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'Looney Tunes' exhibit draws on love of animation at Folsom gallery

By: Laura Newell, Telegraph staff writer
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See classic Looney Tunes characters through original artwork collections at one Folsom gallery. The next exhibit at the Gallery at 48 Natoma in Folsom, “From Hare to Eternity: the Enduring Art of Warner Brothers Animation,” features work from the private collection of Eric Calande. The exhibit is on display March 16 through May 10. Famous Looney Tunes characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird and others will be included. An opening reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 16. “What’s truly amazing about animation art is that it was not created with the intention to survive,” Calande said. “The art needed to last only long enough to be photographed beneath the camera. The finished cartoon was considered the real work of art. Lucky for us, 60 plus years later, old stashes of vintage animation art are still being discovered intact.” According to Cindy Abraham, gallery coordinator, production art from the Warner Studios is particularly special because a tremendous amount of the original production artwork was destroyed. After decades of making cartoons, the Warner Brothers warehouse was becoming overcrowded with production art and the studio wanted to make more effective use of the space. This was back in the late 1960s when it was thought the production artwork from these cartoons had little or no value. Consequently, Abraham said, the works were destroyed. According to Calande, another reason the originals were destroyed is that “the warehouse contained so much paper and early animation cells, which were made from a very flammable nitrocellulose, that the insurance company told the Warner Brothers Studio to get rid of the clutter or face dramatically raised insurance rates.” The art that exists today comes from the actual animators, the ink painters or were items gifted to studio visitors or VIPs, she said. Calande has spent the last 20 years searching for what survived. He now has a significant collection of vintage animation art from the Warner Brothers Golden Era of Animation. For more information, or to schedule a tour, contact Abraham at (916) 355-7285 or e-mail cabraham@folsom.ca.us. * * * From hare to eternity What: Show of Looney Tunes animation When: March 16-May 10 Reception: 6-8 p.m., Friday, March 16 Where: Gallery at 48 Natoma in Folsom Info: (916) 355-7285