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!
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.
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!
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.
Marian Jones, wife of Chuck Jones, with her friend Dickson Shafer, enjoyed the evening.
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.
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.
Writer, blogger, and cartoon historian, Jerry Beck, was one of the well-wishers, seen here with friend Yvette Kaplan.
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.
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.
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!)
Here's Craig sharing his feelings about his grandfather and creativity before the live auction.
Here's what Craig was facing during his presentation. Estimated attendance, 375.
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!
Collectors Louis and Sandra Lozano (2nd & 3rd from left) enjoyed their Carrotinis with the Yetsko's; Johnny (far left), John, Leigh, and Matt.
Artist Bob Elias with friend enjoyed the proceedings.
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).
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!)
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.
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!