If you have a Pixar or Disney-crazed kiddo — or a teen who loves the art of animation —  you definitely don’t want to miss this!

Hosted by McDaniel College and the Carroll County Arts Council, “Icons of American Animation” is a major exhibition that emphasizes the artistic and cultural significance of American animation spanning the 20th century. It features over 150 pieces of original art representing more than 30 studios including Disney, Fleischer, Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, UPA, MGM, Pixar, and more! According to Robert Lemieux, associate professor of communication and cinema at McDaniel and curator of the exhibition, the exhibit is one of the largest of its kind with an emphasis on notable characters, films, animators, and production studios associated with both film and television.

McDaniel College and Carroll Arts Center's Icons of Imagination

Some of animation’s most iconic images are on display… including art from The Simpsons, the classic Nightmare Before Christmas silhouette,  a pencil drawing of Scooby Doo, and original artwork featuring Maleficent from Disney’s 1959 Sleeping Beauty. (And yes, she’s still terrifying on paper.)

Best part? Admission to the exhibit is entirely FREE.

McDaniel College and Carroll Arts Center's Icons of Imagination

The exhibition runs through Saturday, March 12, and is displayed concurrently at both McDaniel College’s Esther Prangley Rice Gallery and the Carroll County Arts Council’s Tevis Gallery at the Carroll Arts Center. A public reception takes place Thursday, Jan. 27, from 5-7 p.m. at the Carroll County Arts Council and 5:30-7:30 p.m. at McDaniel College.

Note, this is a look-but-don’t touch exhibit; so it’s not ideal for toddlers and preschoolers. But curious elementary school-aged kids and older will be intrigued!

In conjunction with the exhibit, several events are being held around Carroll County, including:

  • Whimsy,” an exhibit featuring work inspired by fictional characters, created by local artists, at the Carroll County Arts Council’s Community Gallery (91 West Main St., Westminster, Md.) from Monday, January 17-Saturday, March 5. Free and open to the public. 
  • Blender Basics: Simple Rigging for Animation (online video) on Friday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m., for ages 12 and older in conjunction with the Carroll County Public Library. Learn tips and tricks to make a Blender model move and to prep it for 3D animation. This video will also cover the basic functionality of the Pose Mode (Animation Mode) in Blender.
  • Make Animated Zoetrope Art on Saturday, Feb. 26, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library. Use an old animation technique to draw some illustrations and see them come to life. Use a template to create drawings and place them on a zoetrope — a rotating machine that creates the illusion of movement to view your illustrations in motion. Please be aware that this program will include the use of strobe lights. Registration required.
  • Flipbook Animation Camp on Friday, March 4, at noon, at the Finksburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library. Learn how to create your own short cartoon! Register in advance to get a take-home kit, or just watch the video and try it with supplies you have at home. Registration is required to receive a kit but not to view the video.
  • Animated Film Screening: “Up” (PG) at the Carroll County Arts Council on Friday, March 4, at 1 p.m. (captioned) and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6-7. 
  • Oscar Nominated Shorts on Sunday, March 6, at 2 p.m., at the Carroll County Arts Council. See what all the Oscar buzz is about when you view these mini-movie masterpieces! Catch both theanimatedand live action short nominees in this special screening. Tickets are $6-7.

Interested schools are also invited to tour the exhibition! Schools can schedule a field trip to the Carroll Arts Center during the exhibit and experience a a gallery tour, participate in a comic book workshop, and end the day by watching an animated film in the theatre. You can read more about field trips here.

Learn more about “Icons of American Animation” and view the full schedule of events at https://iconsofanimation.com.


Images provided by McDaniel College.