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Caroll Spinney (Oscar & Big Bird) Art Exhibit at the Toonseum

Discussion in 'Sesame Appearances' started by DarkChrystal, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. DarkChrystal

    DarkChrystal Member

    Hello! The Toonseum has issued this press release about their upcoming exhibit featuring the Art of Caroll Spinney and I though I'd share it with all of you:

    Pittsburgh-- "The Art of Caroll Spinney," a new exhibit poised to open at the ToonSeum, explores the alternate career path that could have been from one of the world’s best-loved puppeteers.

    Caroll Spinney, best known for his portrayal of Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird, has been with Sesame Street for more than 40 years.

    During his puppetry career, he never lost sight of his first passion, the art of cartooning. Spinney brings his beloved characters into new realms through elaborate fantasy paintings, greeting cards and book illustrations.

    The exhibit will offer insight into the life of Spinney and his work -- from his early comics as a child and fanciful car designs as a teen, to his comic strip work in the Air Force.

    Spinney began cartooning alongside his passion for puppetry. As a child, he pursued both equally with great excitement and persistence. In the 1950s, Spinney created the animated program "Crazy Crayon." He also wrote and illustrated the Air Force comic "Harvey." In the 1960s, he combined his love of performing and drawing as Mr. Lion on the "Bozo the Clown" show.

    In 1969, Jim Henson approached him after a puppetry performance and said, "I liked what you were trying to do." That meeting led to Spinney’s hiring for the iconic characters of Big Bird and Oscar.

    Even with the success of Sesame Street, Spinney never fully put aside his artistic ambitions. For instance, perhaps one of the most iconic images of the TV show -- an illustration of "Mr. Hooper" -- was drawn by Spinney. He also illustrated the popular Golden Book "How to Be a Grouch."

    Throughout his career, Spinney designed cast T-shirts and greeting cards, many of which will be on display during this exhibit. In the 1990s, Spinney turned his talents to painting and produced several fantasy works featuring Big Bird and other Sesame Street characters.

    "The ToonSeum is honored to present the works of Caroll Spinney," said ToonSeum Executive Director Joe Wos. "It is truly as if we are viewing a wonderful alternate cartoon universe where one of the world’s greatest puppeteers shows off his talents as a cartoonist."

    The exhibit, which runs from Nov. 6 through Jan. 30, will feature original paintings, sketches and more.

    Spinney will be in Pittsburgh the evening of Nov. 6 for the ToonSeum’s annual fundraiser "Ka-Blam! The Return of Saturday Mornings."

    Ka-blam tickets available at www.ka-blam.org

    Press interviews and images



  2. DarkChrystal

    DarkChrystal Member

    Here is more info about the Ka-Blam fundraising event:

    KA-BLAM! III: The Return of Saturday Morning

    Special event for the Toonseum featuring Carol Spinney,

    the man behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street.

    Pittsburgh - On Saturday, November 6th, 2010, the ToonSeum celebrates memories of Saturday mornings filled with cartoons, breakfast cereals and animated heroes. Jim Martin (Gary Gnu of the Great Space Coaster) and David Newell (Mr. McFeely of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood) will be on hand throughout the evening, along with live music, a silent auction with unique experiences, food, drink, and plenty of cartoons.

    The evening begins with a special ticketed VIP reception at 6:30pm featuring a conversation with Caroll Spinney. Caroll is best known for his portrayals of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street. Caroll is also a talented cartoonist, painter and illustrator. Attendees of the VIP reception will receive a signed print from Caroll, along with a year-long ToonSeum Membership.

    After the VIP reception, the ToonSeum kicks open the doors to all ticketholders at 8pm for KA-BLAM! III: The Return of Saturday Morning. This year's blast is a celebration of cartoons, comics and everything else that made our mornings special. With cartoons, hands on activities, entertainment and much more, the event is a great chance for grown ups to let their inner child out to play and party.

    The annual fundraiser benefits the ToonSeum, Pittsburgh’s Museum of Cartoon Art. The ToonSeum, located in Downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, is one of only three museums in the nation dedicated to the comic and cartoon arts. The event will feature live music, food, drinks, and how to entertainment, including how to juggle, and draw cartoons!

    The event also features a silent auction including such items as a trip to San Francisco with tours of the Charles M. Schulz Museum, Walt Disney Family Museum and more.

    This year's event being is chaired by Yu-Ling and Gregg Behr (who are fans of cartoons and of being big kids). "The Toonseum is a new and important asset to our vibrant Cultural District and we are honored to be a part of KA-BLAM. Celebrating childhood memories is important and something we should take time out to do. This event will remind us of all the things we loved as kids and still love as big kids." - Gregg Behr

    KA-BLAM! Will take place on Saturday, November 6th, 2010. The VIP Reception with Caroll Spinney begins at 6:30pm, and the party will be from 8:00 pm to 11:30 pm.

    VIP Tickets are $100 each or $150 per couple. VIP admission includes a signed limited edition print and ToonSeum membership. KA-BLAM event only tickets are $50 and student tickets are $25. All ticketholders must be 21 years of age to attend. Saturday morning pajama dress is welcome and optional.

    Tickets may be purchased online at www.ka-blam.org or in-person at the ToonSeum.

    Press Contact:

    Joe Wos


  3. The Muppaphone

    The Muppaphone Well-Known Member

    One more to the bill

    And to add to the bill, the West Virginia University puppet mobile will be out there at the Nov 6th festivities strolling with puppets and interacting with guest in all sorts of puppety shenanigans!

    Ever consider a BFA degree in puppetry? Come on down and talk to us! :insatiable:
  4. Muppetfan44

    Muppetfan44 Well-Known Member

    I am so excited that an event like this is in Pittsburgh!

    I never even knew about the Toonseum, but I bought my VIP ticket and I cannot wait to go and check this out!
  5. DarkChrystal

    DarkChrystal Member

    I'm so glad to hear that you're coming, Muppetfan44! It's going to be a great evening! If you haven't already, you might want to sign up to be on the Toonseum's email list. They have another event coming up in December with Noel MacNeal (Bear in the Big Blue House) coming to Pittsburgh to promote his new book "10 minute Puppets." I think he may be doing a puppet workshop for kids at the August Wilson Center. The best way to keep posted about this and other upcoming events is to get on the email list. They don't share the email list with anyone, you'll just start getting emails from the Toonseum. Thanks so much again for checking out the Toonseum!
  6. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    I really enjoyed meeting Noel at the Toonseum booth at the NY Comic Con. He was one of the nicest, most pleasant guys I've met not only affiliated with the Muppets but in general, and seemed to be having alot of fun.
  7. Muppetfan44

    Muppetfan44 Well-Known Member

    If anyone else is going let me know... I would love to meet some Muppet Central forum members face to face. I am so excited for this event...I'll be taking my Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam that morning (one of the first many long tasks before I'm licensed to practice law) so I definitely plan on celebrating and having a great time at this event.

    Will photography be allowed? I hope so! Soooo excited!
  8. The Muppaphone

    The Muppaphone Well-Known Member

    I (Ben) for sure will be there. Send me a message if you wanna meet up and i'll give you my cell and whatnot and w can get together!
  9. Muppetfan44

    Muppetfan44 Well-Known Member

    Sounds great Ben; I'll do that. Definitely excited to meet another forum member [and for getting to meet Carrol Spinney!]
  10. Muppetfan44

    Muppetfan44 Well-Known Member

    This even was so awesome! As soon as I figure out how to get the pics and video clips off my phone and online, I'll totally post the link.

    p.s.- I got to talk with Oscar!- how cool is that!
  11. The Muppaphone

    The Muppaphone Well-Known Member

    I second that one!

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