Reporting from Costa Mesa, CA: When our team started arriving at the new Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Costa Mesa (at South Coast Collection, Sunflower & Hyland, just north of the 405) yesterday morning at around 8:30 AM to prepare for last night's gala grand-opening (you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see photos and learn more about that part of day) we found Paul S., the construction foreman, with his head stuck in the "El Cheapo" lift. (Most of the above statement is true, but part of it is false…you'll need to make the judgement call.)
Linda Jones Clough, Chuck Jones's daughter, along with 24 carrots Catering & Events' own Nicole Schieppati, put their heads together and came up with a plan for the day. Without our gracious good fortune of being partnered with 24 carrots, the Center would not have had this amazing opportunity to be in this new 8000 square foot facility. Thank you 24 carrots Catering & Events!
Everyone looks so small! It was a Lilliputian moment as the hanging wires were installed by the 6'5" Scott Dicken (far left) with Steve Amaya on a 12' ladder and Tracy Tanner (President of the Center's volunteer council) assisted by the gracious Carol Erickson (far right; everyone give a big 'hello' to Carol, a longtime collector of the art of Chuck Jones who has recently joined the staff of the Center and the Chuck Jones Gallery. Welcome Carol!) offered their expert advice.
Carol (below) prepared the 20 Silent Auction bid boards for installation.
"Lights, Camera, Action!" made the scene, placed lovingly on its own wall; just to give you an idea of the size of this room, the wall it is hanging on is 23' wide by 17' high. Texas isn't the only place where everything is big!
Scott Dicken, VP of Retail Operations for the Chuck Jones Galleries, along with the intrepid Steve Amaya (both are 20 year veteran's of Linda Jones Enterprises…we have a tendency to stick around) found themselves up in the El Cheapo lift more often than not as we placed larger works of art on the main exhibition wall.
Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity (far left) and Linda Jones (back to camera, 2nd from left) help Paul, the construction foreman, negotiate the El Cheapo Lift (okay, that's really the name of the company that supplies the lifts we use and we find it immensely amusing, hence its repeated appearance in this post) around the ceiling's truss supports. Please note that the back wall has since been hung with a variety of works by a group of new artists who are paying homage to Chuck Jones during his centennial year, but more on that later.
The main exhibition wall after installation. In this instance, we felt a 'salon' installation was best for the space and for the evening ahead.
Finally, at the end of yesteday afternoon, things seemed to be in place and ready for 400 of our nearest and dearest. Christopher Scardino, Chuck Jones Gallery art consultant extraordinaire and the Center's teaching artist (he channels Chuck's teaching philosophy of nurturing and gentle guidance) stands between original works by Bob Elias (left) and James C. Mulligan (right) that we had placed in our incompleted office area that was off limits to our guests last night, but which we used as a staging area for the event. Art goes everywhere, no matter the setting!
Tomorrow, watch this space for photos and details from last night's gala grand-opening of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity!