Bob Gardiner - March 19, 1951-April 21, 2005
Compiled by Demian
Sweet Corn Productions
November 1, 2005
James Robbins “Bob” Gardiner, was an artist, writer, and musician. He won an Academy Award in 1974 the animated short film “Closed Mondays.” which he had written, sculpted, produced, and directed along with Will Vinton.
In the Oscar-winning film, a drunk wanders into an art museum where the art paintings and sculpture inspire him to have visions, primarily of a comic nature.
He also helped animate Will’s “Mountain Music” (1975), which won first prize at the Hemisfilm International Film Festival the following year.
Bob was known for his clay animation, which he called “sculptimation.” His clay work was featured in commercials, public service spots and TV specials, including a short film about Elvis for a Rolling Stone Magazine’s 10th anniversary broadcast, animated ads for bartlett pears, and other products in the Portland, Oregon area. He also sculpted print ads for Nikon cameras.
Bob also made holograms, painted, performed original satiric songs, told stories, and wrote comedy. He worked with his friend Mason Williams and other writers on two Smothers Brothers specials.
Jim Blashfield met Bob at several studios where Bob was working:
“Bob was an intensely creative person. His ability to improvise and give a fresh and convoluted reading to almost any notion put before him was what defined him.”
Bob was born in Torrance (Los Angeles County), and spent his early years there and in Reno. He studied for several years at the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland before moving to Portland.
He was a Grass Valley resident since 1991. He painted signs and worked at the Powerhouse mining museum, where he gave public tours, did carpentry, and installed exhibits.
Bob Gardiner died on April 21, 2005, at his home in Grass Valley at age 54, when he ended his own life.
He was survived by daughters Sarah Ann of New York City and Nicolle Gaia of Portland; their mother, Kara Evenson of Portland; brothers Arthur of Reno and John of Laguna Beach, California; and sisters Katharine Hale of Reno, Ann Gardiner of Berkeley and Janet Gardiner Leland of San Francisco.