On The Town:

A comedy legend unveils her art

February 20, 2008|By DAVID LAURELL

On Valentine’s Day, employees of Burbank’s Cartoon Network, along with a select group of local art connoisseurs, were invited to show some love to legendary comedienne, actress and artist Phyllis Diller.

The early evening cocktail reception at the studio’s downtown facility presented 30 pieces of Diller’s art work that will adorn the walls of the studio’s lobby for the next month.

Diller was welcomed to Cartoon Network by Brian Miller, who serves as the studio’s senior vice president and general manager, and the company’s director of operations, Zita Lefebvre.


“We present monthly art shows that give Cartoon Network employees the opportunity to meet various artists and purchase their work,” said Lefebvre, who has also compiled a list of local art aficionados she invites to these shows.

Among those who met Diller and enjoyed her acrylic work that captures faces, landscapes and shoes were Jennifer Ray, Jasmin Boonkrong, Eric Pringle, Robert Serda, Tammy List, Lisa Jones, Michelle Papandrew, Ali Blacker and Roger Webb.

Others in attendance included award-winning illustrator Phil Rynda, a character designer at Cartoon Network, and Bill Reiss who has been an integral part of the teams that have created shows such as “SpongeBob SquarePants” for Nickelodeon, “Higglytown Heroes” for The Disney Channel and “The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy” and “My Gym Partner’s A Monkey” for Cartoon Network. Reiss has also illustrated several children’s books including his most recent, “SpongeBob’s Feelin’ It.”

Also enjoying the reception were Hanna-Barbara, Warner Bros. and Cartoon Network animator Scott Awley, animator Chris Battle, and some of the creative visionaries behind the Cartoon Network series “Transformers: Animated” including Matt Youngberg, Marty Isenberg and Derrick Wyatt.

The Bellarmine-Jefferson High School auditorium on Saturday was transformed into an Italian Carnevale for families who support and participate in Fondazione Italia, a nonprofit organization that promotes the teaching and learning of the Italian language and culture.

The Burbank chapter of the organization that opened in 2006 with just three classes has grown and is thriving with people of all ages who want to learn more about Italian life and history.

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