Tag Archives: inspire

Path of Pilgrimage–New Paintings by Joshua Smith at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity


New Works by Joshua Smith

An Inspire Exhibition at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity
Opens October 13th

Costa Mesa, CA, September 1, 2015: Artists are often asked where their inspiration comes from; when Orange County artist, Joshua Smith, is asked that question he is quick to respond that he relies on his dreams and his faith for inspiration. Working in a vortex of color and often on over twenty varying sizes of canvas at a time, Smith, not unlike the dreams he credits with inspiring his work, paints in a fever of remembrance, memory, mysticism, and metaphor.

Into the Calm, oil on canvas, 40" x 40", by Joshua Smith

Into the Calm, oil on canvas, 40″ x 40″, by Joshua Smith

“I take my visual clues from architecture and from religion, allowing my paintings to be a reflection of art and of my faith,” says Smith, “and like a small child, I fanaticize my surroundings, the sky’s the limit.” A technically proficient oil painter, Smith, with his Masters in fine art from Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, Connecticut, approaches his work like a metaphysical journey through some unknown reality; he believes in the omnipotence of the dream, the fantasy.

With his emphasis on landscape, his colors lay one on top of the other in a powdery mist of memory; chairs, paths, trees, butterflies, nests, and small home-like structures stand in lonely isolation, but still he imbues each canvas with the emotion of hope and of home. The paintings’ dense, fragile surfaces and areas of multi-chromatic richness recall ancient wall frescos.

“The Center is thrilled to present this Inspire Exhibition of work by the artist, Joshua Smith,” says Craig Kausen, chairman of the board and Chuck Jones’s grandson. “His work, like that of other great artists, inspires each of us to view our world a little differently, with faith and hope; and, perhaps, to question our responsibility to the world around us.”

Opening night reception for the artist is Tuesday, October 13 from 7 to 9 PM at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, 3321 Hyland Ave., Suite A, in Costa Mesa at the South Coast Collection (SoCo). The reception is free and open to the public. The exhibit will close on November 30. A portion of proceeds benefit the programs of the Center, a 501(c)3 public charity.

A graduate of the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford (Connecticut) with a Masters in painting, Smith received his undergraduate degree at the Laguna College of Art & Design.  He has participated in over 30 group exhibitions and more than 25 solo exhibitions in the past 10 years. Awarded the prestigious Best New SOLO Artist at the New York International Art Expo in 2007, Smith recently exhibited at the Carousel du Louvre with the Socièté Nationale des Beaux. He has been involved in numerous projects with The Guildford Handcraft Center, taught as adjunct professor at the Hartford Art School and has been exhibition curator at the Nathan J Gallery, Farmington, Ct. Currently, he lives in Orange County with his wife and two children.

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity was founded by the four-time Academy Award-winning legendary animation pioneer and creator, Chuck Jones in 1999. The Center’s vision is a world where creativity is known and experienced in every discipline, by the many, not just the few. It is located in the South Coast Collection (SoCo) at 3321 Hyland Ave., Suite A, Costa Mesa, CA. www.ChuckJonesCenter.org. 949-660-7793 x 107.

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity Launches New Website

We are delighted to announce that tomorrow, Saturday, March 24th, at 1 PM PDT, the new Chuck Jones Center for Creativity website will launch. This labor of love has had a multi-month gestation period and all of us here at the Center, along with the wonderfully talented and I might add, patient, website designer, Andrew 'Atlanta' Jones, are thrilled to be able to let our baby go out into the world tomorrow on its own.  

Of course, you'll discover that not every little nook and cranny has been filled with lucious, rich, exciting, amazing, delightful, and inspiring Chuck Jones content, but there's plenty to look at and explore and we promise that more is on the way. So, poke around tomorrow, enjoy the art and photographs, check out the Chuck Jones Filmography and drop us a note to let us know your thoughts on what we've done (and if you're so inclined, what we could do to improve it.) Click on the image below and start your journey or go to ChuckJonesCenter.org

Home page screen view

Don't forget that this year's spring fundraiser, the Red Dot Auction, will be held on Friday evening, May 11th from 6 to 9 PM at the Center's new location, 3321 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa, California. RSVP@ChuckJonesCenter.org and reserve 5 free raffle tickets (available at the front desk when you sign in the night of the event.) It's possible that 'Atlanta' Jones will have a work of art in the Red Dot Auction, who'd want to miss the opportunity to own it? Make sure you RSVP today!

The handsome and witty Andrew 'Atlanta' Jones, click on his image to read his blog.

Remembering Chuck Jones

Chuck Jones passed away on February 22, 2002.  It doesn't seem possible that a decade has passed since then, for his spirit truly does live on, not only in each of you, but also in the hearts and minds of his three grandchildren, Valerie, Craig, and Todd.    

Craig linda valerie todd AMPAS 5.13.2010

Pictured from left: Craig Kausen, Linda Jones Clough, Valerie, and Todd Kausen at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with Chuck Jones's Oscar® for his 1965 short animated film, "The Dot and the Line". 



From Valerie: People love Chuck Jones. In the decade that has passed since Chuck’s death, I have found myself getting to know (and love) him even more deeply. I have the great honor of working with the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and witnessing innumerable people being inspired by Chuck’s work, his words, his philosophy, the memories of his kindness and humor.

Valerie Chuck copyright

I had the great pleasure of growing up with Chuck, being able to work with him closely for many years, to represent him in many situations over the years and be his only granddaughter. 

It would seem that when someone leaves this world that the memory might fade, become less important over time, but Chuck’s influence is growing stronger. The importance of a heartfelt, humor-filled life is now more clear than ever. I am more inspired, connected and dedicated to a creative life and to the pursuit of my own soul’s contribution to this world and I know that this is because of Chuck and what is still alive in this world that he left for us.

People love Chuck Jones. It is a love affair that never seems to end. Chuck changed lives through his work, his encouragement or just by his deep love of living. He is still changing lives, ten years after his passing. 


From Todd: Ten years seems like a long time in most situations, but for some reason, it does not feel very long when thinking back to when Chuck left us.  When I was at the new Chuck Jones Experience in Las Vegas at the Circus Circus Hotel, I was filled with a feeling of missing him. It really is a great experience whether you knew him or not.

Todd Chuck copyright

I'm so honored to be associated with him and his great legacy, albeit strictly through nepotism and certainly not through any kind of deserved place.  However, as Chuck used to say, "Even if I don't deserve it, that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it!"  So on this day, I shall reflect on him, his legacy, his impact on me personally and be very grateful for the tiniest piece of his humor, wit and genius that somehow trickled into my blood and allows me to occasionally find the humor in this wacky journey of life.  Thanks for that, Chief!


From Craig: It is quite startling for me to think that it has been 10 years since my Grandfather, Chuck, passed away.  Not only do I recall that day quite vividly, just as I’m sure everyone who has had someone important to them leave, I reflect that now a fifth of my life has been without him here to be able to visit with, ask questions, and laugh with at dinners.  The realization doesn’t quite seem to fit in the scheme of time for me.  Perhaps it is that time is much more relative these days for me, or just that my memories of him within our lives are so ingrained.  But in any case, I would describe my life as being almost completely with him and just a brief moment since without him.  I’m sure that being around his persona, his name, and the memories of him recounted by so many on a regular basis bridges the gap of him not physically being here, but my own memories are as constant and as clear as they ever were. 

Chuck Craig Bike copyright

On this day, 10 years later, still my fondest memories are the personal ones; the ones where he created a special moment when I was young(er) like jumping in the pool fully clothed when I learned to swim, or teaching me how to ride my bike, or telling me how special it was when my son was born.  No matter what the memory is for me, each of them, when it includes Chuck, makes me smile.

Planet TNEZ to Open with Red Carpet Event!

Friend, donor, and volunteer of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, Tommy Martinez, whose passion for nurturing and guiding creativity is one of the reasons why we think the world of him, is opening his Planet TNEZ on November 12th from 5 to 10 PM in downtown Anaheim (California) at 508 W. Chestnut Street.  There'll be music, art and boundless creativity–all of which warrants your participation.  

"Planet TNEZ is a creative space for artists, or anyone really, who would like to come and be able to create as well as show their work.  I call it an "Artistic Experiment of Creative Thinking and Design". My graphic design background has inspired me to express myself in more traditional and at times, non-traditional, mediums and I want to share the happiness and joy that expression brings me with you."

LA_Artwalk_6-11 (Large)

If you're in the area, set some time aside to visit Planet TNEZ on Saturday, November 12th from 5 to 10 PM…walk that red carpet!  If you can't make it, please visit his online presence at www.PlanetTNEZ.com and 'like' him on Facebook.

A Special Message to Chuck Jones on his 99th Birthday

Today is my grandfather’s 99th Birthday.  Maybe some will say “But he passed away nearly 10 years ago, so it should be ‘would have been…’”  It is certainly true that he, the man, is no longer here, but he, the presence, the teacher, the giver of smiles and laughs is certainly still among us.

If he sat here before me today, I would tell him a personal Happy Birthday, but also tell him that his birthdays always meant a little more than just the cake and the attempts at getting him a gift.  What has always been so wonderful about Chuck’s birthdays to me is that it seems as though everyone celebrated it with him.  Whether it was at the Hollywood Bowl with 18,000 people singing him Happy Birthday during Bugs Bunny on Broadway, or showing his cartoons to packed house of 500 at Warner Bros. to celebrate his 85th or 88th, it was always a celebration of everyone’s joys in life. 

And even back when we were very young, we would gather at home to watch him blow out his candles (always the accurate number no matter how difficult it was to get them all on the cake), and to see how he might cut the cake this time.  Somehow he never cut that first piece quite the same.  Sometimes it might have been small, sometimes large, and sometimes a handful that would be delicately deposited on the adjacent plate.  

Regardless of the memory, the ever-present feeling was always that of joy and fun. And that is something that I can continue to celebrate until long after I cannot fit even one more candle on my birthday cake. 

Happy 99th Birthday, Chuck! 

With much love, Craig

Chuck and Craig
Chuck Jones with his grandson, Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

News about the Chuck Jones Centennial Celebrations

"We have a major Chuck Jones exhibit opening this month at the Port of Portland’s International Airport that will be viewed by nearly one million travelers as well as an exhibition of original production art at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio coming in November,” said Craig Kausen, “and also this November will be the grand opening of the Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus in Las Vegas, all of which we feel is a grand way to launch my grandfather’s centennial celebrations.”    

Jones, one of the fathers of Bugs Bunny and the creator of such iconic cartoon characters as Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Pepé le Pew and Marvin Martian, was born in Spokane, Washington, on September 21, 1912.  The four-time Academy Award recipient, including a Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1996, enjoyed a seven decade career in animation and fine art, beginning in 1932.  His life and life’s work spanned the history of animation, from the first tentative steps of Gertie the Dinosaur, animated by Windsor McKay in 1912, to the brilliant CGI (computer generated imagery) of John Lasseter and Pixar Studios. 

Chuck Jones by Steve Banks 3 x 72 dpi

The Chuck Jones Centennial Celebrations will include a revamped version of the multi-media extravaganza “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” created and conducted by George Daugherty, with planned appearances at Wolf Trap and the Kennedy Center in 2012 as well as with other notable symphony orchestras around the country.  The Center is working with its local Congressman in the hope that United States Congress will designate Jones’s birthday as National Chuck Jones Creativity Day in 2012.