Looney Tunes artist showcased in Tempe, Phoenix

(2.26) Chuck Jones Exhibit
WHAT’S UP, DOC?: Animation artist Chuck Jones’ work is on display in the children’s section of the Tempe Public Library. (Photo by Jessica Weisel)
Published On:
Friday, February 26, 2010
Printer-friendly version

Lucky for many, Bugs Bunny didn’t take that left turn in Albuquerque and instead ended up in Tempe. Now, Bugs and his Looney Tune friends are featured in the Chuck Jones art exhibit at the Tempe Public Library.

Accompanying artist Jones’ original sketches of beloved cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny and Marvin the Martian are several quotes by the Oscar-winning artist, director and author who died in 2002.

Peggy Moroney, an assistant in the gallery project, said the quotes from Jones show what a wise man he was.

“As you read [the quotes] you get to know him,” Moroney said.

One of Jones’ quotes reads, “I’m close to being happy, but I hope I never become contented.”

Jones put incredible dedication into his cartoon characters and compared developing the animated characters to getting married, Moroney said.

“He said he and the characters had to be patient and learn to understand each other,” she said.

Michelle Dock, the exhibit’s organizer, said she was thrilled to be working with the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and have access to Jones’ archives.

“Chuck Jones was really one of the pioneers of the animation industry and even the film industry,” Dock said.

Jones animated more than 300 cartoons during his career that spanned more than 60 years and won three Oscars, including an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement.

Despite the large number of cartoons that Jones brought to life, he took the time to love each and every character, Moroney said.

“Probably one of the reasons we love these characters so much is because of the love and dedication Jones had for his characters,” Moroney said.

The library exhibit consists of about 10 to 15 works including both sketches and books by Jones, and Moroney and Dock agreed that it is a great attraction for all ages.

“Older people are very nostalgic about it because these are the cartoons they grew up with,” Dock said. “I just introduced my kids to Looney Tunes, and they are thrilled to see how the characters were made and learn more about the man who created them.”

The library exhibit will be open until June and is just one of three exhibits throughout the Valley, Dock said. Another small exhibit is set up in terminal four of the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The third exhibit is much larger than the library and airport exhibits, Dock said, and is set to open today at the Tempe Center for the Arts.

This exhibit will include original drawings, Jones’ personal animation desk and a film of animation clips drawn and directed by Jones.

Reach the reporter at beth.easterbrook@asu.edu