HANCOCK, MI - The Finlandia
University Reflection Gallery, Hancock, will host an exhibit of paintings and
illustrations by Maggie Parr October 5 to October 30, 2011.
An opening reception will
take place at the gallery Thursday, October 6, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The
reception is free and open to the public; refreshments will be served.
Parr will also give a public presentation
Thursday, October 6, from 10:10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., in the Jutila Center
community room. During the animated presentation, Parr will describe her
journey as a Walt Disney designer and share additional images of her artwork.
A former Walt Disney "Imagineer,"
Maggie Parr has created artwork and designs for themed environments around the
world. Her work is featured in Disney Art Galleries at Disneyland and Walt
Disney World, on Disney Cruise Lines ships, and included in the DreamWorks Fine
Arts Animation online gallery. Some of her most famous "Imagineer" pieces are parodies
of classical portraits.
Now a successful freelance artist,
Parr designs themed environments and experiences, consumer products, and murals
and portraits for Walt Disney Imagineering and other companies, including
California Adventure, a Disneyland Resort, and Americana at Brand, an extensive
outdoor shopping community in Glendale, California. Parr also illustrates book
covers and is developing a series of graphic novels.
At the Reflection Gallery, Parr
will showcase a selection of digital and mixed media collage prints and
paintings, many of them with the theme, "Americana Distressed."
"I like imagery of vintage
America," Parr says of this theme. "Either in advertising, packaging, or in
scenes of leisure that are particular to a romantic notion of an American past.
"I also love carousels," Parr
adds. "The horses look like they're forever frozen in the middle of a terrified
movement, like they're encased in ice, while their manes swirl around them."
Much of Parr's digital
artwork is rendered or perfected in Adobe Photoshop. She explains that, "I 'distress'
the images, erasing and texturizing, layering several together, until a new
impression is created."
Parr is inspired by many
artists and illustrators, and constantly adding more. "I lean more towards
classicists because I love the human figure, and I am always impressed by those
who can render it well," she says.
"Along with French genre
painters, I love the figurative artists of the 1800s and early 1900s,
especially Sargent, Jean-Leon Gerome, and Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema," she notes.
"I like the Golden Age illustrators too - Pyle, Rockwell, Dean Cornwell."
Then again, Parr loves expressionist
and emotional painters like Frida Kahlo, Dali, and Ottavio Mazzonis. And lately
she's been obsessed with comic book artists, too many of them to mention each
"It's a very
under-appreciated art form, and a great way to understand value and
composition, Parr adds to explain her love of comic book illustrations.
At any given time, Parr is
working on multiple client projects, most of them hourly-based contracts for
jobs that last from a few weeks to six months or more. But she still manages to
make time for her own projects.
"Except for a few weeks a
year when I'm so swamped I have to work 12-hour days!" Parr exclaims.
The Reflection Gallery is
located on the second level of Finlandia's Jutila Center campus, Hancock. The
Jutila Center community room is located on the ground level of the building.
For additional information,
please contact Yueh-mei Cheng, professor of studio arts, at 906-487-7375 or