Monthly Archives: October 2011

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity–New Home, New Look, New Year

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity will be moving into its new home at SoCo (South Coast Collection) at 3321 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa, California in the next month or so.  Chuck Redux paid a visit to the new site this morning and is bringing you a sneak peek of what can only be described as — well, it's still a work-in-progress, so think of these photos as preliminary sketches for the Center's new home.

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The front entrance with a mocked-up sign to give you a sense of the scale of the tower.  When you enter here you'll be greeted by a 25' tall mural designed by Chuck Jones…we won't tell you where it was used before, but it's going to be a wonderful introduction to the Center.

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The main room seems to be about a football stadium in length, but is more like a half of one (joking, of course, but it is immense.)  The Center's partner is 24 Carrots, Orange County's premier catering company–they'll be using the space for large gatherings, weddings and business events.  

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To give you a sense of the scale, that yellow arrow is pointing at Scott, who is 6'6" and Craig, who is 6' tall.  Big, isn't it?

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Please ignore the dirt in the middle of the floor…this is the main exhibition wall which is about 50 running feet and 17' tall.  Expect to see lots of fabulous Chuck Jones art!

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In the OC Mart Mix (just across the plaza from the Center) there's an awesome coffee shop, Portola Coffee, and this young man was quietly explaining to Craig and Scott about "the integrity of the grounds" and "it's a moral dilemma" at which point I stopped listening, but the coffee does smell terrific and tasted even better.  

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The plaza entrance will have three glass 'garage' doors that roll up into the ceiling, allowing for a seamless experience between what is going on inside the Center and the magnificent plaza setting with its fountain, fire pit and umbrella-covered tables.

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If you have a green thumb, you'll be impressed by the succulent plantings and the environmentally-sensitive landscaping around the entire SoCo complex.

P.S.  Watch this space for more news about our grand-opening tentatively scheduled for Saturday, January 28, 2012.  

At the Bus Stop–Oxford Circus – London 1960

As we get closer to installing the Chuck Jones exhibition at the Chuck Jones Experience in Circus Circus — Las Vegas, we continue to unearth amazing little gems of drawings and watercolors from Chuck's travel notebooks.  In 1960 he and his wife, Dorothy, traveled to Europe and visited England, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany.  

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When I showed one of the drawings to Chris, the Center's resident teaching artist, he said that you knew by looking at the drawing that Chuck just had his hand to paper and wasn't looking specifically at the drawing as it unfolded, but at what he was drawing — that the free flowing line (so simple, but so telling at the same time) conveyed the immediacy of the moment — really, you could have been standing there next to him, they are that fresh.  On display at the Experience will be several of these notebooks revealing moments that Chuck experienced first-hand and because of his natural genius and talent with pen & ink (and watercolor as seen in the work featured here), you will be able to do the same.  

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Smiles Guaranteed! Chuck Jones Gallery–Tustin Now Open Saturdays

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The Chuck Jones Gallery is pleased to announce that beginning Saturday, October 29th, its Tustin, California location will be open Saturdays from 10 AM to 6 PM.  Come on by and bring this blog post with you to receive a free Chuck Jones SMILE fine art print (choose from 4 different images!)*  In Tustin, you'll find all of the art from your favorite animation studios as well as that of Dr. Seuss, Fabio Napoleoni, Markus Pierson, Eric Goldberg and of course it goes without saying, the incomparable work of Chuck Jones.  

The Tustin Gallery is conveniently located at 3065 Edinger Avenue, Tustin, between the 5 and the 55 freeways and just east of Jamboree in the Tustin Metrolink Plaza.  Call 866-ChuckJones (866-248-2556, our local number is 949-660-7791) for more details.  Stop by and say hello–we guarantee you'll leave with a smile on your face and one in your hands!

*Must be present to redeem.  

Museum of Science and Industry–Chicago Hosts Dr. Seuss Exhibit

Three of our Chuck Jones Gallery staff attended this past weekend's opening gala for "Dr. Seuss and the Art of Invention" at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.  

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Making the scene at "the Bean" (AKA "Cloud Gate" by Anish Kapoor) are from left, Scott Dicken, VP of retail for Linda Jones Enterprises, Micah Murray and Kate Bowerman, art consultants at the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego.  Afterwards, they took an architectural tour of Chicago from a boat (and got soaked–the weather is less predictable in Chicago than it is in southern California) and later in the day headed down to the Museum for the opening gala.

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Scott, Kate and Micah smile for the birdie at the gala reception for the opening of "Dr. Seuss: the Art of Invention" at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Peter Mars studio
The next day, before heading home, they stopped at the studio of artist Peter Mars, who had contributed an homage image of the Lorax to the current exhibit.  From left, artist Peter Mars, Scott Dicken, Micah Murray and Kate Bowerman.  

Grim Natwick Writes a Letter to Chuck Jones

Chuck Jones's first film that he directed (noted as 'supervisor' in the credits) was "The Night Watchman" of 1938.  His promotion to supervisor was noted in Daily Variety and other industry publications and the congratulatory letters poured in.   As we're preparing for the exhibition of art and artifacts from his life at the Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus Las Vegas, we've found some really wonderful, and oftentimes quite touching, notes and letters sent to Chuck on the occasion of his promotion, which at age 26 made him one of the youngest directors at Leon Schlesinger Studios.  The letter below is from the venerable Grim Natwick, who not only offered his expert guidance to the young Jones as he began his career in animation, but is also known for his talent at drawing the human form (he is responsible for bringing Snow White to life for Walt Disney.)

The envelope is dated April 17, 1938.

Dear Chuck, 

Somebody told me you got a very important blurb in Variety to the effect that you are a Supervisor in charge of Looney Tunes — I believe — Have not seen the issue but my informer seemed to stress its importance so I am acting on that report.  Let me be the last to congratulate you.  You must be doing all right and that is enough to make me very happy — Grim N-

“Creativity Season” the Fall Fundraiser for CJCC to Be Rescheduled

Special announcement front webAfter considerable thought and discussion, Chuck Jones Center for Creativity’s fall fund-raiser “Creativity Season” is being rescheduled to a yet to be determined new date.  It has been our hope to show off our beautiful new home, but construction at the SoCo location is moving much slower than we had anticipated.

We anticipate combining this event with a fabulous grand opening event later this year or early in 2012 with our partner, 24 Carrots.   That gala would also be a fundraiser for the Center—utilizing the silent and live auction items we’d planned for “Creativity Season.”   We will update you as soon as we can with a new date for this special event.    We look forward to seeing you soon!

Making the Scene at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta just ended its 2011 festivities this past Sunday.  The Chuck Jones Gallery in Santa Fe has participated with the organizers several times, once even providing the "chase" flags (see below.)



But this year, one of Chuck's most beloved characters, Pepé le Pew, took a bow at the Fiesta and wowed the assembled with his larger-than-life presence as one of the participating balloons.  Our friends, Yasine and Kyle (who took the photos below, thank you so much!), said it was great fun to listen in on people as the Pepé le Pew balloon took shape and they began to realize what character it was.  Fractured French for everyone!

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The Difference Between Truth and Falsity

We stumbled upon this note from Chuck Jones the other day as we do and thought it was worth sharing with you.  His hand-writing has been translated below for your easy reading pleasure. 

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The dot makes the line.

"My little dot goes for a walk." Kandinski [sic]  (editor's note: this paraphrases a quote by artist Paul Klee, "A line is a dot that went for a walk.")

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -Mark Twain

And the difference between the right line and the almost right line is the difference between truth and falsity.

Women, War & Peace, PBS Series Focuses on Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize Recipient

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity's dear friend, Kelly Smith, of the Orange County Center for Living Peace was thrilled to hear that Leymah Gbowee of Liberia was one of this year's Nobel Peace Prize recipients.  Ms. Gbowee is the subject of the bold, new PBS five-part series "Women, War & Peace". Documentary filmmaker Abigail Disney (the grandneice of Walt Disney) and actress Geena Davis will be on hand next Wednesday, October 13th beginning at 7:30 PM at the Pacific Ballroom in the University of California — Irvine's Student Center to discuss the film where they challenge the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men's domains.  This important event is sponsored by the Center for Living Peace and will be moderated by Kelly Smith.

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Leymah Gbowee and Abigail Disney, photo Gabrielle Revere and O Magazine

Post-Cold War proliferation of small arms has changed the landscape of war, with women becoming primary targets and suffering unprecedented casualties. Yet they are simultaneously emerging as necessary partners in brokering lasting peace and as leaders in forging new international laws governing conflict. 

With depth and complexity, Women, War & Peace spotlights the stories of women in conflict zones from Bosnia to Afghanistan and Colombia to Liberia, placing women at the center of an urgent dialogue about conflict and security, and reframing our understanding of modern warfare.

For more details and to attend this event, click here for ticket and event information.