You know Maggie Parr's work, don't you?
Of course you do. If you've ever been to Disneyland Park and
wandered through Mickey's Toontown, you've seen some of the show buildings that
this acclaimed artist has designed.
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Or if you've ever looked up while shopping in WDW's World of
Disney, you've seen some of the witty murals that Maggie created for this
Downtown Disney Marketplace landmark.
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Inc. All rights reserved
Ms. Parr has quite the history when it comes to The Walt
Disney Company. As the youngest show designer ever to be hired on Walt Disney
Imagineering, Maggie worked on a wide variety of projects from 1990 to 1994.
Including Animal Kingdom's oft-talked-about-but-never-built area which was to
have celebrated mythological creatures, Beastlie Kingdomme.
Starting in 1995, Maggie began working as a freelance artist
and designer. Which was how Ms. Parr was then able to work for Disney World 's direct
competition - the Universal Orlando Resort - on that whimsical Caro-Seuss-el ride which
sits right in the middle of Universal's Islands of Adventure's Seuss Landing section.
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And even though Maggie has officially been out of the
building for almost 16 years now, her show design skills are so highly thought
of at 1401 Flower Street that ... Well, when the Imagineers were just getting
started on that $1.1 billion redo of Disney California Adventure Park, they
immediately asked Ms. Parr if she had any ideas about how they could possibly
retheme that theme park's Orange Stinger ...
... and Golden Zephyr rides.
And while Maggie always enjoys these sorts of theme
park-based assignments... These days, what Ms. Parr most enjoys doing is taking
the classic Disney characters and then reimaging them as the portrait subjects
of famous Renaissance and modernist paintings.
And if you've been aboard the Disney Dream and played that
cruise line's Midship Detective Agency, you've undoubtedly already seen some of
the pieces that Maggie created exclusively for the Disney Cruise Line. Among
them the Minnie Lisa ...
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... the Goofy Washington crossing the Delaware ...
... the Minnie on a Half Shell ...
... and the Seurat Ducks.
And speaking of the Disney Dream ... Just yesterday, Ms. Parr set
aside on that Disney Cruise liner. And now through the 15th, she'll
be the featured artist on that ship. Showcasing four of her newest
Disney-themed paintings, among them a Toulouse-Lautrec-inspired canvas starring
the ostriches from "Fantasia" ...
... a tribute to Gustav Klimt that reimagines Minnie Mouse as
the subject of this iconic portrait.
Not to mention a self portrait by that famous
post-impressionist, Vincent Van Goof ...
... as well as a Jackson Pollack-inspired portrait of Mickey
When Maggie and I spoke on the phone yesterday just before
she boarded the Disney Dream, Ms. Parr talked about how she enjoyed painting "Mickey
"I learn something from every artist I imitate, and this was
no exception. It was fun to let loose and throw paint around for the Pollock
painting. I still have paint splattered in parts of my backyard."
Freelance artist and designer
Art fans who are cruising on this Disney Dream this week are
in for a real treat. Given that they'll not only have the opportunity to take
part in a silent auction for four of the original pieces of artwork that Maggie
will be bringing on board, but they'll also get the chance to see Ms. Parr
paint live. Sit in on a three-hour-long session where this expert in the
classical style of indirect layer painting finishes up a portrait of Daisy Duck
that draws its inspiration from John Singer Sargent's controversial "Madame X" painting.
Mind you, if you're not going to be sailing with the Disney
Cruise Line this week but would still love to see Maggie's work ... Not to worry.
As soon as the Disney Dream docks at Port Canaveral on July 15th, Ms. Parr
climbs into a car and then zooms on over Lake Buena Vista. Where - from 5 - 7 p.m.
- Maggie will be meeting with her fans at the Art of Disney Gallery in the
Downtown Disney Marketplace. Not to mention signing prints & giclees of
many of the paintings featured in today's article.
So if you swing on by the Art of Disney Gallery this Friday
night, you can not only quiz Ms. Parr about some of her theme park projects
(like King Triton's Carousel at DCA) ...
... but you'll also get to view a mix of Maggie's newer and
older paintings. Not to mention some of her genuinely vintage pieces.
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For further information on Parr's appearance at the Downtown
Disney Marketplace on July 15th, please drop by the Disney Gallery website