By Chris Jalufka | 09.24.2012
My plane landed last night but I didn’t get home until this morning. We took the last flight out of Orange County and back to San Jose to ensure we were able to spend as much time at Disneyland as we could. Three days in the parks. Three days of walking.
Standing in lines and at night, slouching in lines. Shuffling through the crowd. The heat pushed the strength of my deodorant but Splash Mountain washed the sweat away.
I’m tired. It’s true.
On our last day we made sure to stop by the WonderGround Gallery in Downtown Disney. In my interview with illustrator Jerrod Maruyama he mentioned that he had done some pieces for the gallery, so it was definitely a destination I had placed on my invisible and often ignored to-do list.
The gallery is to be a new home for the work of local and upcoming artists, with pieces inspired by the classic and neo-classical universe of Disney.
Here’s what Disney’s Michele Harker (Merchandise Marketing & Communications Project Manager) has to say about it –
“With its name giving a nod to the magic and wonder of Disney animation, WonderGround Gallery draws inspiration from Disney’s deeply rooted art and storytelling-driven heritage – especially the idea of stepping through the looking glass, which the greatest of art allows us to do. Showcasing artwork inspired by Disney●Pixar films, characters and icons, as well as paying tribute to the one and only Mickey Mouse, more than 25 local and domestic up-and-coming artists will have their unique interpretations available for you to add to your Disney collection. This variety of commissioned, original and limited-edition artwork reflecting various styles, techniques and mediums will provide an eclectic environment in this store.”
The gallery has the feel of some of the the small art shops I’ve been to in San Francisco. There’s a relaxed and ever changing quality to it. The items there are different than what you’ll find in the stores on Main Street Disneyland or at The World of Disney.
Original and unique artwork is sold alongside t-shirts, books, postcards, and other trinkets.
The gallery is a baby in Downtown Disney. It opened in June of 2012 and from what I was told the plan is to change out the artists every six months. I’ve read about their being an ‘artist residence’ at the gallery as well, but I didn’t get any information about that on my visit.
I was surprised at how reasonably priced the gorgeous pieces on the gallery’s walls were. Not that I’m complaining. I’m all for whatever inspires folks to purchase original art. I did pick up a t-shirt for $28 and that seems a bit high, but the rest of the items were affordable.
The WonderGround Gallery is something different to check out in Downtown Disney and look at that – they even put one of Jerrod Maruyama’s images on the shopping bags.