Nearly everyone living in the United States during the last fifty years has seen this artist’s work, or at least is familiar with it. That is quite an audience; however, not many people could tell you the artist’s name.
An exhibit spanning the life’s work of animator Chuck Jones, who was born in Spokane, Washington, is now on display at Portland International Airport (PDX) through March 2012. Those of us who were weaned on Saturday morning cartoons in the 1950s and ‘60s are well-acquainted with the many characters that Jones created or co-created; Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, Pepe Le Pew, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig and more.
Jones was Director of Animation at Warner Bros. from 1938 to 1962 during the Looney Tunes heyday. He next headed MGM’s animation department where he directed timeless features like The Dot and the Line and the Dr. Seuss’ classics How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Horton Hears a Who, which both won Peabody Awards. Jones won three Academy Awards for his films and in 1996 received an Honorary Academy Award for “the creation of classic cartoons and cartoon characters whose animated lives have brought joy to our real ones for more than half a century.”
The Chuck Jones retrospective at PDX is just one in a series of rotating exhibits intended to showcase Pacific Northwest art and culture. Due to its location on Concourse A, the exhibit is accessible only by ticketed passengers. If you will be one of the seven thousand or so people passing through Concourse A daily before the end of March 2012, plan some extra time and visit these old acquaintances for a dose of nostalgia.