Tomorrow, Saturday, January 31st at 4pm, there will a celebration of Bob Winquist’s life in the Palace at Calarts. Winquist, who passed away last September, is not a household name but he is an influential figure in animation history through his role as an instructor and director of the character animation program at CalArts. Disney story artist Jenny Lerew, who told me about this event and has done a number of posts about Winquist since his passing, said in an email to me:
Bob was a breath of fresh air, had no limits in what he wanted people to be able to do–no “censorship” as he put it, no preconceived notions of what our films should be. He wanted to discourage people from only thinking of animation as a trade, and in that sense he ran the dept. as a kind of atelier, as did Jules Engel downstairs, whom he respected. He was in every way what a teacher and mentor should be.
Bob had such a wide influence and was loved by so many people: it ranges from Bob Kurtz and the seminal members of the LA “Cool School” of painters like John Altoon and Robert Irwin, both former students when Bob taught at Chouinard during the ’50s and ’60 to Pulitzer-winner Ann Telnaes, Ralph Eggleston and Pete Docter–just a whole slew of people.
If you’re interested in attending, Jenny has more details about the event on her blog. And here’s an odd curio featuring a cartoon version of Bob Winquist–it’s an opening for the yearly CalArts Producers’ Show circa 1988 created by first-year students Chris Ure, Pete Docter, Mark Kennedy, Ashley Brannon, Van Cook, Tim Myers and Paul Rudish.