Animation, production art exhibition continues at Eisentrager-Howard Gallery

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Animation, production art exhibition continues at Eisentrager-Howard Gallery

One highlight of the "Building a Narrative: Production Art and Pop Culture" exhibition is the animation cel collection, arranged in a grid and representing 90 different television shows.
One highlight of the "Building a Narrative: Production Art and Pop Culture" exhibition is the animation cel collection, arranged in a grid and representing 90 different television shows.

“Building a Narrative: Production Art and Pop Culture,” featuring original artwork from popular films, animated television series, comics and trading cards, is on display through Oct. 7 in the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery.

As part of the Lincoln Collects series, the exhibition is comprised of more than 140 selected works from the private collection of alumnus Trent Claus, who is a visual effects supervisor for Lola VFX.

Gallery hours are 12:30-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with a brief closure from 2-2:30 p.m.

Two First Friday events are also planned. Claus will present a lecture at 5 p.m. on Sept. 2 in the gallery followed by a reception from 6-7 p.m. And a closing reception will be held 5-7 p.m. Oct. 7 in the gallery. Both events are free and open to the public.

An exhibition catalog will also be available for sale in August.

“If you haven’t had the chance to view Trent’s extraordinary collection of production art in this exhibition, I encourage you to visit the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery soon and see this fantastic display of concept art, storyboards and visual effects from popular culture, TV and film,” said Francisco Souto, School of Art, Art History and Design director. “Trent’s concept art collection gives the community a rare glance of the impact of storytelling has on popular culture and how it has shaped our own personal narratives. It’s a ‘must-see’ exhibition this year.”

Lincoln Collects is an ongoing series hosted by the school to showcase works belonging to notable art collectors in the Lincoln area.

Claus has been collecting this art for 25 years.

“What everything shares in common is that it’s a piece of art that was generated on the way to the final product,” Claus said. “So a lot of the pieces don’t get seen a lot by the general public, and a lot of the artists aren’t known by the general public. It’s exciting to shed a spotlight on them and their work and see all of the artistry and collaboration that goes on behind the scenes of the things we all know.”

Claus said the centerpiece of the exhibit is his animation collection.

“It will be arranged in a giant grid so that there’s one piece per show, and there’s 90 different television shows represented,” he said. “And what really sets it apart is not only the huge volume of shows. But most of the time, when you see animation cells either on display or for sale, what you’re seeing is the cel, and then there’s a reproduction background because there may be hundreds of cels for every one background. Every single one of the 90 cels in the show has the original hand-painted background, which is a huge rarity.”

The wall includes cels from “The Flintstones” (the first primetime animated show), “The Smurfs,” “Transformers,” “G.I. Joe,” “The Simpson’s,” “Rugrats,” “Ren and Stimpy,” and more.

The exhibition also includes highlights from everything from “Star Wars,” including a concept piece from “Return of the Jedi” by artist Ralph McQuarrie to “Star Trek,” “The Goonies,” “Labyrinth,” “Ghostbusters,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Dances with Wolves,” and much more. There are also original comic art and paintings from the Garbage Pail Kids trading cards.

Claus encourages people to come see his collection.

“There’s definitely something here from something they’ve seen,” he said. “I think there’s something to be said for seeing art in person, and this is no exception.”

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