I WISH I HAD FRIENDS LIKE THAT!
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I Wish I Had Friends Like That!
curated by Amy Van Gilder
Opening: Saturday, October 15th, 7 pm - 10 pm
Exhibition: October 15th - November 15th, 2016
Amy Van Gilder, Andrea Bottancino, Antoinette Argyropoulos, Aprile Lanza Boettcher, Bartholomew Cooke, Belinda Del Pesco, Bruce Vaughn, Chris Holm, Heather Henson, Heather Rosenman, Henry Higginson, Jeanette Russell, Jim Henson, John Stevenson, Leo Monahan, Leslie W. LePere, Louie Lemoine, Luciano Martinez, Mari Kaestle, Mark Huber, Michael K. Frith, Racket Shreve, Richard Loveless, Shelley Short, Sibyl Rubottom, Valerie Edwards
The Flower Pepper Gallery is pleased to present I Wish I Had Friends Like That!, an exhibition curated by Emmy award-nominated Pasadena artist Amy Van Gilder. A Peabody Award-winning veteran of The Muppet Show and Walt Disney Imagineering, Van Gilder has spent four decades creating and building iconic characters, including work for The Labyrinth, The Great Muppet Caper, Fraggle Rock and The Dark Crystal.
This unique exhibition brings together work by 25 artists Van Gilder has collaborated with throughout her career, from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design to The Jim Henson Company to The Walt Disney Company. “It is a grand grouping of work by artists I've known over a lifetime. Some are quite acknowledged, others not, but they all make great art,” says Van Gilder.
The group includes Michael K. Frith, former creative director for Jim Henson Productions, friend and editor for Dr. Seuss, and founder of children’s education company Sirius, creator of award-winning PBS puppet show Between the Lions; John Stevenson, British animation filmmaker, puppeteer and director of Kung Fu Panda; virtuoso paper sculptor Leo Monahan whose work is held in the Smithsonian’s permanent collection; Mari Kaestle, an Emmy Award-winning designer who helped create Miss Piggy; Sibyl Rubottom, a California-based book artist and founder of the Bay Park Press in San Diego; calligrapher and type designer Louis Lemoine, a former Walt Disney Imagineer who created Mickey’s handwriting for Disneyland parks worldwide; celebrated Washington-based designer Leslie LePere, known for his illustrations of books by Tom Robbins; and renowned Salem, Massachusetts-based maritime watercolorist Racket Shreve.
The exhibition will include never-before exhibited sketches by Jim Henson for Muppet Show characters, alongside photographs of the puppets built by Van Gilder based on the sketches. The show will also feature whooping crane puppets newly built by Van Gilder and inspired by the puppetry work of Heather Henson, Jim Henson’s daughter, for the International Crane Foundation.
A significant number of contributing artists have roots in the Los Angeles and Pasadena area. Bruce Vaughn, the former head of Walt Disney Imagineering, is a member of the executive board of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Shelley Short, a creative executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, and Pasadena-based multidisciplinary visual artist Luciano Martinez were both trained at the Art Center College of Design, as was Bartholomew Cooke, an up-and-coming young photographer whose work has appeared on the cover of Variety, The Atlantic, WIRED and TIME magazine. (He is also Amy Van Gilder’s son.)
Other participating artists include: Andrea Bottancino, Antoinette Argyropoulos, Aprile Boettcher, Belinda Del Pesco, Chris Holm, Heather Rosenman, Henry Higginson, Jeanette Russell, Mark Huber and Richard Loveless.
About Amy Van Gilder:
Puppetmaker and designer Amy Van Gilder’s career spans five decades. She was one of the earliest designers in the New York Muppet Workshop, hired in 1976 during the first season of The Muppet Show. She worked alongside Jim Henson in Elstree Studios, England, heading up the Muppet Workshop during the filming of The Muppet Show. She created puppets for iconic episodes including those featuring Diana Ross, Christopher Reeve and Dudley Moore, and was nominated, alongside other members of the team, for two Emmy Awards and won a Peabody Award. Van Gilder also worked as a puppet maker and designer on The Dark Crystal, The Muppets Go Hollywood, The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Labyrinth and Fraggle Rock. In 1990, Van Gilder moved with her family to Los Angeles, where she worked first at the Disney Figure Finishing Department, before becoming a Walt Disney Imagineer. In 1996, she took a sabbatical from Disney to work on the TV series Muppets Tonight. Over the past 3 years, she has collaborated with the Flower Pepper Gallery on window designs. Van Gilder graduated from Rhode Island School of Design, and currently lives in Pasadena.
Organic Cold Brew Tea will be provided by Jin Tea Shop at the Opening.
Jin Tea Shop: http://www.jinteashop.com
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The reception is open to the public. For purchase inquiries, or to request a VIP preview link, please email email@example.com
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Flower Pepper Gallery, 121 East Union Street, Pasadena, CA 91103
www.flower-pepper.com | 626-795-1895 | email@example.com
Gallery Hours: Sunday & Monday: 11 am - 6 pm, Tuesday - Saturday: 11 am - 7 pm
Click Here for the feature on Pasadena Now!
Check out this sweet video/documentary, A Company of Players. The Jim Henson crew talks about The Muppet Show. One of our participating artists for this show, Michael K. Frith in the video: https://youtu.be/EshfMiW9NeU
Big thanks to Michelle Mills at San Gabriel valley Tribune for mentioning this show! Click Here to read!
The altar dedicated to Jim Henson for Old Pasadena Day of the Dead Tour of the Altars 2016 won Staff Pick in the Contemporary Category!
Many thanks to all the judges, Sarah & Janet from Old Pasadena Management District for giving us the award! We appreciate your support!
Huge thanks to our curator Amy Van Gilder who created this altar for Jim Henson! The theme was Rainbow Connection! Thank you to I Wish I Had Friends Like That! participating artist Mari Kaestle for the Skeleton Bride sculpture! Thank you also to our own Misty Summers for making the flies for Kermit the Frog, and the cutouts of flowers, Kermit and the awesome fake fire for the candles!
Click here to see the photo.