Pixar’s Ralph Eggleston, a visionary behind some of the greatest feature-length animated films of the last 20 years, is coming to UNCG’s campus on Friday, Nov. 20, to share his story and give an inside look at the art of Pixar.
In what will be his first time speaking in North Carolina, Eggleston will present to Renaissance art scholar Dr. Heather Holian’s “Art of Disney and Pixar” class and will give a public lecture at 5:30 in the Sullivan Science Building Mead Auditorium. Sponsored by the Art Department, the talk is free and open to the public.
Best known as the art director of “Toy Story,” Eggleston is a veteran animator, art director, storyboard artist and production designer. Since joining Pixar in 1992, he has been a part of some of the studio’s biggest hits, including “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “WALL-E” and, most recently, “Inside Out.” He also wrote and directed the short film “For the Birds,” which won an Academy Award.
“I’m so thrilled that Ralph is coming to campus,” Holian said. “Our students have the opportunity to learn from someone who has created animation art for more than 20 years. It’s fantastic.”
Eggleston now joins a growing list of Pixar artists and animators who have visited UNCG. Since 2008, Adam Burke, Teddy Newton and Bill Cone have traveled to Greensboro to share their work and speak with students.
“Our students are increasingly interested in illustration and animation,” Holian said. “We like to bring artists to campus who really resonate with our student body.”
The budding relationship between Pixar and UNCG is in large part due to Holian, who, as far as she knows, is the only academic scholar to teach the art of Pixar and to have visited the Pixar studio.
Holian became especially interested in Disney art during high school after she saw concept art for the first time at the Disney Gallery. She started to study the artwork behind animation in college, and, as a PhD student at Indiana University, designed a course titled “The Art of Disney.” The course filled up almost immediately, with 75 students on the waitlist. Years later at UNCG, Holian resurrected the course, which now includes a focus on Pixar.
According to Holian, Eggleston’s visit is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for both the UNCG and Greensboro communities.
“The public will get to see the hand-made artwork behind the classic films they have enjoyed for years,” she said. “Ralph has been at Pixar since they started making feature animated films. He’s been there throughout that entire history. That’s amazing.”
For more information about the lecture and to view a list of upcoming art events, visit uncg.edu/art.
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian
Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar of Ralph Eggleston, August 12, 2014, at Pixar Animation Studios