North Texas Daily

“Guardians of Childhood” exhibit comes to town

“Guardians of Childhood” exhibit comes to town

“Guardians of Childhood” exhibit comes to town
November 17
23:42 2014

Linda Kessler / Intern Writer

Families bundled up this weekend to go to the Meadows Gallery and spend time admiring art, making memories and reading stories together.

The Greater Denton Arts Council is showcasing the works of author, illustrator and filmmaker William Joyce in an exhibit at the Meadows Gallery Nov. 14-Jan. 18. The exhibit includes more than 70 of his original drawings and paintings from his award-winning works.

The council held a reception on Friday to introduce the exhibit. Joyce could not attend due to a family illness, but he sent a special screening of his award-winning short film “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.”

“It’s like you could watch it 100 times and not see everything,” said Martha Edmundson, who has volunteered to help curate the exhibit. “I think he’s a genius. I really do.”

Joyce started writing books in 1985 with “George Shrinks,” and he entered the film world in 1995 doing concept and design work on the Disney classic “Toy Story.”

Joyce is well-known for, “George Shrinks,” the “Dinosaur Bob” series, “A Day with Wilbur Robinson” and his movies “Meet the Robinsons,” “Epic” and “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.” Joyce is also known for the 1998 stop-motion children’s series “Rolie Polie Olie.”

But Greater Denton Arts Council executive director Tracy Bays-Boothe says his work with the “Guardians of Childhood” book series and “Rise of the Guardians” film really elevated him into the public consciousness.

Joyce is a book, film and fine artist, emeritus professor Jean Greenlaw said.

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An art exhibition featuring the work of William Joyce inside the Denton Greater Arts Council building on Hickory Street. The artist is known for his work on the children’s TV show of “Rolie Polie Olie.”

“There are two things that stand out about his work,” Greenlaw said. “First is that he has a great imagination, and that’s great for children. You want things that aren’t just flat on the page. You want things that are imaginative. Second is that he’s a filmmaker, so his books move, are dynamic and jump off the page.”

Greater Denton Arts Council has an exhibition and education committee that collaborates with the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature and Denton ISD to be able to provide exhibits like the William Joyce exhibit to the children and their families, GDAC facilities manager and programs coordinator John Riegelman said.

It’s great to have exhibits on children’s authors and illustrators because it gives the children something to relate to, Reigelman said.

“What GDAC does with NCCIL in bringing these illustrators every year is fabulous,” exhibit curator Heather Eckles said. “It’s a wonderful way to promote the art of illustration.”

Visitor Anyah Martinez said she and her son are huge fans of Joyce’s, and her son said his favorite book is the “Guardians of Childhood” series.

“We’ve read a lot of William Joyce, and so when I saw that we were going to be able to see some of his work, I was really excited about that,” she said. “I’m thrilled that this exhibit is here and I hope that lots of families will come and enjoy.”

The council is also holding a special event in celebration of the exhibition. Holiday Wonderland will take place from 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 13. It’s going to feature storytelling of Joyce’s book “Santa Calls,” photos with Santa, carollers, art activities and more. Tickets for Holiday Wonderland are $10 per family.

Though Joyce is predominantly a children’s writer, Edmunson said the exhibit is for everyone.

“This exhibit is not limited to children” Edmundson said. “Picture books are works of art that everyone should enjoy.”

Though Joyce is a fine artist and a filmmaker, he puts a great deal of work into his children’s books because he feels that this is where children begin to see art.

Joyce once said, “Children’s literature is the first literature and the first art that children are exposed to. It should be good. And when it is, it should be given respect.”

Featured Image: A print of Rolie Polie Olie inside the Denton Greater Arts Council. Photos by Linda Kessler – Intern Writer

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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