Tag Archives: Jeff DeGrandis

Red Dot Auction Online Pre-bidding Is Now Live! Visit www.HA.com!

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity has partnered this year with Heritage Auctions to bring you online pre-bidding for the Fifth Annual Red Dot Auction at their website, www.HA.com. Bidding is now open! Here’s your chance to peruse the delightful and impressive selection of artwork submitted by artists from around the country and place a bid on them! Bidding starts at just $100!

Many of today’s giants of animation will be contributing works to the auction, including Eric Goldberg, director of Fantasia 2000 and the Genie in Aladdin; Kelly Asbury, director of the box-office smash Gnomeo and Juliet; Jeff DeGrandis, former producer of Dora the Explorer and now at DreamWorks; Academy Award winner, author, and NYU professor of animation at the Tisch School of the Arts, John Canemaker, and syndicated comic strip artist of Dennis the Menace, Ron Ferdinand. Popular contemporary artists include Tina Palmer, Fabio Napoleoni, and Joshua Smith. Bid early and often!

Red Dot 2015 poster 72dpiv2

What differentiates The Red Dot Auction from other silent auctions is that all of the contributing artists have signed their artwork on the reverse. Consequently attendees at the event will not know who the artist is when bidding, they’ll only have their heart to follow. “We wanted to create a fun, engaging silent auction, and to further the suspense of not knowing which work belongs to which artist, each artist received an identical 12” square stretched canvas upon which to create their work of art,” noted Richard Alcazar, President of the Council for Creativity, the volunteer arm of the Center.

This is the fifth annual Red Dot Auction to be held Friday, May 1st, from 7 to 10 PM at the Center located at South Coast Collection (SoCo), 3321 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa, California. Admission is $25 per person and open to the public. Buy your tickets by April 25th and receive 5 free raffle tickets when you sign in at the front desk the evening of the event. To buy tickets online, go to ChuckJonesCenter.org or call 949-660-7791 x 20107.

“The artists range from students to emerging to established artists; we reached out around the world hoping to capture the imagination and appreciation of these artists. We are thankful that they were willing to help us achieve our goal of promoting creativity by providing a nurturing environment where it may grow and blossom,” said Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Center.

The Center is located in South Coast Collection (SoCo) at 3321 Hyland Avenue, Suite A, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Visit ChuckJonesCenter.org for more details.

Chuck 102Gether at the Alex Theatre — A Terrific Event!

If you were at the Alex Theatre this past Sunday, September 21st for Chuck 102Gether then you’ll know that the following is not hyperbole: IT WAS AN AWESOME AFTERNOON!

Outside the Alex Theatre

Outside the Alex Theatre

First, there’s the Alex Theatre itself…an Art Deco pile on Brand Blvd. in Glendale that is absolutely a knock-out–it’s just a good time being there! When you walk through the forecourt into the cool interior you just know you’re going to be treated to a film spectacle and Chuck 102Gether delivered just that.

A corner of the lobby of the Alex Theatre

A corner of the lobby of the Alex Theatre

Chuck 102Gether was a celebration of collaborative creativity…many family members of the original group of directors and artists who worked at Leon Schlesinger Studios, then Warner Bros. on the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were in attendance: Sybil and Hope Freleng, Ruth Clampett, Linda Jones, Robert McKimson, Jr., and the children of Abe Levitow: Judy, Roberta, and Jon. Heck, even Leon Schlesinger’s relatives were there!

 

Juls Aspinall, right, meets Robert McKimson, Jr., the author of "I Say, I Say Son!" a biography of his father, director Robert McKimson, Sr.

Juls Aspinall, right, meets Robert McKimson, Jr., the author of “I Say, I Say Son!” a biography of his father, director Robert McKimson, Sr.

The afternoon got off to a rousing start with a screening of Chuck Jones’s classic, “Duck Amuck”, followed by introductory words from Linda Jones Clough, Chuck Joens’s daughter who introduced the Master of Ceremonies for the afternoon, George Daugherty (a world-class symphony orchestra conductor who regularly guest conducts for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, and other major ensembles. Creator and producer — with David Ka Lik Wong) of the “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” and “Bugs Bunny on Broadway” touring concerts that have played to millions of people worldwide. He is also a five-time Emmy nominee, and Emmy Award-winning producer/writer/director/conductor of Chuck Jones’s “Peter and the Wolf.”

George Daugherty on the stage of the Alex Theatre with a photo of him and Chuck Jones at Warner Bros. in the early 1990s projected onto the screen behind him.

George Daugherty on the stage of the Alex Theatre with a photo of him and Chuck Jones at Warner Bros. in the early 1990s projected onto the screen behind him.

George was a fantastic M.C.! Not only because he worked closely with Chuck Jones for so many years, in fact, he said he considered Chuck a second father…his own father having been born on the same day as Chuck, but also because he’s a font of knowledge about the music, arranged and conducted by the amazing Carl Stalling, and shared many insights into the how and the why of the music used in the cartoons, particularly those of Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, and Bob Clampett. Great stuff!

In between cartoons by Looney Tunes directors Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Friz Freleng, and Robert McKimson, Sr. there were panel discussions about the directors and films we'd seen. This one is composed of Leith Adams, former Executive Director Warner Bros. Corporate Archives; Bill Kroyer, director of "Ferngully" and Director of Digital Arts at Chapman University; Tom Sito, now head of the Animation Department at USC's film school; Linda Jones Clough, Emmy Award-winning producer and founder of Linda Jones Enterprises.

In between cartoons by Looney Tunes directors Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Friz Freleng, and Robert McKimson, Sr. there were panel discussions about the directors and films we’d seen. This one is composed of Leith Adams, former Executive Director Warner Bros. Corporate Archives; Bill Kroyer, director of “Ferngully” and Director of Digital Arts at Chapman University; Tom Sito, now head of the Animation Department at USC’s film school; Linda Jones Clough, Emmy Award-winning producer and founder of Linda Jones Enterprises.

The second panel was made up of three of the four "Dover Boys": Chris Bailey, Jeff DeGrandis, and Rob Minkoff along with the indomitable Eric Goldberg. Seen here with a photo of them meeting Chuck Jones for the first time in the early 1980s at CalArts. That's Jeff in the rabbit ears! Their list of credits is pretty impressive too: DeGrandis is the former producer of Nickelodeon's "Dora the Explorer" and is now a producer at DreamWorks; Chris Bailey was the director of the animated feature, "Hop"; Rob Minkoff was the director of "The Lion King", "Stuart Little", and "Mr. Peabody; and Eric Goldberg was the director of "Pocahontas" and the supervising animator of the Genie in "Aladdin".

The second panel was made up of three of the four “Dover Boys”: Chris Bailey, Jeff DeGrandis, and Rob Minkoff along with the indomitable Eric Goldberg. Seen here with a photo of them meeting Chuck Jones for the first time in the early 1980s at CalArts. That’s Jeff in the rabbit ears! Their list of credits is pretty impressive too: DeGrandis is the former producer of Nickelodeon’s “Dora the Explorer” and is now a producer at DreamWorks; Chris Bailey was the director of the animated feature, “Hop”; Rob Minkoff was the director of “The Lion King”, “Stuart Little”, and “Mr. Peabody; and Eric Goldberg was the director of “Pocahontas” and the supervising animator of the Genie in “Aladdin”.

Linda Jones Clough, right, with Tom Sito.

Linda Jones Clough, right, with Tom Sito.

Hope and Sybil Freleng

Hope and Sybil Freleng

Marian Jones, Chuck's widow, with Eric Goldberg

Marian Jones, Chuck’s widow, with Eric Goldberg

From left: Ruth Clampett, Robert McKimson, Jr., and Phil Roman

From left: Ruth Clampett, Robert McKimson, Jr., and Phil Roman

From left: Robert McKimson, Jr., Robert Schlesinger, Linda Jones Clough, Hope Freleng Shaw, Sybil Freleng Bergman, George Daugherty, Judy Levitow, Ruth Clampett, and Valerie Kausen

From left: Robert McKimson, Jr., Robert Schlesinger, Linda Jones Clough, Hope Freleng Shaw, Sybil Freleng Bergman, George Daugherty, Judy Levitow, Ruth Clampett, and Valerie Kausen (granddaughter of Chuck Jones)

There was a lot of laughter brought to us by the following cartoons (selected, by the way, by the director’s family members): Chuck Jones’s “Duck Amuck”, “They’re They Go Go”, “One Froggy Evening”; Friz Freleng’s “Birds Anonymous” and “High Diving Hare”; Tex Avery’s “I Love to Singa” and “A Wild Hare”; Bob Clampett’s “The Great Piggy Bank Robbery” and “Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid”; Robert McKimson’s “Hillbilly Hare” and “Walky Talky Hawk”. Thank you all for joining us!

 

Photographs courtesy Stephen Russo as noted.

 

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Part 2

We’re happy to announce two new additions to our artist door at the Chuck Jones Gallery in Costa Mesa. Artists Casey Leonard, she of the beautiful charcoal work, and Jeff DeGrandis, producer, director at DreamWorks added their respective signatures.

Casey Leonard

Casey Leonard

Jeff DeGrandis

Jeff DeGrandis

View other artists signing the door here. Jeff DeGrandis photo by Stephen Russo.

O, What a Night! Red Dot Re-cap

Were you there? Wasn't it awesome? Close to 300 people made the scene last night at the 3rd Annual Red Dot Auction, the spring fundraiser for the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Costa Mesa, California (couldn't resist the alliterative 'c's!) 

Here's a quick look at the night in pictures…a more detailed account will be posted in the coming days (Chuck Redux needs to rest…)

DSC04639
The Jacobson's take a moment to confab before the crowd arrived. Daughter Brenna helped out by selling raffle tickets throughout the evening and was a contributing artist, mom Rina is a council member and volunteer community ambassador for the Center. Mr. J., well, did as dads and husbands do.

DSC04640
These patrons of the Center bid often and won often!

DSC04641
Tracy Tanner (left), the Council's most-excellent president, says hello to her friend, David.

DSC04642
Rachael O'Connell, a contributing artist, and her husband, David.

DSC04643
The Zives make the scene! Thanks for becoming a member of the Center, Paul!

DSC04644
Andrea Salisbury, who contributed two canvases to the Red Dot Auction, and her husband.

DSC04647
John Yetsko, left, and his wife, Leigh, and son, John, Jr. (far right) with contributing artist Eric Scales.

DSC04649
The Sleeper sisters, Jennifer and Debbie (left and right, respectively), flank Linda Jones Clough, daughter of Chuck Jones and founding trustee of the Center. All three were contributing artists to the Red Dot Auction.

DSC04651
Artist Eric Scales and his contribution, a hilarious and spot-on portrait of Michigan J. Frog!

DSC04652
Tracy Tanner, Nancy Evans, photographer Pasquale Ferazzoli (who donated two beautiful photographs) and the Center's amazing program administrator, Sasha Advani. Thank you, Sasha, for all of your help and assistance–we couldn't have done it without you!

DSC04653
Mike Dicken, national sales director for the Chuck Jones Galleries, gives Chuck Redux the "if you post this photo, you'll be in deep …." look. 

DSC04654
Oh, here's trouble: From left, Michael Young of Collector's Editions (love you, mean it) with contributing artist, Mike Kungl, and Craig Kausen, chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity try to keep quiet while auctioneer, Eric Ross does his thing.

DSC04655
Ain't we got fun?

DSC04659
Carol Erickson, left, art consultant at the Chuck Jones Gallery in Costa Mesa, with Linda Jones Clough. Bare walls = a successful Red Dot Auction!

DSC04660
MIke Peraza, second from right, artist and art director extraordinaire for Disney Studios and Warner Bros. kindly donated his talents for a live auction item that included a drawing lesson with him as well as several DVDs of films he's worked on and an original Chuck Jones drawing from the archive. Winners included David Cantor, far left, with his father Neil and Heather Broadnax, third from right, and her mother. Craig Kausen holds the Chuck Jones drawing (Craig is Chuck's grandson.)

DSC04663
As the night wound down, winning bidders and artists got together for Chuck Redux's camera. Here we have contributing artist, Joseph Yakovetic with patrons of the arts, John Tanner (center) and son Nick who were the winning bidders of Joseph's portrait of Chuck Jones. Also, Nick helped out last night by selling raffle tickets and taking photos, thank you Nick!

DSC04665
Producer of Nickelodeon's long-running "Dora the Explorer" and other animated series, Jeff DeGrandis, far left, with John, Jr., Leigh, and John Yetsko. They used their Red Dot on Jeff's "Chuck Jones as Ralph Phillips" or is it "Ralph Phillips as Chuck Jones"? Either way, it was a fab contribution to the success of the Red Dot Auction! Thank you, Jeff! And thank you to the Yetsko's!

DSC04667
And finally, the truth is out, Craig Kausen is not only an engineer, but also an artist! (Plus, without his unflagging energy and extraordinary positive attitude, none of this would be possible.)

Thank you everyone for making last night such a resounding success. We appreciate you!

Arrival photos and event photos from the Center's professional photographer, Stephen Russo, will be posted later this week. Look for them!

Tickets Now on Sale for the 3rd Annual Red Dot Auction!

Announcement for blog 7 x 7

The Red Dot Auction

Which Artist’s Work Will You Take Home
Tonight?

Spring Gala Fund-raiser Announced for

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity 

Costa Mesa, CA:
The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity announced today plans for their spring
fund-raising gala, The Red Dot Auction, to be held Saturday, May 11th,
from 6 to 9 PM at the Center located at South Coast Collection (SoCo), 3321
Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa, California. 

This is the third annual Red Dot Auction, first conceived as
a fund-raising opportunity for the Center in 2011. The Center, a 501(c)3
organization, dedicated as it is to inspiring creativity in all people, but
particularly in children, was founded in 1999 by animation legend and four-time
Academy Award recipient, Chuck Jones.

What differentiates The Red Dot Auction from other silent auctions
is that all of the contributing artists have signed their artwork on the
reverse. Consequently attendees at the event will not know who the artist is
when bidding, they’ll only have their heart to follow. “We wanted to create a
fun, engaging silent auction, and to further the suspense of not knowing which
work belongs to which artist, each artist received an identical 12” square
stretched canvas upon which to create their work of art,” noted Tracy Tanner,
President of the Council for Creativity, the volunteer arm of the Center.

“The artists who are participating come from all levels
of notoriety, skill, and accomplishment, from students to emerging to
established artists; we reached out around the world hoping to capture the
imagination and appreciation of these artists. We are thankful that they were
willing to help us achieve our goal of promoting creativity by providing a
nurturing environment where it may grow and blossom,” said Craig Kausen,
Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Center. 

Participating artists include James Coleman, legendary background designer and matte painter for
Walt Disney Studios; “Dora the Explorer” producer and director, Jeff DeGrandis; Kelly Asbury, director of the critically acclaimed animated film,
“Gnomeo and Juliet”; Eric Goldberg,
longtime Disney animator and director; Marian
Jones
, photographer, author, and Chuck Jones’s wife.

The Red Dot Auction will include a short live auction of
items unique to the Center such as a studio tour with one of the Center’s
artists or a commissioned work of art by one of the participating artists.

Admission is $25.00 per person and open to the public.
RSVP and pay for your tickets by May 4th and receive 5 free raffle tickets when you sign in
at the front desk the evening of the event. To buy your tickets and to RSVP,
write to RSVP@ChuckJonesCenter.org
or call 949-660-7791 x 20107.  You can also buy online here or by clicking the above image. 

The Center’s vision is to inspire the innate creative
genius within each person that leads to a more joyous, passionate, and
harmonious life and world. This is an important goal, particularly in today’s
world, when arts education is practically non-existent; we are dedicated to
reinvigorating the creative spirit and we are doing it through art classes,
exhibitions, lectures, and film festivals, all of which spring from the
material in the Chuck Jones archive. Jones was a determined saver and his
writings, art, and other ephemera from a nine-decade life, along with his
philosophy of guiding and nurturing instruction form the basis of our programs.

 

Meet Leonard Maltin at Creativity Season!

Film Critic, Author, Historian to Be the Special Host

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity Fall Fundraiser

Costa Mesa, CA: The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity announced today that noted film critic, author, and historian, Leonard Maltin will be the special host for the fall fundraiser, Creativity Season, to be held Saturday, September 22, 2012 from 6 PM to 10 PM at the Center, 3321 Hyland Avenue, Suite B, Costa Mesa, CA in the South Coast Collection (SoCo). Creativity Season will include a Chuck Jones Big Draw starring several of today’s most noted artists working in animation and other media.

“Red Carpet” tickets are $100.00 per person and include an exclusive cocktail party to meet Mr. Maltin along with artists and film directors such as Rob Minkoff (director, “The Lion King”), Kelly Asbury, (director “Gnomeo and Juliet”), George Daugherty (Creator and Conductor of “Bugs Bunny on Broadway”), and Mike Peraza (Disney Art Director “The Little Mermaid”).  

“Gala” tickets are $50.00 and include cocktails beginning at 7 PM, the Chuck Jones Big Draw, and dinner. Silent and live auctions will be presented throughout the evening and after dinner Mr. Maltin will deliver a short paean to Chuck Jones.

The evening will be catered by the Center’s partner, 24 carrots Catering & Events. Tickets may be purchased online at http://bit.ly/CreativitySeasonTickets or by phone at 949-660-7793.

“If you love the movies, you’ll love meeting Leonard,” said Linda Jones Clough, Chuck Jones’s daughter, Board member of the Center as well as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.  “His depth of knowledge of all things film and his love for the work my father created during his lifetime are astonishing. We’re delighted he has agreed to join us for this important fundraiser.”

“The Chuck Jones Big Draw we have planned will give our patrons and donors the opportunity to interact with some of today’s most creative talent working in animation and the arts today,” said Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Center and Chuck’s grandson. “And it will also help explain the important work we do. It is a challenge these days to find adequate arts education; creativity is one of the most important attributes of highly successful scientists, mathematicians, and business leaders. The Center is committed to helping everyone, but particularly children, find the creative genius that resides in each of us.”

The artists who will be attending include:

George Daugherty – Symphonic conductor, Creator and Conductor of Bugs Bunny On Broadway and Bugs Bunny at the Symphony, producer/director of Chuck Jones’ Peter and the Wolf, Emmy Award winning producer and director for ABC, Warner Bros., and PBS
David Ka Lik Wong – Creator and Producer of Bugs Bunny On Broadway and Bugs Bunny at the Symphony, producer of Chuck Jones Peter and The Wolf, Emmy Award winning producer for ABC, Warner Bros., and PBS

Rob Minkoff: Director of Lion King, Stuart Little, The Forbidden Kingdom, The Haunted Mansion

Jeff DeGrandis: Producer of Dora the Explorer, Director for Chuck Jones Enterprises, Animator at Disney and Warner Bros.

Chris Bailey: Animation Director of Hop, Alvin & the Chipmunks, Kim Possible, Animator on Lion King

Kelly Asbury: Director of Gnomeo and JulietShrek 2, Writer of Chicken Run and Beauty and the Beast

Eric Goldberg: Director of PocahontasFantasia/2000, Animation Supervisor of AladdinPrincess and the Frog, and Hercules

Mike Peraza: Disney Art Director The Little Mermaid, Warner Bros. Animation Director, Production Designer- Anastasia, Concept- Ice AgeBeauty & Beast, Roger Rabbit, Aladdin, Ducktales, Darkwing Duck; Disney Parks Designer Carsland, Fantasyland.

John Ramirez: Designer, Art Director, Animator, Illustrator for such films as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Hercules, and Toy Story II 

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity was founded in 1999 by four-time Academy Award recipient and legendary animation creator and director, Chuck Jones. The Center’s vision is to inspire the innate creative genius within each person that leads to a more joyous, passionate, and harmonious life and world.

These are important goals, particularly in today’s world, when arts education is practically non-existent; we are dedicated to re-invigorating the creative spirit and we are doing it through art classes, exhibitions, lectures, and film festivals, all of which spring from the material in the Chuck Jones archive. Jones was a determined saver and his writings, art, and other ephemera from a nine-decade life, along with his philosophy of guiding and nurturing instruction, form the basis of our programs.

For more information, photo files, or to arrange an interview, please call Robert Patrick at 949-660-7791 x 22103 or via email rpatrick@ChuckJonesCenter.org

Chuck Jones Centennial Celebration of Animation at the Newport Beach Film Festival 2012

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, a Newport Beach Film Festival Event Sponsor, will be hosting a morning of Chuck Jones animated cartoons at Triangle Square, Costa Mesa (at the intersection of Newport Blvd., 19th St., and the terminus of the 55 freeway) on Saturday, April 28th at 11 AM. Among the many favorite short cartoons to be shown will be one of his masterpieces, "One Froggy Evening."

ONFR-01-005 copy

Following the showing at 1:30 PM will be a panel discussion and seminar on animation with celebrated voice actress, June Foray (Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Natasha Fatale, and Witch Hazel); Emmy Award-winning producer Linda Jones Clough; "Dora the Explorer" producer and director, Jeff DeGrandis; animation director, character designer ("Hop"), and writer, Chris Bailey and photographer Marian Jones, Chuck Jones's widow. The discussion will be moderated by Craig Kausen, chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

A ticket for both events is $5.00 for adults. For more information and to purchase tickets, please contact the Newport Beach Film Festival by clicking on their name in this sentence or on the images. 

ONFR-01-006 copy

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity: Gala Grand Opening at South Coast Collection!

Where to start?  It's taken a day just to decompress after all of the hoopla and foopla and other oopla's, but we're here to tell you that Saturday night at 3321 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa was a rock 'em, sock 'em, knock-out of an evening!  The doors opened at 6 PM and within a few minutes the 8000 square foot space was filled to the brim with southern California's brightest and best.  Artists, animators, writers, and actors, event planners, wedding strategists, publicists, and collectors all converged (harmonically even) to celebrate the partnership of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity with 24 carrots Catering & Events.  

Raffle winners (with many thanks to Lauren (11) and David (9) who tirelessly worked the room selling raffle tickets) chose from a wall of art; hundreds crowded around the Silent Auction wall and placed their bids; it seemed at times that there were a thousand people there, but more likely something like 400 friends and supporters of creativity, along with lovers of the art of Chuck Jones (which was everyone) came together to support the educational programs of the Center.  We thank and salute you for your gracious and generous donations.  Please take a bow!

DSC_0061 (Large)
Chairman of the Center and Chuck's grandson, Craig Kausen, with his wife, Flavorful chef and one of the night's silent auction donors, Kimberley, greeted and shmoozed, shook hands and air-kissed, laughed and shared their love of creativity with the assembled. 

DSC_0250 (Large)
The evening would not have been complete without the creative energy of Chuck Jones's daughter, Linda Jones Clough, seen here with her sons Todd and Craig along with Craig's son, Charlie.  It was a multi-generational kind-of-night!

DSC_0273 (Large)
Special guest, Jeff Degrandis (left), producer and director of Nickelodeon's "Dora the Explorer", "Go, Diego, Go!" and other animated series, and one of Chuck's "Dover Boys", spoke lovingly about the effect Chuck's friendship and mentoring had on him and his career and life during the presentation before the live auction portion of the evening.

DSC_9993 (Large)
Marian Jones, wife of Chuck Jones, with her friend Dickson Shafer, enjoyed the evening.

DSC_0021 (Large)
DSC_0089 (Large)
To keep the children who joined us busy, as well as many of the adults, an art project to 'obliterate' a wall and furniture with color-form stickers was set up in one corner of the Center's new space.  It turned out beautifully and will be an ongoing project at the Center.

DSC_0023 (Large)
Husband-and-wife-artists Patricia and Mike Peraza made the scene.  Mike is participating in the Homage to Chuck Jones series of original and limited edition work that is being created to celebrate Chuck Jones's Centennial this year.

DSC_0024 (Large)
Writer, blogger, and cartoon historian, Jerry Beck, was one of the well-wishers, seen here with friend Yvette Kaplan.

DSC_0109 (Large)
Jon Brown (left), co-owner of 24 carrots Catering & Events, addresses the crowd before the live auction. Thank you 24 carrots, we wouldn't be in this beautiful, new space without you!  24 carrots Catering & Events provided an outstanding series of buffet tables laden with delectable goodies from "build your own" sliders to exotic cheeses and liquid nitrogen infused popcorn (you breath fire like a dragon when you eat it!)  They even created a new drink just for this event, a Carrotini!  Everyone said it was delish.

DSC_0185 (Large)
Robert Patrick (left) of the Center and Linda Jones Enterprises puts his head together with Phillip Trigas, architect (of RTK Architects in Culver City), and the designer of the new space for Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.  By the way, one lucky bidder will have 3 one-hour sessions with Phil as he guides them through the steps to producing an architectural rendering.  He graciously donated his time as a silent auction item.

DSC_0214 (Large)
Neil Cantor, Managing Director of the Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus in Las Vegas  with his daughter, the awesome Lauren, who sold raffle tickets for us throughout the evening AND called out some of the winning numbers as well.  Thank you Neil and Lauren!  (Also, a special callout to Lauren's brother, David — not pictured — who is an incredible salesmen, you rock David!)

DSC_0091 (Large)
Here's Craig sharing his feelings about his grandfather and creativity before the live auction.

DSC_0102 (Large)
Here's what Craig was facing during his presentation.  Estimated attendance, 375.

DSC_0051 (Large)
Our favorite muralist and actor, James C. Mulligan, painted throughout the evening a new mural on one of the tower entrance walls…watch this space for its completion!

DSC_0123 (Large)
A work-in-progress…

DSC_0002 (Large)
Collectors Louis and Sandra Lozano (2nd & 3rd from left) enjoyed their Carrotinis with the Yetsko's; Johnny (far left), John, Leigh, and Matt.  

DSC_0075 (Large)
Artist Bob Elias with friend enjoyed the proceedings.  

DSC_0277 (Large)
Vivienne and John Ramirez (left, John is the designer of the Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus in Las Vegas) with Neil Cantor and Jeff Degrandis (far right).  

DSC_9974 (Large)
The incomparable Todd Kausen with his wonderful wife, Krista.  Todd donated a live and a silent auction item that tech nerds were all over…one involved filming a sporting event (you know there are going to be a lot of buttons to push) as well as another that included a behind-the-scenes tour of the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles (more widgets & gagdets!)

DSC_9999 (Large)
Artist, beard-grower, and all around great guy, Mike Kungl, with his charming and delightful wife, Dana, made the scene that much livelier and fun.  Mike has been working on a series of works that will be part of the Chuck Jones Centennial Homage series.  

DSC_0282 (Large)
A special thank you and shout-out to Stephen Russo, seen here with the Center's Program Director, Pamela Marsden, who provided Chuck Redux with all of these phenomenal photos!  Thank you, Stephen!

 

The Big Day: The Chuck Jones Experience Opens With a Big Kaboom!

The Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus, Las Vegas, opened Thursday, January 19th with a big kaboom!

Artists step repeat (Large)
On hand to inaugurate the new space were artists (from left) Jeff DeGrandis, producer and director of "Dora the Explorer" and other Nickelodeon cartoons; Eric Goldberg, renowned Disney animator and director who had also worked with Chuck Jones; Mike Peraza, Disney art director ("The Little Mermaid" and many others); muralist and actor, James C. Mulligan; celebrated mat painter and fine artist, James Coleman; emerging POP/OP artist Tennessee Loveless, Art Deco-inspired artist, Mike Kungl, and surf artist, Bob Elias (not shown).  All of the artists are creating artwork for the Chuck Jones Centennial Homage series to be released throughout 2012.  Watch this space for more information!

Craig kausen microphone (Large)
There was speechifying: Craig Kausen, grandson of Chuck Jones and Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity acted as the Master of Ceremonies and kept the assembled journalists, photographers, videographers, fans, and collectors laughing and the proceedings humming along.

Craig neil bugs in bg (Large)
Craig (left) introduced Neil Cantor, managing director of The Chuck Jones Experience, and the man who 17 years ago had dinner with Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera, and Chuck Jones where his idea for the Experience first blossomed. 

Craig don thrasher step repeat (Large)
Don Thrasher (right), President of Circus Circus enjoyed the Experience and officially welcomed it to the hotel.

Jones family step repeat (Large)
The Jones Family was on hand to celebrate, from left: Todd Kausen, Valerie Kausen, Marian Jones, Linda Jones Clough, and Craig Kausen. 

Eric goldberg microphone (Large)
The inimitable animator and director, Eric Goldberg, shared with the crowd his love of all things Chuck Jones and how, over the years, Jones has influenced his work.

Linda microphone (Large)
Linda Jones Clough, Chuck's daughter, made everyone laugh with her self-deprecating wit and then everyone teared up when she read a letter Chuck had written to Craig on his first birthday, "You charm me completely.  I am captured by your smile, touched by your bright love of life, enchanted completely and absolutely by your uniqueness. I think that being within you, looking out at this wonderful world must be a very splendid thing."  (There was not a dry eye in sight.)

Rob m craig k jeff d (Large)
"Dover Boys" Rob Minkoff (left) and Jeff DeGrandis (right) flank Craig Kausen. "The Dover Boys", so named by Linda Jones Clough, were a young group of students at CalArts that Chuck took a shine to and mentored over the remaining years of his life. 

Scissors or tnt (Large)

How would you rather have a grand opening, by cutting a boring old red ribbon (see scissors in Craig's right hand) or blow it up with a bouquet of ACME TNT as Neil is suggesting?  Everyone chose the ACME TNT and the plunger was pushed, the explosion 'rocked' and The Chuck Jones Experience opened with a bang (that big kaboom I mentioned at the beginning of the post.) 

Visit The Chuck Jones Experience online for more information and make sure to add it to your "to-do" list, "bucket" list or any other list you might be making.  As we celebrate the Chuck Jones Centennial (1912–2012) this year, we're hoping to reach 100,000 'likes' (or more) on Facebook.  If you're not a fan already, please join us in celebrating this amazing artist's life and times.

The Dover Boys Decamp to Culver City, Part Two

The amazing Dave Lowenstein (what can be said about him that hasn't been said already?  Let me try:  Dave is a gracious and gregarious host, a raconteur extraordinaire, a passionate collector & an all-around-fun guy) hosted a wonderful evening for the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity last night at his home (filled from floor to ceiling, corner to corner with an astounding collection of the art of the animated film.)

DSC_0377 (Large)
Dave Lowenstein (2nd from left) flanked by Cheryl Posner & Pamela Marsden (l to r) Executive Director & Program Director, respectively, of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and at far right, artist Sonny Dolberg, at last night's fund-raising event for the Center.

DSC_0276 (Large)
Craig Kausen, far right, grandson of Chuck Jones and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Center guffaws (and we might add, that image is the perfect visual description of the word 'guffaw') at the bons mots dropping like a hard rain from the Dover Boys, from left, Rob Minkoff, Kelly Asbury, Chris Bailey and Jeff DeGrandis. 

These "Dover Boys" were so named by Linda Jones Clough, Chuck's daughter, after they started hanging out with Chuck in the early 1980s while they were students at CalArts in Valencia.  Linda, center below, is shown with, from left, Kelly Asbury, Rob Minkoff, Clough, Chris Bailey and Jeff DeGrandis.

DSC_0301 (Large)
Want to know more about these amazing animation directors and producers?  Read the first part of this article, by clicking here.

DSC_0330 (Large)
Kelly Asbury, director of the hit animated film, "Gnomeo & Juliet" brought a roll of movie posters which he graciously signed for attendees at last night's evening get-together for the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

DSC_0327 (Large)
Linda Jones Clough, Chuck Jones' daughter (and only child) shares a laugh with the very funny Emmy Award-winning animation director & producer, Bob Kurtz. (All photos courtesy Stephen Russo.)