Tag Archives: Joseph Yakovetic

Blackwing Experience Opens with a “What’s Up, Doc?”

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.

DSC05150In 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…DSC05147…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.DSC05163One 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!

DSC05162Another 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!

DSC05180The 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!

DSC05156And 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.

DSC05170Artists Joseph Yakovetic, left, and Robert Delgadillo (AKA Radboy).

DSC05168Chuck Jones “Homage” artist and surfer, Bob Elias.

DSC05171Henri Duong, Project Manager at Gigasavvy, with his friend, Kimberly, show off their artistic sides.

DSC05174The 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.)

DSC05175Rogue’s gallery from left: Kyle Johnston, VP Online Marketing at Gigasavvy with Joel Tanner and Craig Kausen.

DSC05186Somewhere 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!

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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…)

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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.

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These patrons of the Center bid often and won often!

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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!

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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. 

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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.

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Ain't we got fun?

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

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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.)

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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!

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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!

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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!

Let me bring you up-to-date…

Last night the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity was the setting for a preview of its Spring fundraiser, the Red Dot Auction. It was an intimate evening that allowed the Center's donors and benefactors the opportunity to meet many of the contributing artists to this, the 3rd annual Red Dot Auction.

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For the world-weary, a lounge.

The Center sparkled and shone in the early evening's setting sun and the donated artwork, arrayed as it is on the "spokes" of a wheel with a red dot stage as its hub, glittered and enticed.

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You know, the great thing about the Red Dot Auction, as Chuck Redux has always maintained, is the love it generates. Each and every artist has given of themselves to help fund creativity and you, when you're standing in the middle of all that generosity, can't help but feel the joy of such gift-giving. Did we mention that bidding begins at only $100.00? 


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Husband and wife artists Dana (center) and Mike Kungl greet one of the Center's longtime supporters, collector Tom M. as last night's get-together got going. Funny story: Mike called Chuck Redux earlier in the day and said, "You won't mind if I come a little early, would you?" he queried, "I was thinking about the work I donated and realized it would be much much better if I painted a little bit of sparkle in the character's eye. It will only take me a moment." So, arrive early he did with paint and paint brush, we quietly slipped him into our office and seconds later, he was satisfied with the results. Chuck Redux will admit that the addition of the 'sparkle' was just the thing to finish his wonderful donation!

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Council president, Tracy Tanner (right) and one of the Council's community ambassadors, Steve Smith, stopped to smile for the camera. The Chuck Jones Council for Creativity is the volunteer arm of the Center. 

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Artist Ylenia Mino flew in from New York City just to be a part of the festivities! Thank you, Ylenia, for making the trip, and for your generous donation, it means the world to us.

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Painter, pirate, and philanthropist, James C. Mulligan (center)shows off a recent painting to Linda Jones Clough, daughter of Chuck Jones, and her son, Craig Kausen, chairman of the Center. Jimmy's inspiration for the painting was a late '40s cover drawing by Chuck Jones for the square dance magazine, "Sets in Order" which depicts a deep-sea diver square dancing with a beautiful mermaid.

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Artist Joseph Yakovetic and his lovely wife, Sammy, making the scene at last night's Artist Meet & Greet.

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Artist Jeffrey Fliehler, Minerva the goddess, and Mike Wedaa of Opis Network enjoy the hospitality of the evening.

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Artist Allyson Vought with her S.O., Lisa, along with Dave L., one of the Council's volunteers and a patron of the Center get close for Chuck Redux.

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Artists George Garcia (far left) and Scott Ryder (2nd from right–Scott is also the gallery assistant at the Center and without whose help, Chuck Redux would be in a world of hurt) with the special women in their lives celebrate at last night's informal gathering of artistic temperaments. 

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Scott Dicken (right, and who is really tall), the VP of retail for the Chuck Jones Galleries, discusses the finer points of building a collection with Sandra and Louis L., art collectors and patrons of the Center. Okay, not true, they were talking baseball, maybe, or they could have been talking about something else entirely for at this point in the evening Chuck Redux's attention span was on the wane.

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Artist Luis Salazar (left) along with Dave L., Carol Erickson (2nd from right–and a Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant and collector), and Susan Palcsik (who is known for herding cats in a room full of rocking chairs) say goodnight to Chuck Redux at the end of the evening.

And that's what you missed at the preview party for the 3rd Annual Red Dot Auction. Tickets are still available and at the door for tonight's big gala. Go to the Center's website, ChuckJonesCenter.org for more information. See you tonight!