Wednesday, October 5, 2016

University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

I was contacted about a year ago to do an exhibition of my art for the illustration and animation department at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth.  Then they cancelled the event (shortage of funds) and then six months later they got back to me and said they had a sponsor for my show, yeah!

I assumed at first it was for Dartmouth College, way up in New Hampshire (where a bunch of National Lampoon writers went to school, and which was the inspiration for the film "Animal House") but instead it was for a different college, near New Bedford.  "Great," I said, "let's book it for the early fall so I can maybe go to the beach one more time." I love places near bodies of water.

Anyway, I just returned from my weekend in Dartmouth, Mass, and I had a wonderful time.  I did two workshops with about 100 people and of course there was the gallery opening, where they not only lined up my work with all the drawings in proper sequence, but they also had a small screening room where they showed my film CHEATIN' on a continuous loop.  But the coolest part was the entrance, that looked like an old movie marquee, with a red carpet too.

The show was organized by James Edwards, with assistance from Jean-Francois Allaux.  I met Jean-Francois long ago, when I was a budding young illustrator in NY.  He was part of a group of young illustrators who hung out together and plied their artwork to all the newspapers and magazines in the Big Apple. 

You can see his work online - you should definitely check it out.  Also, another claim to fame for Jean-Francois is that he was married for a few years to the most beautiful woman in the world, Christie Brinkley.  Who said illustrators aren't sexy? 

After all the classes and openings, I was able to explore the seaside and fishing villages in the New Bedford area, which is also close to Westport and Providence, R.I.  It's such a wonderful, picturesque area, and even though the weather totally sucked, my family and I really had a ball.  So if you get a chance are are in the area, please check out the exhibition at Dartmouth College. 

Also, we are looking to move the show to other universities or schools after the end of October, so if you know any artistic spaces, please let me know.

Once again, I want to thank Jean-Francois and James and Monica for a fabulous weekend. 

Speaking of illustration, this week I'll be appearing at the New York Comic Con, held at the Javits Convention Center, October 6-9.  One of the special offerings at my booth (#2944) is that I will draw caricatures of my fans (for a price, of course...).  In the early days of my illustration career, I was quite successful as a caricature artist, drawing famous people for a lot of newspapers and magazines.
You can check out some of them on my Instagram account here:

Now, as an animator, there's not as much call for my caricatures.  But they're my favorite thing to draw, and it's nice to keep my hand involved in caricature work.  So if you ever wondered what YOU would look like as one of my cartoons, please come to my NYCC table.

--Bill Plympton

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