The Disneyland Gallery recently opened its latest exhibit, “Mechanical Kingdoms,” to the delight of many steampunk fans, including yours truly. Steampunk is a style that incorporates steam-powered machinery with a futuristic Victorian setting. Think of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, and you will have an idea of steampunk.
Some of the Disneyland podcast team visited the gallery on opening day, and we had a chance to chat with some of the artists. You can hear about this visit in our recent podcast on the DIS Unplugged-Disneyland Edition. Click here to listen to the podcast.
The Gallery showcases various figures and paintings that were inspired by 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, as well as classic Disney characters. The mix brings a unique art form that is showcased at the Disney Gallery. These art pieces are popular, and some sold the first morning that the exhibit opened. The Disneyana Store has copies and prints for sale.
The event opened with various artists on hand to sign their work and talk with fans. Although we arrived in the afternoon, we were lucky to run into some of the artists who were still there. In this photo, we are with one of our favorite artists, David Avanzino, who was interviewed on the DIS Unplugged-Disneyland Edition. You can listen to his personal take on Mechanical Kingdoms here. I love that fellow artist, Mike Peraza, photobombed our picture.
David has a few pieces here, and just for fun he put together this cool watch art wristband. I bet a lot of people were disappointed that this was not an actual piece to purchase; although, there is still hope for us yet. Here is a closer pic of Dave with his wrist art.
David is known for his name art that incorporates themed letters. For the Mechanical Kingdom exhibit, he did a 3D rendering of Steampunk Willie. There are also prints available of this artwork.
Mike Peraza was also at the Disney Gallery this afternoon. Mike has many years of experience working for Disney, and his work shows his influence by the original Disney Imagineers. In addition to working with Imagineers, he has worked with other creative artists, like Tim Burton and George Lucas. I really liked his work. He adds a little humor to his pieces, like “20,000 Leaks Under the Sea.” He kindly posed for me in front of his work, “Milliner to the Queen, Mstr M. Hatter Esq.” There is so much detail to his work. I really enjoyed all three of his art pieces.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Mark Page. Mark is a Disney Imagineer, and he told me that he typically creates steampunk art, so this exhibit was right up his alley. He created four pieces for the Mechanical Kingdoms exhibit. One of his originals had already sold in the morning of the first day of the exhibit. Prints were also made, and he took five prints of each design and embellished and signed them. He had beautiful work, and Nancy was telling us on the podcast that his work was her favorite. He shared his work with us, and told us a few trivia bits. One is on his piece featuring a car driven by Scrooge McDuck. In the detail on the car are the numbers: 03 27 01 – This is the birth date of Carl Barks, the creator of Scrooge McDuck. I thought that was a cool detail.
Other artists that contributed to the Mechanical Kingdom exhibit are: Noah (popular for other works he has done for Disney), Jim Crouch, Jeremy Fulton, Brian Kesinger, and Javier Soto.
The Disneyana store has prints and reproductions of the art and figurines for sale at more affordable prices, and I have a feeling that these will not last long. The figurines feature Disney characters on steam powered vehicles, and my favorite is Minnie on a steam powered carrousel horse. The figurines also light up with a green glow. You can see the light up figures below.
The steampunk exhibit continues into the Opera House (foyer to the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln show) with artwork and models of Tokyo Seas and other items. It was so interesting to look through this room.
I have included only a few of the many items in the Mechanical Kingdom Exhibit. I do recommend visiting the Disneyana Store and Disney Gallery when you visit the Disneyland Resort to check out the entire works of art and figurines. As you enter Main Street stay to the right, and enter the Disneyana Store. It is right before the entrance to the Opera House.