Thursday, December 13, 2012

“Poster Art of the Disney Parks" BOOK, Jim Michaelson artists whose work is featured

Jim Michaelson of Solvang will be signing the recently published book “Poster Art of the Disney Parks” from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at The Book Loft at 1680 Mission Drive, Solvang. He is one of the artists whose posters are prominently featured in the book.

Anyone who has ever walked through the gates at a Disney park has been treated to colorful posters depicting all the wonders, rides and shows that await inside, all created by Disney’s staff “Imagineers.”

“Poster Art of the Disney Parks” is a tribute to those posters, and the artists who created them.

Disney attraction posters have been an important means of communication since Disneyland began displaying them in 1956. Not only are they eye-catching pieces of artwork that adorn the parks with flair and style, they also help build excitement and disseminate information about the newest additions to the Disney landscape.

When the first attraction posters made their debut at Disneyland, one such piece of art proclaimed that guests could have a “true-life adventure” on the Jungle Cruise. And in 2012 at Disney’s California Adventure, a poster announced the grand opening of Cars Land at the Disneyland Resort. Both of those posters are reproduced within this book, along with posters from every decade in between.

Developing these “teaser” posters for the Disney parks was a group of Disney artists, among them Solvang’s own Jim Michaelson. A 1966 graduate in commercial art from San Jose State College, Michaelson hit the graphic art world full bore as a solo artist in the height of the Haight Ashbury era of poster art. He created many iconic posters for such rock bands as Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, The Monkees and others.

One of his mostly instantly recognizable posters was the highly successful San Francisco cityscape featuring whimsical representations of the Bay City’s many beloved sites.

Beginning in 1971 and continuing for many years, he worked both in-house and freelance as an “Imagineer” artist and consultant for Disney Enterprises. His work with Disney over the years produced not only many outstanding posters but major design work for Euro Disney, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Anaheim.

Michaelson branched out from Disney, and with Landmark Entertainment Group he designed the grand entrance of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and designed theme parks in Baltimore, China and Tokyo.

He continues to work as an independent creative consultant for such clients as Paramount Parks, Herschend Family Entertainment, Landmark Entertainment Group and Gary Goddard Entertainment Inc.

Michaelson works from his home in Solvang, continuing his freelance work but also pursuing both artistic and literary personal projects.

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