The Santa Paula Art Museum is going Hollywood with its upcoming exhibition, Setting the Scene, opening February 3, 2018. The exhibit will feature paintings by famous background artists who worked for film studios like Disney, MGM and 20th Century Fox during the Golden Age of Hollywood. The show opens with a premiere party on Saturday, February 3, 2018, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission to the premiere is $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, and free for students and museum members. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.
Film and animation studios have played a leading role in the lives of many 20th and 21st century California artists, and were influential in the development of what is known as the “California Style.” Nowhere is this more evident than within the Santa Paula Civic Collection, a historic collection of artworks established in 1937 and owned by the City of Santa Paula. Setting the Scene will display some of the best works from Santa Paula’s collection, including breathtaking oil and watercolor paintings by Disney background painters like Al Dempster, Basil Davidovich and Charles Payzant, who lent their talents to animated features like Fantasia, Pinocchio, Peter Pan and Sleeping Beauty. The exhibit will also star artists like George Gibson, once head of MGM’s scenic design department and lead scenic artist for The Wizard of Oz, and Emil Kosa, Jr., who designed the oft-seen 20th Century Fox logo and won an Oscar for his work on Cleopatra.
The colorful exhibition will explore the relationship between the artists’ fine art paintings and their commercial work for film. Viewers will learn more about American Scene Painting, the evolution of the watercolor medium, the history of Disney Studios, and the process of creating an animated feature. Art by contemporary animators will show how animation continues to inspire California artists today. Visitors to the exhibit will also be invited to write or illustrate a scene from their own story to add to an interactive storyboard. Setting the Scene will be on view through June 17, 2018.
HEADER IMAGE: "Untitled" by Basil Davidovich, watercolor on paper, Collection of the Santa Paula Art Museum © The Davidovich Estate.