PREVIEW – Moosylvania: Group Art Show Tribute to Jay Ward @ Van Eaton Galleries [Sherman Oaks]

Image used - "The Cap'n's Last Stand" by Mark Hammermeister [Digital Giclée Print]

Image used – “The Cap’n’s Last Stand”
by Mark Hammermeister
[Digital Giclée Print]

The name Jay Ward may not ring any immediate bells for some of you, but the odds are that, even if the work of the late television producer/animation pioneer and the characters that he helped to popularize don’t seem to have made a direct impact on you personally, the endless projects that they’ve gone on to influence and inspire, most likely have.  Although Ward and his partner/animator Alex Anderson found some success early on with the program Crusader Rabbit in 1949 (they later lost the rights to their creation), it was the release of The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show (aka Rocky & His Friends, The Bullwinkle Show, and The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends) a decade later that would become the real enduring breakout for Jay Ward Productions.

Beyond the leather aviator helmet-sporting flying squirrel and his dim-witted moose sidekick, the Rocky & Bullwinkle program also featured such memorable characters as the scheming Russian spies, Boris and Natasha, who answered to a Nazi-inspired commander named Fearless LeaderWard would often inject the program with such social and political commentary, reflecting real world issues like the cold war, which were impacting the world at the time, but the unique ways in which he approached the cartoon, also infused it with a timelessness.  Lighthearted as it was, the show often took subversive knocks at everything from current events, pop culture, and Disney to the very station that they were broadcasting on.  The self-referential meta-humor would often break the fourth wall, acknowledging itself as an animated program and even going so far as to bring the announcer himself, into the fold.  And the announcer, along with the fact that episodes generally ended in cliffhangers, were aspects drawn from the radio serials of the past, while the show’s tone and approach demonstrated a clear forward-thinking progression into the future.

Jay Ward, and Rocky & Bullwinkle in particular, went on to influence people like Simpson‘s creator, Matt Groening.  Accompanying segments of the program introduced characters like the bumbling Canadian mountie Dudley Do-Right and his villainous foil, Snidely Whiplash (the hero was later an inspiration for the less than memorable 1999 Brendan Frazier live action film), as well as the time traveling spectacled canine Mr Peabody and his (human) boy Sherman, who are set to star in a promising Dreamworks film being released next week.  Additional segments from the show included Aesop and Son, and Fractured Fairy tales.  In 1967, when Ward unleashed the Tarzan-esque George of the Jungle (another character that Brendan Frazier, unfortunately, transformed into an equally forgettable ’90s live action motion picture) the cartoon series included segments of it’s own, which introduced the muskateer-like Super Chicken and speedster, Tom Slick to the world.  Aside from these more typical television programs, Jay Ward Productions was also the responsible party behind the mascots for Quaker cereals like Cap’n Crunch, Quisp, and King Vitamin, as well as early animated commercials for the products.

This Saturday, Van Eaton Galleries in Mr. Peabody & Sherman Oaks, California will be paying tribute to the legacy of Jay Ward Productions with a group art exhibit that’s set to feature works from over 100 different contemporary artists of various disciplines.  According to the press release, “the show includes animators from studios such as Walt Disney, DreamWorks, Warner Bros, Cartoon Network, Fox, Nickelodeon as well as drawings by Gerard Baldwin who worked for Jay Ward Productions in the 1950’s and 60’s” among the contributors.  As for the type of art that will be on display, it runs the gamut, from acrylics, watercolors, ink, gouache, and polymer sculptures to paper works, chainsaw carving, fabric, mixed media, stained glass, and digital paintings.  One particular contribution that I’m really excited about is from painter Dave MacDowell, who always seem to have a-million-and-six brilliant original ideas of his own on deck, but still opted to entertain one of my random suggestions (Eric Stoltz with craniodiaphyseal dysplasia) for his piece in this show.  [You can check it in the preview below.]  If you can make it out to the opening, we suggest it.  The work always looks better in person, plus artists should be on hand.


A.R., Adam Dougherty, Aidan Casserly, Alan Bodner, Alex Conway, Allison Krumwiede, Art Fuentes, Ashley Long, Becca Balistreri, Ben Von Strawn, Bob Lizarraga, Bobby Rojas, Brandon Morino, Bridget McCarty, Britni Brault, Bruce Gossett, Candy, Carl Lozada, Carol Powell, Chad Frye, Chad Lenzi, Chad Scheres, Charlie Inkbomber, Craig Church, Dan Haskett, Dave Avanzino, Dave K., Dave Nimetz, David Bird, David Derks, David MacDowell, Dee Schiller, Dennis Salvatier, Drake Brodahl, Edwin Aguilar, Enrique Pita, Eric Kurland, Eric Pigors, G. Allen Black, Gary Clair, Gavin Freitas, Gerald Mendez, Gerard Baldwin, GP Watson, Grasiela Rodriguez, Gris Grimly, Harry Sabin, Jaime Fortunato Jimenez, James C Mulligan, Jason Chalker, Jason Peltz, Javier Soto, Jeff Johnson, Jeffrey Rebner, Jeremy Russnak, Johnny Daniels, Jojo Terzano, Juliana Martinez, Kali Fontecchio, Kaya Dzankich, Ken Morgan, Kevin Graham, Kirsten Sjursen-Lien, Lance Smith, Lee Petty, Lisa Penz, Lori Pie, Mark Bodnar, Mark Christiansen, Mark Hamer, Mark Hammermeister, Matthew Dutton, Michael Loya, Mike Amos, Mike Lemos, Mojo Foster, NESSHEAD, Nico Colaleo, Nicole Aguilar-Copp, Olga Stern, Patrick Owsley, Patrick Romandy-Simmons, Rask Opticon, Ray Cox, Rick Farmiloe, Rick Goldschmidt, Robert Iza, Ruben Hickman, Rubén Procopio, Rusty Watkins, Sandro Cleuzo, Shaunna Peterson, Shelli Weldon, Snow Mack, Spike Brandt, SQUINDO, Stephen Chiodo, Stephen Sandoval, Steve Casino, Thom Foolery, Tim Wollweber, Tony Craig and Vince Musacchia.

Signing Info:

Noted animation director Darrell Van Citters will be present and signing his new book, The Art of Jay Ward Productions.
Jerry Beck will also be on hand to sign his new book, The Art of Dreamworks Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

The signings are 7-8pm and signed books can be preordered on


Check out preview images for the exhibit below the following event details…


Van Eaton Galleries Presents:
Moosylviania“ – A
Group Art Show Tribute to JAY WARD
curated by Phillip Graffham


Saturday, March 1st 2014


Darrell Van Citters and Jerry Beck



Van Eaton Galleries
13613 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks CA 91423
Phone: 818-788-2357818-788-2357



Opening is ALL AGES w/NO COVER
Exhibit will be on view until March 15th, 2014.
The gallery is open from Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 6pm
Facebook Event Page:

[click select images to enlarge]

G. Allen Black


“Super Chicken”

Acrylic on Canvas
20″ x 24″

Bridget McCarty


“Small Cereal Set”

Mixed Media
2.5″ tall

David MacDowell

Rocky Dennis & Bullwinkle

“Rocky Dennis and Bullwinkle”

Acrylic on Canvas
9″ x 12″

Gerald Mendez


“Snidely Whiplash”

Paper Sculplture
20″ x 16″

Kali Fontecchio


“Da Bombshka”

Digital Silk Matte Print
10″ x 8″

Steve Casino



Peanut & Mixed Medium
3.5″ tall

Craig Church


“National Passtime”

Hand-Pulled Screen Print
11″ x 14″

Johnny Daniels


“Rocky & Bullwinkle”

Chainsaw Carved Sugar Pine Wood Statue
Over 7 Feet Tall

Dave Avanzino

Dave Avanzino

“Steampunk Mr. Peabody & Sherman”

Mixed Media
18 ” x 18″ x 2.5″ Framed

Rubén Procopio


“Jay Ward”

One of a Kind Polymer Clay Bust
10.5″ tall – 16″ tall with base

Dead C

Located in Seattle, Dead C is the founder/editor, as well as the principal writer and photographer, of Monster Fresh. Creating the site in 2007, he did so with a specific dream in mind. Unfortunately, being a muscle relaxer-fueled fever dream, it's hard to recall all of the details. "I remember that my mom was there, but it wasn't actually her in the dream, it was actually 70s heart throb, Jan Michael Vincent. And everything took place here, in this room... but it wasn't actually here... it was different. The colors were washed out and, for some reason, there was a raccoon kicking it with us and it was wearing a holographic monocle."

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Flickr - YouTube