Exhibit showcases Gumby’s Glendora roots

Preparations for the third annual Gumby Fest and stop-motion festival have kick started with the official opening of the Gumby Museum in the Hayden Memorial Library on Sept. 1.

Joe Clokey returned to Glendora to carry on his late father’s legacy and bring his creation, Gumby, back home to where he was made for the character’s 60th birthday.

This year the exhibit is bigger and better, displaying behind-the-scenes photos, props, pose-able puppets, complete sets and even a suspended model plane being piloted by Gumby himself.

“We did a series of exhibits for Gumby’s 50th in New York, L.A., Atlanta and so forth,” Joe Clokey said as he looked around the room showcasing his father’s work. “None of them were as extensive as this.”

Clokey’s parents invented Gumby in the 1950s and he is continuing their legacy with his wife Joan, who organized the gallery titled “Gumby through the ages.”

According to Joan Clokey, last year’s celebration was remarkable because of the mixed crowd.

“Three or four generations could enjoy it at once,” Joan Clokey said. “It is not only for those old enough to have Gumby nostalgia.”

The exhibit is just the start of the celebrations scheduled at Citrus College on Sept. 18 through Sept. 20. Events will include a remastered collection of original Gumby episodes, a documentary about the life of Art Clokey and a special snowboard episode will be released for the very first time during Gumby Fest.

Several workshops are scheduled to encourage the arts as well known panelists Robert Stromberg, director of “Maleficent,” Harry Walton, who worked on films such as “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and “Terminator,” and Tim Hittle, one of the animators for “The Nightmare Before Christmas” will be featured.

Clokey suggested disciplines needed in the film making process: music, video editing, painting, digital art, story boarding and even 3D printing.

Citrus currently provides classes such as animation, ceramics, and painting that cater to future artists and filmmakers.

Clokey recalled that his father would hire young and inexperienced individuals for his films as well as seasoned animators. Many of those young artists did not have a résumé, but they had the talent.

“My dad was an artist, he taught art … Gumby is very much about art and that’s why it makes sense why it’s here at Citrus College.” Clokey said.

To Clokey, the purpose of Gumby Fest is to celebrate and carry on the art form of film making and to get college students, adults and younger kids involved in the movie making process, and what better place to do so than at Citrus College.

“I think it’s professional, they even have descriptions under the pictures,” Ariana Huerta, a kinesiology major, said pointing to the photographs displayed on the corridor wall.
“It’s not something you see everyday at school,” Huerta said.

Determined animators, hobbyists, fans of Gumby and Pokey or just curious students will all find something to enjoy in the Gumby museum conveniently located inside the Hayden Memorial Library, admission is free.

“Citrus College has turned this into what it should be,” Clokey said. “Gumby Fest is carrying on the art form, that’s why it’s perfect to be at Citrus.”