For the 2023 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, The Odyssey is home to WonderGround Gallery, which features a rotating selection of 22 Disney Fine Artists.
Disney Fine Artist Sharlene Tulasoa is a freelance illustrator and muralist with a number of pieces on display at the Wonderground Gallery.
Tulasoa channels her Pacific Island heritage in her original work depicting Moana sailing through the Pacific. In keeping with the sea, another of her works features Ursula.
Self-taught Artist Kristin Tercek is perhaps best known under the name of “Cuddly Rigor Mortis”. Whatever name you may know her by, Tercek’s colorful works and the big eyes of most of her character renditions really stand out.
Stitch, Remy, Groot, Eeyore, and Piglet are all given Tercek’s creative touch a.m.ong her featured works at this year’s festival. Tercek’s paintings will be available as postcards, prints, and canvases. The artist herself will be on site for signings from February 9 through 14.
Artist Joey Chou makes his return to the International Festival of the Arts, showcasing his work from the Odyssey building at EPCOT. Chou is known for his adorable pieces and work on “it’s a small world” at Tokyo Disneyland and now the Disney Wish.
The newer films “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Turning Red,” and “Encanto” are represented in three of Chou’s four new works. His fourth work features some beloved Disney cats accompanied by Geppetto’s pet goldfish Cleo, as seen in Disney’s “Pinocchio.”
Chou will be at the Odyssey on the following dates:
- January 28: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- January 29: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
- January 30: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
- January 31: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
- February 1: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
- February 2: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
- February 3: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Award-Winning Disney Artist Sam Kirk is known worldwide for her murals and art installations. “Viva Dia De Los Muertos” is a lenticular featuring Miguel from ‘Coco’ while other works featuring characters from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “Luca” reimagine Disney characters in the artist’s signature style.
Kirk’s artwork is pictured here a little mixed in with Chou’s. She has a piece depicting the Dora Milaje from “Black Panther” and a pair of paintings of Miguel from “Coco.” Her “Coco” works are also including as part of the Drawing on Inspiration art walk.
As a designer for Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Fine Artist, David Buckley has been a contributing artist for the International Festival of the Arts since its inaugural opening. Buckley has four new watercolor pieces featuring Donald Duck, Mickey and Minnie, Bunsen and Beaker, and a Pirates of the Caribbean pirate.
The Bunsen and Beaker piece is also in the Drawing on Inspiration display.
He will be appearing from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M. on January 25 and February 15, and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the following dates:
- January 28
- February 4
- February 11
- February 18
Jasmine Becket-Griffith is known for her surrealism, featuring a reimagining of characters with “liquid eyes”. The Disney Artist has a number of pieces that will catch the eye of Disney and Star Wars fans, alike.
Becket-Griffith’s newest piece is “Jasmine and the Hourglass,” but she also has pieces featuring Mr. Toad and Minnie Mouse.
Becket-Griffith will be signing at the Odyssey Pavilion from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on January 31, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on February 1 – 3, and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on February 4 and 5.
Chris Uminga’s unique style “blends together creepy and cute.” Uminga is known for his work on several projects for DC and Marvel Comics, but this Disney Artist serves up some 90s nostalgia in his newest pieces on display at the Festival of the Arts.
Two of his new pieces will tug on the heartstrings of nostalgic ’90s kids everywhere. One features Powerline from “A Goofy Movie” while another is inspired by TaleSpin. He also has artwork featuring Maleficent and “Star Wars” villains.
Uminga will be appearing from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M., February 1 – 3, from 11 A.M. to 1 P.M., February 4 – 7, and from 2 P.M. to 4 P.M. on February 8.
Jeff Granito has been working with Disney Parks and other divisions for decades. His style draws the eyes with rich colors and backgrounds as detailed as the characters in the foreground.
Granito’s high-contrast pieces are busy scenes inspired by Buzz Lightyear, “Ratatouille,” Jungle Cruise, and Spider-Man.
In addition to prints, there are also one-of-a-kind hand-embellished versions of each of these works.
Granito will be singing from 2 P.M. to 4 P.M. on January 27 – 29, and from 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. on January 30 – February 2.
Caley Hicks is a Graphic Designer Manager with the Disney Creative Group. The Disney Artist has been the creative mind behind a great collection of Disney merchandise, but her winding designs stand out all their own.
Caley Hicks’ works pay homage to the Lester’s Possum Park scene in “A Goofy Movie,” Ariel in “The Little Mermaid,” “One Hundred and One Dalmatians,” and the Hitchhiking Ghosts of The Haunted Mansion.
Hicks will be appearing at the festival from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M. on January 21 and 22, as well as on February 11, 12, and 19.
Disney Artist and Design Director Will Gay likes to reimagine Disney Parks and his favorite characters in new ways. Gay has debuted several new works at the festival this year, mostly featuring Mickey at different Walt Disney World attractions.
One is “Call in the Spirits,” depicting Mickey and Pluto riding The Haunted Mansion. “Carousel of Progress” shows the pair in a scene from the titular attraction. Another painting depicts them riding Test Track with two guests. Spaceship Earth can be seen in the background along with other EPCOT sketches.
The fourth, titled “Big Adventures with Little Orange Bird”, features the Florida Orange Bird skipping along with a Dole Whip in hand outside of the Enchanted Tiki Room.
Here are Gay’s signing times:
- January 19: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- January 22: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- January 28: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- January 29: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- February 2: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- February 6: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- February 11: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
- February 12: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
- February 16: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- February 20: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Tan has debuted four new prints this year, each one inspired by a different park. The Disney’s Hollywood Studios piece depicts The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in the background and the Millennium Falcon flying overhead.
The Disney’s Animal Kingdom piece shows the Tree of Life during a sunny day, with animals walking around it and Expedition Everest in the distance.
The Magic Kingdom piece features several of the park’s flying ride vehicles and icons (like Dumbo and an enchanted tiki bird) soaring past Cinderella Castle. And the EPCOT piece shows a colorful Spaceship Earth, with the park’s various spaceships, Figment, and Soarin’ hanglider.
Tan will be appearing in the Odyssey Pavilion on the following dates and times:
- Saturday, January 21 – 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Sunday, January 22 – 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Monday, January 23 – 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, January 24 – 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, January 25 – 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Perillo has revealed several pieces of poster art for beloved Walt Disney World attractions debuting at this festival. First is “¿Dónde está Donald?,” a poster for Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros in the Mexico Pavilion. It depicts Jose Carioca and Panchito sailing around the Mexican city seen at the end of the ride while Donald Duck appears on a bridge overhead. The piece includes a number of flowers (not replacing any characters this time) and the fireworks seen on the ceiling in the finale scene.
Next is “A Race Through the Cosmos,” a poster for Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom. Beneath the attraction name reads “Three, Two, One, Mark,” a countdown to the ride’s launch. Meanwhile, three happy riders zoom by in a rocket through outer space. The number 75 appears on the front of the rocket, noting the year Space Mountain opened at Walt Disney World, 1975. And of course, the attraction’s iconic building appears above the artwork’s name.
Perillo heads to Tomorrowland for “Live at Cosmic Ray’s…” which advertises the restaurant’s resident musician, Sonny Eclipse.
And for Disney’s Animal Kingdom fans, there’s a Perillo-designed poster for Expedition Everest, which advertises Anandapur Rail Services. Guests ride around the mountain’s exterior, while the Yeti waves hello.
Perillo will be available for signing during the following schedule:
- 11 A.M. – 1 P.M.: January 13, 14, 15, February 20
- 5 P.M. – 7 P.M.: January 16, 17, February 16, 17, 18, 19
Miss Mindy revealed four new pieces of artwork. “Wonderland” shows the many residents from “Alice in Wonderland” gathered around Alice on a black background, which accentuates their colorful, super-cute appearance. If you look closely, you can see the Mad Hatter and March Hare sitting in a teacup, no doubt a reference to the iconic attraction Mad Tea Party, which is based on the 1951 film.
“Pinocchio” is inspired by the 1940 animated film. It depicts the titular character in Stromboli’s puppet show.
“Grand Day Out” shows Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Pluto, and Goofy “taking center stage” in front of a bunch of balloons. Donald and Daisy Duck can be seen in silhouette in the pattern behind the balloons.
Heading back to Wonderland is “In a World of My Own,” a sculpture hand-made by Miss Mindy. It shows Alice holding a flowerpot with the Cheshire Cat behind her.
Miss Mindy can be found at WonderGround Gallery from 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. on January 13, 14, and 15, as well as February 16, 17, 18, and 19.
Four new works by Shen will premiere at the festival. “A Darling Puppy” shows Lady from “Lady and the Tramp” as a young pup, wearing a large red bow as she pops out of a pink and white striped box. The light blue background shows a pattern of laurels, and the whole work is framed by a pink ribbon.
“Friendship Colors Your World” shows Pocahontas embracing the colors of the wind with Nakoma, along with Meeko and Flit.
“A Small World Under the Sea” shows Ariel, Flounder, and Sebastian in a style inspired by their appearances in the Disneyland edition of “it’s a small world.”
Finally, there’s “Happily Ever After in the Bayou,” which shows Tiana and Prince Naveen in a loving embrace surrounded by the enchantment of the bayou.
Shen will appear at the gallery from 2 P.M. – 4 P.M. from January 13 through 21, and February 17 through 20.
Moises makes her festival debut in 2023. Disney describes her as “an Afro-Latina children’s book illustrator and toy designer who proudly portrays people of diverse backgrounds playing leading roles in fantasy adventures.”
Several Disney-inspired works by Moises will debut at the festival. “The Perfect Cast” is based on the finale from “A Goofy Movie,” with Goofy and Max dancing the titular move with Powerline on stage. Joining them in this work are P.J., Roxanne, Bobby Zimuruski, and Stacey.
“The Edge of the Water” shows Moana and Pua running on the beach as geysers erupt around them.
“Las Hermanas Madrigal” features Mirabel and Isabela with flowers blooming around them.
“Never Not By Your Side” sees Mei, Miriam, Priya, and Abby from the Pixar film “Turning Red” in utter awe as they watch 4 Town perform in concert.
Moises will be available for signings on the following schedule:
- 11 A.M. – 1 P.M.: February 15
- 2 P.M. – 4 P.M.: January 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, February 16, 17, 19. 20
- 5 P.M. – 7 P.M.: January 19, February 18
Fen Wei Fan, a.k.a. Fenway Fan is premiering two new shadowboxes and two new two-dimensional pieces at the festival this year. “My Home My Temple” is a shadowbox based on “Turning Red.” It shows Mei in her red panda form carrying her friends Miriam, Priya, and Abby over the Lee Family Temple.
The second shadowbox, “My Pretty Pretty Hat” is inspired by “WandaVision.” It depicts Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch, wearing a hat containing Vision, her children, Billy and Tommy, Monica Rambeau, and Agatha Harkness in their driveway.
In addition to the shadowboxes, Fenway Fan has revealed two abstract takes on a pair of Walt Disney World landmarks. “Improvisation – Tree of Life” shows the icon of Disney’s Animal Kingdom in a loose style, but still containing many nods to the animal world within. “Improvisation – Castle and Fireworks” is a nod to Cinderella Castle at night, with unique interpretations of fireworks overhead, enhanced by the blue background.
Fenway Fan will be at WonderGround gallery from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M. January 13-15, and from 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. January 16-19.
Riller is an illustrator and animator whose work can be seen in the Disney Junior series “Whisker Haven Tales.” Riller will be debuting four new pieces of cutout paper art at the festival. “Off to Meet Edward” is based on the 2007 film “Enchanted,” and shows Princess Giselle in her wedding dress on her way to marry Prince Edward.
“Faith, Trust and Flowers” depicts Tinker Bell in profile holding a bouquet of flowers. More flowers frame the border, while pixie dust can be seen behind her. On Instagram, Riller revealed that the piece contains a hidden Mickey. Can you spot it?
“Here Comes Midnight” shows Cinderella fleeing the ball (and leaving her glass slipper behind) as the Fairy Godmother’s magic runs out. Riller uses unique paper accents, like a doily to represent the lacy underside of her gown.
“We’re Going to Have a Mardi Gras Parade” has Tiana and Charlotte La Bouff in their masquerade ball gowns, enjoying the Mardi Gras festivities taking over New Orleans.
Riller will be available for signings on the following schedule:
- 11 A.M. – 1 P.M.: January 16, 17, 18, February 1, 2
- 2 P.M. – 4 P.M.: February 5, 6, 7
- 5 P.M. – 7 P.M.: January 13, 14, 15, February 3, 4
Keep reading WDWNT for ongoing coverage of the 2023 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts!
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