Museum PR Announcements News and Information

Ice Age to the Digital Age. The 3D Animation Art of Blue Sky Studios On View at the Katonah Museum of Art

(Katonah, NY) The Katonah Museum of Art shines a spotlight on the creative process of computer animation with the exhibition “Ice Age” to the Digital Age: The 3D Animation Art of Blue Sky Studios, on view from September 16, 2012 to January 20, 2013.

A unique interactive exhibition, “Ice Age” to the Digital Age looks at the imaginative work of Greenwich, Connecticut-based Blue Sky Studios, a leader in the animation industry for over 20 years. Creators of such blockbuster films as the Ice Age series (including Ice Age: Continental Drift, which opened in July), Robots, and Rio, the studio prides itself on technical innovation, while retaining a strong narrative heart.

“Ice Age” to the Digital Age will guide visitors through Blue Sky’s entire process of creating computer animated films: from initial concepts, storyboards, character design, background art, and three-dimensional modeling to the highly technical work of animation, rigging, materials, lighting, special effects, and sound. In addition to final movie clips, the exhibition will feature rarely-seen original concept drawings, sculptural models, props, and digital stills. Interactive stations will allow visitors to sketch a scene or manipulate computer-generated images to better understand the innovative technology that brings the films to life.

“From overall design to modeling in clay, modeling on the computer, skin color, hair texture, suggestions on how characters might move, everything is considered,” says illustrator Peter de Sève, the lead character designer for the Ice Age series. This complex process has given birth to such colorful characters as Sid the sloth, Manny the mammoth, Diego the saber-toothed tiger, robot Rodney Copperbottom, and Blu, the Minnesota macaw—each rendered by computer, but conceived and designed by a team of gifted storytellers and artists.

Katonah resident Chris Wedge, a co-founder of Blue Sky in 1987, believes that the secret to the studio’s success is in its inventive process: “Every film starts with an idea, which gets refined—that really is the magic.…You can only find creativity through exploration.” In Wedge’s view, the art challenges technology and technology inspires the art. “The only limit to what can be accomplished in this world is our ability to imagine what is possible. This is the Blue Sky idea.”

Neil Watson, the Museum’s Executive Director says, “We are so fortunate to have this great depth of talent in our neighborhood. The Museum is turning all of the galleries, including the Learning Center, over to this electrifying show.”

“Ice Age” to the Digital Age: The 3D Animation Art of Blue Sky Studios will provide an unprecedented number of collaborative opportunities between the Katonah Museum of Art and Blue Sky artists and technicians, including gallery talks with Blue Sky co-founder Chris Wedge and Ice Age: Continental Drift directors Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier. In addition, the KMA will offer an exciting calendar of programming in partnership with the Jacob Burns Film Center. Details about these programs are available at (A list of programs also follows below.)

“Ice Age” to the Digital Age: The 3D Animation Art of Blue Sky Studios has been organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

On view in the Sculpture Garden and on the South Lawn through April 2013
Joseph Wheelwright: Tree Figures
Joseph Wheelwright’s haunting tree figures invite dialogue between the natural and the manmade. Ranging up to 27 feet tall, his fantastic, anthropomorphic sculptures were created from trees on Wheelwright’s property in Vermont. Turned upside down, the bifurcated trunks become legs while the twisting roots are transformed into heads and arms.

General Information
The Katonah Museum of Art is located at 134 Jay Street (Route 22) in Katonah, NY. For information call 914-232-9555 or visit

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *