Saturday, January 5, 2013

Art of Schulz at Laguna College of Art & Design

Friend of FLIP Dave Pruiksma has announced the worldwide debut of The Minerd Collection - and exhibition of original Peanuts artwork by Charles Schulz as well as rare artwork from the TV specials.  The show runs from January 23rd through February 14th, with a reception on February 7th, from 5 to 8 as part of the First Thursdays Art Walk in Laguna Beach.

Dave told FLIP, "This exhibit is free and open to the public. It is one of the largest collection of Peanuts and Schultz artwork in private ownership. The collection encapsulates Schulz's original strip art from every major area in the development of the Peanuts strip and even back to the earlier Lil' Folks panel cartoons. There is original artwork from numerous Animated television specials and features and original illustrations for magazines, such as TV guide and more. A rare exhibition, the owner's first, of one of the richest and most diverse collections of Charles Schultz and Peanuts artwork."

You may thing "Eh." at the prospect such an exhibit.  The draftsmanship in Schulz's strip was not exactly awe-inspiring, and the artwork from TV specials was a load of blandishment, save for Bill Melendez's animation.   Still, there's something about seeing the original, seeing the artist's hand - be it the Mona Lisa, a Norman Rockwell, or Charles Schulz' very simple ink drawings - that makes seeing them in person fascinating and very worthwhile.

I'm not trying to bag on Schulz, his work was one of my greatest inspirations as a child.  He's one of the  cartoon gods to me.  But he was no Milton Caniff now, was he?  You won't find yourself staring at the detail, or the incredible cross-hatch rendering and use of tones, or the skilled ink line.  The art in Schulz' work was his ability to present adult emotional issues through simple, charming drawings.  This was his

As for the TV specials, I had a friend who worked on them in the '80's.  He said, "It helps if you break your drawing hand first."  But if they put up pencil test loops of Bill Melendez's you're talking!  

Exhibit hours: Mon-Fri 12 -4 PM

Location: 2222 Laguna Canyon Road
                Laguna Beach

Phone: (949) 376-6000

Now a note about Dave Pruiksma.  He is now sharing the mounds of animation experience gained at Disney Studios with students at Laguna College of Art and Design. Like an animation Pez dispenser, the kids can't get enough.  He runs the animation school there, and has brought some heavyweight cred to the program.  Congrats, Dave!


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