The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity was the scene last night for the opening gala of the Blackwing Experience. Charles Berlozheimer and his wife, Ginger, founders of the Blackwing Foundation and sixth generation pencil-makers were on hand to greet arriving guests.
In addition to the Berlozheimer’s, guests were greeted by a quote from Blackwing 602 pencil devotee, Chuck Jones, “The rules are simple: take your work, but never yourself, seriously. Pour in the love and whatever skill you have, and it will come out.” Every guest picked up a Blackwing 602 or a Blackwing Pearl pencil on their way in, because……there were creativity stations scattered throughout the Center. From camera lucidas to song-writing, from pictionary to photo ops, guests had the opportunity to express themselves while nibbling on amazing hors d’oeuvres from 24 Carrots Catering.One of many highlights of the evening was the launch of the new ChuckJones.com website. Created by the awesome team at Gigasavvy. Shown here from left: Sven Johnston, SVP Business Development at Gigasavvy; Corey Mangold, Co-founder of Gigasavvy with his fiancee, Erin; and far right, Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Chuck Jones’s grandson. The new website, when it leaps out of beta mode (soon, soon, we promise!) will be one of the most creative and exciting shopping destinations on the internet. Chuck Redux may be biased, but we are not over-promising!
Another special treat of the evening was Stephen Reis, storyboard artist for the longest running sitcom on television, “The Simpsons”. Reis, center, shown here with Ann Tanner and her husband, Joel, one of the co-founders of Gigasavvy. Stephen was kind enough to spend the evening at one of Chuck’s animation desks drawing “Simpsons” characters for those assembled. Thank you for your generous spirit, Stephen!
The Blackwing Experience wouldn’t be the astounding event it is without the creative talents of art director, Lesli Scott, seen here with the Center’s Robert Patrick. How do you spell “CREATIVE”? L-e-s-l-i!
And speaking of behind-the-scenes talent (we were, you know) Grant Christensen, right, the director of business development for Pencils.com and Palomino Brands, the companies behind the Blackwing Experience, was on hand to make sure all of the parts fell together before the gala kicked off. He’s shown here with landscape artist Diane Wright, and Mahlon, the Pencils.com wholesale point person.
The always entertaining Wayne Todd, PBS SoCal art director and volunteer community ambassador for the Chuck Jones Center (AKA Jester McCool), shown here with Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant, Carol Erickson, left, and Sasha Advani, Program Administrator for the Center (who is tireless.)
Somewhere in the middle of the evening–or was toward the end? Who can remember?–Craig Kausen took the microphone and welcomed everyone to the Blackwing Experience; he introduced Corey Mangold of Gigasavvy (below) as well as Charles Berlozheimer of Blackwing (2nd photo below.) All-in-all it was a lovely evening celebrating the creative spirit, especially the spirit as embodied in the simple object of a pencil. Huzzah to the Blackwing 602!