960s.  He loved going to the zoo with his sketch book and would oftentimes get a "back of the zoo" tour to get up close and personal with the animals.  

CJ TOWER 12 2 (Large) copy
Publicity photo of Chuck Jones at Tower 12 in Hollywood, circa 1960s.  This is the office with the sign on the front door that read: Chuck Jones Productions, We Make Fine Acmes.

Cornelius ‘Corny’ Cole (1930–2011)

We mourn the passing of animator, production designer, and art instructor, Cornelius 'Corny' Cole. Seen below with Linda Jones Clough (Chuck Jones's daughter) at Blink Digital's Bob Kurtz exhibition reception in September of 2006, Corny had worked with the Chuck Jones unit at Warner Bros. in the early 1960s and was production designer on the Jones written and produced "Gay Purr-ee".  A graduate of Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts), Cole was known as an expert draftsman and later become one of the great instructors of life drawing at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia.  During his 5 decade-plus career he worked with most of the major animation studios.  A full obituary is available at the Los Angeles Times.  

Linda Jones Cornelius Cole (Large)

Cole animated the short sequence "Rape of the Sabine Women" for the Kurtz + Friends Emmy Award-winning PBS television special, "Roman City" (1994) by drawing with a ballpoint pen directly onto the acetate sheets (shown below) in one sitting.  

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How to Draw Bugs Bunny: The Results

Okay, we didn't set a Guinness World Record for the largest art class held in one venue at the Chuck Jones Big Draw like we hoped to, but and it's big but (!), we did set a record for the largest Chuck Jones art lesson taught in one venue!  Along with Chuck Jones on video, the Center's very own teaching artist, Christopher Scardino, led a class of 122 artists, students, and adults, teaching them how to draw the iconic Warner Bros. character, Bugs Bunny.  After the class, participants were encouraged to take their new found talent and draw on the walls of the venue.  The results were so wonderful, so delightful, so well-done, that we just had to share.  As Chris said, "you are drawing your Bugs Bunny, it may not look exactly like Chuck's Bugs Bunny, but it is yours." 

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Linda Jones Clough, Chuck's daughter, led the charge to the walls and had quickly sketched out several Bugs Bunny images.  (photo courtesy Stephen Russo)

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Muralist, actor, renaissance man, all words that describe the talented James (Jimmy) C. Mulligan.  (photo courtesy Stephen Russo)

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Volunteer Tommy Martinez, graphic designer and artist, quickly sketched out an awesome looking Bugs Bunny!  Love that bent ear, so characteristic of Chuck's assertion that character dictates expression.

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Even the littlest among us had something to say about Bugs Bunny and expressed themselves visually with the same care and concentration you'd expect from a professional.  It was fantastic to watch!

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And just before you left the venue, artist Anna Panover's interpretation of Bugs Bunny reminded you what season it really was.  

You Give Us Joy

The Chuck Jones Big Draw was completely and utterly amazing.  If you were there you'll know what I mean, if you weren't, let me share this note, anonymously written on a carrot that I found last night as we were cleaning up after a full day of creativity workshops:

You Give Us Joy
[It reads: "Dear Chuck~ Thank you for touching our lives with your creative genius.  You have given us the ability to laugh at ourselves through the antics of your wonderful characters.  You give us joy.  Love from an admiring & grateful fan.!!"

You give us joy.  There was enough joy yesterday at the Chuck Jones Big Draw to go around the world at least once, if not 100 times.  When you're allowed to let your creativity shine through in a nurturing, non-judgemental environment, it is absolutely amazing what you will produce.  

Sunny Dolberg
You give us joy.  Artist Sunny Dolberg shares her reverse transference process with a budding Picasso.  One of the most active of workshops, Sunny guided young and old alike in a process that creates a mono-print by painting your image on a clear acrylic sheet and pressing it (upside-down) onto a canvas or piece of paper.  The results were outstanding!

LJC and students
You give us joy.   Linda Jones Clough, equestrienne and daughter of Chuck Jones, led the session, "How to Draw a Horse" (shown here discussing the finer points of horse anatomy…would that be called "horse-sense"? IDK.)  Below is the horse that Linda drew as she worked with her group.

LJC horse

Reis storyboard class
You give us joy.  Stephen Reis (gesturing), storyboard artist and director for the animated cartoon, "The Simpsons" shares with his group how he works as he develops the storyline and animation for the series.  Participants then worked on their own storyboards.  Cowabunga, dude!

John ramirez and student
You give us joy.  This young lad is listening to the sage advice of artist and designer, John Ramirez, who is not only an award-winning designer and cartoonist, but is also the designer of the soon-to-open Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus in Las Vegas.  John led his burgeoning John Lasseters in the creation of their very own thaumatrope (a circular disk with a drawn image on each side, attached to two pieces of string and spun to create a moving image.)

Jimmy and mural
You give us joy.  Muralist, actor, model, father, citizen of the world; those are just some of the words that describe the wonderfully talented James (Jimmy) C. Mulligan.  All the while the Chuck Jones Big Draw was in session, he worked on this mural…started and completed in 6 hours (including a break for lunch).  Such awesomeness!

Bob Elias
You give us joy.  Artist and surfer, Bob Elias, handed out advice on painting to our budding Frankenthalers, Kahlos and Rothkos.  

Indeed, everyone gave us joy yesterday…here's a few more photos from the day:

Digital horse

Daffy draftsman

Gina and Kas

Kim Sudhalter

Lorna and luann

Nicole and natalie

Tommy Martinez and student

Young student

Blank stare teenager
You give us joy.  Artist Mary Beth Volpini helped participants loosen up their creative muscles and switch their thinking from the left side of their brains to the right at the first station at the Chuck Jones Big Draw, "What Does Fun Look Like?"  Here two of the many teen-agers who took advantage her guidance work diligently on their answers.  

Countdown to the Chuck Jones Big Draw…817, 818, 819

We're heading into the home stretch and prepping our event space for today's Chuck Jones Big Draw.  Join us for this CREATIVITY extravaganza at South Coast Collection, 3309-E Hyland Avenue (next to the Paul Mitchell School), Costa Mesa, California today from 11AM to 5PM.  Remember we're attempting to set a world-record for the largest art class held in one venue promptly at 2PM this afternoon; we need to beat 817…be there or be square!

Last night at "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony" (created and conducted by the absolutely awesome George Daugherty, far right in the photo below) Chuck Jones's grandchildren, Craig, Todd and Valerie Kausen, presented the Pacific Symphony with "Bugs Conductor" in commemoration of this amazing symphonic experience.  More photos and details to follow tomorrow–gotta run and get my creativity on!  See ya!

Bbats