Singer/Songwriter Johnny Irion Set to Sing at Red Dot Auction


Johnny Irion, acclaimed singer and songwriter, will perform in advance of the live auction of the "Steinbeck Collection" at this year's Red Dot Auction, a fundraiser benefiting the programs of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. Now and then in American culture, the written word fuses the worlds of music and literature. Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize is only the most obvious example.  An individual singer-songwriter can sometimes embody that fusion in his life and work. That’s Johnny Irion, whose family tree includes John Steinbeck and Woody Guthrie, and whose new record Driving Friend was backed by Blackwing, the artisan pencil brand Chuck Jones used so fondly.

The record, which includes members of Dawes, Wilco and the Mother Hips, ranges across a wide expanse of roots genres, from blues and gospel to folk and country. Everything about it feels authentically crafted, a carving out of raw, lived American experience that goes to the heart of the Blackwing ethos. Whether Irion is singing about Santa Barbara, Pittsfield or the Rapture, his sharp wit, telling description and brief character studies take us to a musical hometown of his own, quite a feat for a rocker whose last record with his band US Elevator was hailed by Rolling Stone Magazine as being as “lovingly handcrafted as the jeans on the back of Neil Young’s After The Gold Rush.”

This not-to-be-missed peformance is scheduled during the live auction portion of the Red Dot Auction, now in its eighth year. Tickets are still available at 

A Special Message from the Chairman


Dear friends of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity,If it were possible for me to stand in front of each of you who contributed to the success of this year's Red Dot Auction, take your hands in mine and personally say thank you, I would do it.

Instead, I must rely on words to convey my sincerest gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to the artists who created such wonderful artwork, to the hundreds of supporters who attended either one or both of the evening events and bid on and won the beautiful artwork created by these incredibly talented artists, to the generous sponsors who helped by underwriting a portion of the costs of the event, to the Center's Board of Directors who help guide the growth of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, and to the Center's staff and volunteers who produced and organized the event.

Please know that I am deeply humbled by the outpouring of love shown to the Center by the people like you who made the two-night Red Dot Auction such a rousing success. Not only for your financial support, but also for your commitment to the vision of the Center, a world where creativity is known in every discipline, by the many, not just the few. With your help we are on the way to achieving that.

We see it in the faces of the children in schools without arts education who spend a workshop hour with our teaching artists, we hear it from the young adults who are on the autism spectrum and their families who join us for an evening of painting, we feel it when those with early onset dementia and other neurological issues discover the joy of their own creative genius.

This is the wealth that creativity spreads when people like you come together in common cause for the betterment of our world.

Thank you with all my heart,

Craig Kausen

Chuck 102Gether! A Tribute to Collaborative Creativity!


102Gether is a film festival tribute to the teams that created the Golden Age of Warner Bros. cartoons. For the first time ever, the families of many of the great directors, producers, writers and more of the era will come together, including the families of Robert Clampett,  Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Robert McKimson, as well as Leon Schlesinger, Mel Blanc, Michael Maltese.  Also expected to appear are living members of the Warner Bros. team, June Foray, Auril Thompson, and Martha Segal.                                               Cartoons from each director will be shown on the big screen. M.C. for the evening: Bugs Bunny on Broadway/Bugs Bunny at the Symphony creator and conductor, Maestro George Daugherty.  Q&A with representatives of each family on stage following the program.


Doors open: 2:30 p.m.

Meet and greet in the lobby: 2:30 to 3:00

Program begins: 3:00 p.m.

Running Time: 120 minutes +

Intermission: Fifteen minute intermission at 4:00.

Age Suitability: All ages.

Photography and video recording: allowed for live portions of program.

Call for Artists to Participate in the 3rd Annual Red Dot Auction


Dear Artists and Friends of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, Preparations are underway for the Third Annual Red Dot Auction benefiting the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity scheduled for May 11, 2013. As you are aware, creativity in our schools and in our national conversation is always the first thing to be eliminated or casually dismissed as unimportant. In fact, it is creativity that opens the minds and hearts of all who allow it to, it brings greater freedom to their lives. It enhances one's ability to solve problems and it opens minds to the differences that make each of us unique, erasing prejudices and bigotry. Creativity makes the world a better place.

Today I’m writing to ask you to donate a work of art to this year’s Red Dot Auction, to be held on Saturday, May 11th from 6 to 9 PM at the Center in Costa Mesa, California.  Again this year the canvas is 12” square and as last year, we ask that you sign the artwork on the reverse.  You may prefer to work on paper or another substrate and that’s fine as long as we can mount it to the 12” square canvas for presentation the night of the event. 

For those of you who may be unaware of the Red Dot Auction and how it works (or may have forgotten), here are the details: each artist contributes a work of art that is either painted on the canvas we provide you or creates a work of art that can be mounted to the canvas for display the evening of the auction.  The artwork should be signed on the reverse so that bidders at this silent auction will not know who has created which painting—although savvy collectors may be aware of your particular style and will jealously guard their bids, hoping to land a work by ______ or ____ ______.  

We are still in the midst of the Chuck Jones Centennial year and we'd like to carry over the suggested theme from last year from which to draw your inspiration: the life and times of Chuck Jones. That should not limit you to cartoon-related imagery, although many of the most sought after works at last year’s event were inspired by his Looney Tunes creations; you might be inspired by his love of travel, his admiration for the work of Mark Twain or the fact that he never had one cavity his entire life (true!) 

Whatever you choose to do, of course, is up to you; it is your participation that is most important to us. 

Won't you share your gifts with us and with the Center's members and patrons?  If you will, please drop me a note with your mailing address and I’ll get a canvas out to you.  What’s that you say?  You’d like to contribute two works?  No problem!  Just let me know and I’ll send you two canvases.  Have an artist friend who would like to be a part of this exciting project?  Please send them my way.  Canvases are due back here no later than April 19th. Write to me at 

Thank you in advance for your generosity, time, and commitment to re-invigorating the creative spirit in all of us.  

All the best, Robert