Words Alive and Chuck Jones Center Collaborate on "Presence" Project

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Chuck Jones Center for Creativity has collaborated with the San Diego-based non-profit, Words Alive, to bring an art component to their most recent project. Words Alive works with under-served youth in the schools of San Diego County instilliing in them a love of reading that will last a lifetime. This year, the project is "Presence, an Invitation to Be Your Creative and Authentic Self" and the students will be reading Ta-Nehisi Coates "Between the World and Me" and illlustrating their concept of the project through stop-motion animation. Which is where the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity comes in. 

Craig Kausen, grandson of Chuck Jones and Board Chairman of the Center along with Denise Dion-Scoyni, Lead Teaching Artist, and Naylene Justis, a teaching artist at the Center met with the volunteer staff of Words Alive a couple of weeks ago and shared with them the ways and means of producing a short stop-motion animated film. The Words Alive volunteers will then take their new found knowledge and share it with the students participating in the program. 

Art produced in the creation of these short, animated films, will be displayed at the Chuck Jones Gallery for a reception honoring the students and their work in early June of this year. Watch this space for details. 

The Linda Jones Archive: Crier in the Wilderness by Chuck Jones, Part 4

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Note from Linda: At the time of this article, February 7, 1957, the lead-in stated the following: “Chuck Jones has been Art Director of the Crier from its infancy, and herein tells you how come. He and Dottie dwell in a fabulous glass-and-stone aerie up in Hollywood Knolls, and Little Linda is all grown up and married.”  I was, as stated in the article, seven years old in 1944. I well remember my father’s “war warden” hard hat…with a webbing inside that fascinated me…but he wouldn’t let me play with it. He went out almost every night, from our blacked out home, with his huge flashlight and his hard hat and a first aid kit slung over his chest. The searchlights interspersed the stars…and they were not for movie openings, but searching for enemy aircraft. Here is Part IV.[PART IV] The Oddments of War

            Thus she joined the carpool and the “Canyon Crier” became a factor in our lives. We were at about this time promoted to a kind of restricted B sticker for our gasoline ration I was working on a project to camouflage Signal Hill rather a thankless job since the oil wells could only be disguised as something that looked like another military objective like a ship yard, an ammunition dump or an air-field. I think our final suggestion was to build two other fake Signal Hillses and hope for the best, or to make a gigantic tent big enough to cover all of Long Beach. At any rate we managed to carry on, although I occasionally had to employ the steps, dare the dog, and the Rhus diversiloba (poison oak).

            It was through the tiny pages of the Crier that we were informed of the activities of Civilian Defense. Dan Duryea, as I remember it, was Senior Warden in our parts. Ken Harris was block Warden. Kent Winthers was Junior Warden and I was Fire Watcher, since we were almost the sole residents of Passmore Drive at that time. The Finkel house, now owned and beautifully remodeled by Hal and Margo Findlay, was then empty and the only other house was occupied, I believe, by a schizophrenic who thought he was a German spy but never came outdoors long enough to find out. He it was who had bought the confused Doberman thinking him to be a turn=coat (or turn-pelt). The three of us then were the task force that manned Operation Passmore, and even though in the giant logistics of war such minutia are often overlooked, yet it is true that we kept Passmore Drive remarkably free of fire-bombs.

[See you next week, with Part V]

The Linda Jones Archive: Crier in the Wilderness by Chuck Jones, Part 3

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Note from Linda: At the time of this article, February 7, 1957, the lead-in stated the following: “Chuck Jones has been Art Director of the Crier from its infancy, and herein tells you how come. He and Dottie dwell in a fabulous glass-and-stone aerie up in Hollywood Knolls, and Little Linda is all grown up and married.”  I was, as stated in the article, seven years old in 1944. We had a beautiful, big yellow tom cat named Passmore (yes, named after the street we lived on). One day I asked my parents, “If Passmore had kittens, could we have one?”  Of course, their answer was that Passmore was a tom cat and therefore could not have kittens. I said, “But IF he had kittens, could we have one?” With a knowing glance at each other, they agreed. I took them across the street to our neighbor’s black cat who had just had five adorable little yellow kittens…Yes, I got not only one, but two…I named them Rudy and Bennie…Here is Part III.[PART III] House with Long Haul

            I decided to employ logic. Even if I lost with Dottie, I might impress Linda. I indicated with patient yet pointed logic that the two miles to the nearest lady-ridge-resider ride-sharing intersection was Woodrow Wilson and Mulholland, while the nearest market was but a scant half mile from our home on Passmore Drive…and all down hill, including one hundred and eighty-seven steps connecting our street with steps connecting our street with the one below. Furthermore it would take a full day’s supply of gas in our gasping Oldsmobile to struggle up Woodrow Wilson to Mulholland and share in the economies of the ridge girls in their gay junkets to Finkle’s market at Highland and Franklin.

            She had gained confidence through my maunderings and gently exhaling a fragrant cloud of rum, maple and tobacco, said that down-hill empty-handed became up-hill grocery laden, that the one hundred and eighty steps was a farce going down with gravity as a friend, but became an endless cement ladder going up, laden with salmon, Spam, short-ribs, and such. Furthermore the steps were dangerous; behind a fence paralleling the last fifty feet lived a psychotic Doberman Pinscher, a reject from the Canine Corps—who in being taught to bite enemy soldiers had carried instructions a step further and now bit anything. He had gnawed a head-sized hole out of his chain link fence, and travelers on the steps could only avoid the action of his garbage-disposal jaws by wading through a breast-high orchard of greasy poison oak opposite him. When Linda was with her, she had to carry her—and the groceries—over her (Dottie’s) head. All this she was willing to endure, she said, but in her illogical woman’s way she just couldn’t see what having poison oak, hydrophobia, and a weakened hearts was doing to further the war effort.

[Come back next week for part IV!]

15 Years

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It's hard to believe it has been 15 years and, at the same time, only 15 years since my Grandfather, Chuck Jones, passed away on February, 22, 2002.On the one hand, I still have instantaneous thoughts of calling him to ask about this or that during my day to day activities. It feels like he is still actively involved in the world, at least in my world, because so many people continue to talk about him, continue to study his vast creations, and continue to use his guidance and principles to shape their creative careers.  And I personally continue to unearth answers from him to new questions that arise from his writings, scribbled notes, an obscure interview, or a story that someone relays to me about him in a happenstance conversation.

On the other hand, the world seems to have so dramatically changed since he died in 2002, certainly my world has, that it feels like an eternity since then.

I suppose that these instantaneously contradicting perspectives of time illustrate one of his most often quoted philosophies.  Although it is apparent that the mechanics of animation is an illusion created one moment at a time, he profoundly observed that "Animation isn't the illusion of Life; it is Life."  Perhaps this contradiction of illusion and not illusion points to a piece of why he and his films, philosophies, and teachings are so timeless.

I miss him but fortunately he is timelessly with me always.

The Linda Jones Archive: Crier in the Wilderness by Chuck Jones, Part 2

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CRIER IN THE WILDERNESS by Chuck JonesPart II

Note from Linda: At the time of this article, February 7, 1957, the lead-in stated the following: “Chuck Jones has been Art Director of the Crier from its infancy, and herein tells you how come. He and Dottie dwell in a fabulous glass-and-stone aerie up in Hollywood Knolls, and Little Linda is all grown up and married.”  I was, as stated in the article, seven years old in 1944. We had a live-in mother’s helper named Mary. Mary was a junior at USC and had been born and raised in Los Angeles. Mary was my bestest friend…and I was heartbroken when she (and her parents) were taken to the Internment Camp for Japanese citizens…Here is Part II of the Canyon Crier article started last week.

 [PART II] - Wifely Wiles

The fact that my wife was not working, an activity usually associated with car-pools, did not really constitute an incongruity in my mind. She already owned a rapier, a euphonium and a suit of formal riding attire, even though she had no interest in swordsmanship (“buttons”), tuba-class instruments, or fox-hunting (‘driving a tack with a sledge hammer”). She simply liked these articles for themselves, and I found it quite believable that she would join a car-pool just to drive out to Cal-ship, wrap bandages, and read Dickens in the back of the car all day, and ride back with the boys at night.

“I read about it in ‘The Canyon Crier’”, she said, producing this miniscule yet action-provoking sheet from behind a package of RUM ‘N MAPLE cigarettes. (Why was it always possible during the war to obtain cartons of RUM ‘N MAPLE cigarettes, when less exotic brands where available only in butt form?)

“The girls up on the ridge do their marketing together on a car-sharing basis,” her lip quivered, “eye wan tu-tu.”

“Eye wan tu-tu?”

She pursed her eye-lids. “I want to, too. I want to car-share, too. I want to ride with the girls and market with the girls. Other wives get to, why not me? I’ll plan a plan so I’ll get it all done at once.”

She was about to offer to hold her breath and turn blue if I refused to listen.

I felt this might be a poor example to our daughter Linda, whose seven-year-old blue-eyed naiveté concealed only too well a jaundiced cynicism toward our ostensible maturity.

[Part III next week!]

The Linda Jones Archive: Crier in the Wilderness by Chuck Jones

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Crier in the Wilderness by Chuck JonesNote from Linda: At the time of this article, February 7, 1957, the lead-in stated the following: “Chuck Jones has been Art Director of the Crier from its infancy, and herein tells you how come. He and Dottie dwell in a fabulous glass-and-stone aerie up in Hollywood Knolls, and Little Linda is all grown up and married.”  I was, as stated in the article, seven years old in 1944. I was in the second grade at Valley View School, to which I walked each day…actually uphill (and downhill) both ways! There were 72 steps from the street to our front door. My father’s studio was a room over the garage, which was only 40 steps from the street, but 32 steps down from the front door. I called this the “castle house” and from what I can see of it these days, it looks very much the same as it did in the early forties when we lived there.  --   I have decided to publish this article in six parts, along with the illustrations that accompanied the article at that time. Here is Part I.

[PART I]

The first time I knew that there was such a publication as the “Canyon Crier” was that night during the war when my wife began to make whimpering noises and little dog-like running motions in her sleep. This type of restlessness always presages a complaint or new statement of policy at the following breakfast table, so I was as prepared—to use the term so loosely as to be idiotic—when she gave her first post-orange juice cough. This then was going to be a statement of policy, a new venture or something current on Linda’s up-bringing from Ribble, Ilg, Gesell or Spock, known as RIGS in our household. If it was going to be a complaint, she would have cleared her throat rather than coughing. Thus do we survive through understanding the delicate code of marital communication.

“I’m going to join a car pool,” she said, smearing a quarter pat of butter on a heel of raisin bread toast. (Why is raisin bread so easy to come by during war-time?” The time necessary to chew up and swallow a rag of raisin bread toast was the time allotted me to consider a spate of short-handish thoughts: “Car-pool? Why? Where? Who? How? Huh?”

[Stay tuned…more next week!]

The Chuck Jones Center and UCLA SEA

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The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity applied for and was accepted as one of 10 non-profit organizations to participate in the 2017 UCLA Social Enterprise Academy.Established 15 years ago, SEA works with non-profits from around southern California, to help them develop social enterprises that will help fund them and their prorgrams now and into the foreseeable future. 

It pairs five 3rd and 4th year Economics students with the non-profit. The Center is working with a dynamic group of young people. They came down to make a site visit a few weeks ago and our lead teaching artist, Denise Dion-Scoyni put them through a rigorous series of creative exercises. Their "genius" got a good work-out!

The class meets once-a-week and the non-profits meet with them at UCLA every other week. By the end of May, the students and their non-profits will make a presentation to angel investors and the winning non-profits will split a considerable monetary prize to help them jump start their social enterprise.. The best part though, is that every non-profit leaves the Academy with a viable social enterprise that includes a business plan and a marketing plan. 

This week, Craig Kausen, chairman of the Board, presented the Center's students with the work of art they had collaborated on during their visit to the Center. It's hidden aspect revealed!

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity Art Student, Jamie Martin, in the Spotlight!

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Inspire Charter School featured one of their high school students, Jamie Martin, in their January newsletter. Jamie's one of the Center's most talented up-and-coming young artists and has been nurtured by our lead teaching artist, Denise Dion-Scoyni, for the past couple of years. For more information about private art lessons at the Center, please contact our program manager, Cyndi Burgess, at Cyndi@ChuckJonesCenter.org or by calling 949-660-7793. Looney Tunes characters are copyright Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.

The Linda Jones Clough Archive: Ode to the Washam Wedding

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Chuck Jones's daughter, Linda Jones Clough, will be posting weekly, material from her personal archive of writings and ephemera created by her father over the course of his lifetime. Today, she presents "Ode the Washam Wedding" a poem Chuck Jones wrote celebrating the wedding anniversary of his friend and colleague, Ben Washam. It is important to note that Chuck was intimate friends with his animators throughout his career.Linda recounted that as a four-year old, Ben Washam's wife, Eddie, was one of her favorite visitors--always ready with a lap and a kind word.

From: Chuck Jones

To: Ben and Eddie Washam

Re: Eighth wedding anniversary, October 1942

ODE TO THE WASHAM WEDDING

Happy wedding anniversary to the Washams. I.E.: to Benny and Eddie,

Who apparently have gone together for a long time. Steady.

From where I sit it looks like you have been married since nineteen

thirty-four. To be exact, in October.

Were you sober?

Or were you drunk with love or liquor.

And so woke up the next morning with a screaming headache thinking

you had never felt worse or been sicquor?

Eight years is a good long time to have been married.

Some people I know quite well would rather be hari-karied.

But I want you to know that marriage is a thing that I spend a good deal

of time endorsing.

It’s better than horsing

And being a general gadabout,

Even though some irresponsible wolves may be madabout

You.

Pew!

Just remember that when you’re a hundred and nine years old and not

married and not pretty.

It’s pretty s----y.

(That line is only dirty if you make it so.

I might have meant ‘sweaty’ if you pronounced ‘pretty’ ‘pretty’

instead of ‘pritty’, or I might have meant ‘sweety’ if you

pronounced ‘pretty’ ‘preety’ like Mexicans do, no?)

Well, anyway, you dirty-minded little couple you, Happy Birthday to

the inception of your connubial bliss.

Do you realize this:

For twenty-nine hundred and nineteen nights Benny has been saying:

“Beddie?”

And Eddie answers, “Ready.”

Autism Resource Mom at the Center

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Autism Resource Mom, a local Orange County organization that provides support, guidance and hope for parents of children with autism, held a year-end creativity workshop for their children (and themselves) at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity on Monday, December 5th. Debora Smith, founder of ARM, had this to say about the evening:"I’m happy to report that AUTISM RESOURCE MOM’s holiday event was yet another huge success! I’m thrilled we were able to sneak one more of these in before the end of the year. Our families were in agreement—they absolutely loveDenise and her artist assistants.

"What I enjoy about the evening is watching our kids “get lost” in their creations and in doing so, feel comfortable enough to let their guard down a bit. And I know their anxieities are lessened because the kids are talking with peers, talking with other adults, making social connections. It’s quite remarkable. 

"In the Post-Event Survey, one question reads: What are the top 3 things you liked about tonight’s Art & Creativity Workshop? Here are some responses:

The giggles, the creativity and no judgement

So creative, very organized and fun

It was fun, relaxing; kids could move around as needed, not restrictive

The helpers were fun and encouraging, the flexibility, different projects to choose from

That our kids are very creative and need a space and opportunity to expand it; and socially this is a great event

Very laid back, awesome venue, great selection of activities at the different stations

"The final headcount was: 26 parents/kids; 2-man video crew for Autism Resource Mom; 1 reporter from the OC Register; 3 CJCC awesome artist helpers and last but not least, the one-and-only Denise Dion-Scoyni [the lead teaching artist at the Center]!

"On behalf of our entire organization and all our families, we are profoundly grateful to everyone at Chuck Jones Center for Creativity for working with us to make this possible. It’s becoming one of our signature events—and I think that’s pretty cool."

More information about ARM available here.

Craig Kausen to Speak at Colorado Springs Fine Art Center

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On Saturday, December 3rd at noon, Craig Kausen, the grandson of animator and Oscar-winning director Chuck Jones, will give a special presentation in the Music Room of the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center where he will discuss his grandfather’s work.During the “Golden Age” of animation, Chuck Jones helped bring to life many of Warner Bros.’ most famous characters and created characters such as Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin Martian, Pepe le Pew, and many others. Jones also directed the 1966 television special, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. After the talk, join collector Bill Heeter in the galleries to learn more about his private collection of original animation cels and ephemera. Please RSVP for this event, as there is limited seating, by emailing boxoffice@csfineartscenter.org or calling 719.477.4310. For more information about the exhibit and the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, click here.

What's Up, Doc? Craig Kausen at the Huntsville Museum of Art

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Craig Kausen, chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity traveled to Huntsville, Alabama to deliver a talk to museum patrons on Thursday, November 17. The Huntsville Museum of Art is currently hosting the Smithsonian's touring exhibit, "What's Up, Doc? The Animated Art of Chuck Jones" (through January 22, 2017. It's fifth stop in its travels around the United States since the exhibit opened in New York City in July of 2014. In his presentation, titled "Chuck Jones: A Lifetime of Animated Creativity", Craig talked about the inspirations and influences that affected and contributed to the creative genius of Chuck Jones, including his early childhood, attendance at Chouinard Art Institute, his time at Warner Bros. Animation Studio, the recognition of his peers (receiviing multiple Academy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996), and the legacy and influence he engendered and left behind after his passing in 2002.

Before his talk that evening, though, Craig met with Laura E. Smith, the museum's Director of Education and the museum's docents during the day to give them a first hand tour of the exhibit and to share his remembrances of his grandfather and the work he produced in his lifetime.  

Photos by Jeff White.

Lil' Elves Gift-making Workshop

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Monday, December 19Lil Elves Gift-Making Workshop

3 to 8:30 PM 

Drop Off & Dine available from 5:30 to 8:30

Enjoy a nice dinner out in SoCo while we keep your lil' Elves busy and creative making one-of-a-kind gifts.

Paint a mini-canvas

Create a keepsake by bending paper

Mold an ornament from clay

$10 per person per hour. For each additional sibling add $3 per hour. Grilled cheese kids meal from Iron Press can be purchased. Children must be 4+ years old. Two hour minimum. Parents agree to stay within SoCo or the OC Mix.

Each of the following restaurants at South Coast Collection are offering discounts or other specials for this Drop Off and Dine program. Coupons available when you check-in with your child. Shuck Oyster Bar, Pueblo, The Cheese Shop, Iron Press, Timakira, We Olive. (Special discounts good only night of 12/19/16.)

Become a Junior Animator!

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Beginning January 9, 2017, join us once a week on Monday afternoons, from 3:30 to 5:00 PM and become a JUNIOR ANIMATOR!This eight (8) week hands-on creativity program will teach young artists (ages 8 - 14) about animation while nurturing the creative thought process and self-expression.

Techniques inspired by Chuck Jones are used to teach character development and visual story-telling. No experience necessary.

Learn to draw a variety of characters including your own unique character to star in a tale you imagine. Learn how to put your ideas into motion!

JANUARY

9 White Seal: Watch the film, "The White Seal" and learn how to draw Kotick.

16 Bugs Bunny: Watch Chuck drawing Bugs Bunny then draw Bugs yourself.

23 Marvin Martian: Use your imagination to place Marvin in outer space.

30 Character Development: Create a character uniquely your own.

FEBRUARY

6 Storyboard: Using story arc, imagine and draw a nine-panel comic.

13 Flip-Books: Put your story into motin by sequencing.

20 Cel Animation: Ink and paint a character onto a clear cel.

27 Cel Animation: Paint a background using perspective. 

PRICING

$120 Program Pre-registration (8 classes @ $15 each)

$17 Class Pre-registration (singular, specific week)

$20 Drop-in (as space allows)

Enroll today by clicking here.

New Junior Girl Scout Badge Workshop!

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CALLING ALL JUNIOR GIRL SCOUTS!Our Junior Drawing Creativity Workshop will gather Girl Scouts (8-11 years old) from many troops for imaginative collaboration. You'll experiment with tools as you learn to draw some of Chuck's most famous characters. You'll use your imagination to create a unique character. And you'll learn hands-on techniques that bring your character to life with shading and perspective. 

Our teaching artists will guide scouts toward earning a drawing badge wiht content relevant to Girl Scouts requirements. $25 per scout. All materials are included. This class is scheduled for Sunday, January 8, 2017 from 1 to 4 PM. Click here to purchase this class.

"...be counted on to stand up."

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Although this quote by Chuck Jones was written  in January of 1961, it is particularly pertinent to today.“Today, we cannot envisage a protected world that does not include them all, and so [my] hope this year to all people everywhere is for a future–sheltered by the stars, sweetened by clean air, and above all fostering a climate in which no man can be commanded to stand up and be counted–but where every man can be counted on to stand up.” –Chuck Jones

Lots of Creativity Options this Weekend!

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The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is offering a weekend full of creativity! Saturday morning at the Center will be Drop In & Draw from 9:30 AM to noon; it's free and open to the public. The Center will be at the Newport Beach Civic Center from 10 AM to 4 PM for "Art in the Park" with several different creativity stations in play. Sunday, October 16: Please join us for PLAY IT FORWARD, a FUNdraiser for Creativity from 1 to 4 PM. 10 creativity stations will be swinging all afternoon long. Make a halloween mask, make a toy, color, animate, make a musical instrument, write song lyrics, do voice over work at a Foley Station, plus much, much more, including a fabulous Silent Auction! Tickets are available at PIF4Creativity.org.

The Banner Revealed at Festival of Children

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On Saturday, September 17th, the Center hosted a coloring station at Festival of Children held at South Coast Plaza. We'd broken up a large drawing by Chuck Jones of the Looney Tunes characters enjoying reading, so participants didn't know what panel was going where. The following weekend, the completed panels were put together and hung from the 2nd floor balcony by the Carousel. It was an awesome display. Thanks to everyone who colored and played with us on the 17th -- you're rock stars!