Disney Art for Music
One-of-a-kind string basses hand-painted by Disney artists will be auctioned to support music education.
Story and Photo by Elizabeth Geli
Disney Youth Programs at the Walt Disney World Resort in conjunction with the GRAMMY Foundation and Conn-Selmer, Inc., have created Disney Art For Music to raise money for music education by auctioning off five string basses, hand-painted by Walt Disney Animation Studio artists.
The basses, painted with Disney characters “Dumbo,” the Genie from “Aladdin, the Cheshire Cat from “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Princess and the Frog” and “Rapunzel” will be auctioned off in June by Julien’s Auctions at their summer entertainment auction at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas.
Disney created the basses to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Disney Magic Music Days—a program that features youth performance groups in Disney theme parks. The money raised will go to the GRAMMY Foundation to benefit the GRAMMY In The Schools music education program.
Instrument manufacturer Conn-Selmer, Inc., donated the basses, officially unveiled today in a press conference at The GRAMMY Museum at downtown Los Angeles’ new entertainment complex LA Live.
“Our string basses wrapped in the magic of Disney is something very special for Conn-Selmer and music education,” said John Stoner, president and CEO.
The unveiling featured a performance by two GRAMMY Camp alumni—one of whom played the Genie from “Aladdin”-themed bass—and an appearance by Grammy-winning bassist and composer Stanley Clarke.
“I want one of those basses!” Clarke said as he walked to the podium, admiring the artwork and testing out the Cheshire Cat-themed bass.
The Artists Behind the Basses
The unpainted basses were displayed in the lobby of the Walt Disney Animation Studios to peak the curiosity of the working artists, who then submitted ideas and applied for the opportunity to paint them.
“It was such a cool and unique opportunity; how many times in your life is someone going to ask you to paint a bass?” said Claire Keane, a visual development artist who has worked on films such as “Enchanted” and the upcoming film “Rapunzel,” the character she chose to feature on the bass.
For the Disney studio artists, some of whom are more used to drawing than painting, the basses presented an exciting challenge. Michael Surrey, a supervising animator who most recently worked on the character Ray in “The Princess and the Frog,” enlisted the help of his daughter Ellen, an aspiring artist. He said the project allowed them to collaborate for the first time and brought them closer together.
The other Disney artists involved were Lorelay Bove, Brian Kesinger and Douglas Rogers.
The basses will go on tour throughout the country and be displayed at art and music museums, including The GRAMMY Museum and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, before being auctioned off on June 26, 2010.
For more information, visit www.disneyartformusic.com.
Pictured: Disney Art For Music string basses
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