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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 27, 2005

Panter, Set Designer of 'Pee Wee's Playhouse,' Will Discuss His Work At UI

Texas-born illustrator, painter, designer and part-time musician Gary Panter -- designer for "Pee Wee's Playhouse" and album covers for Frank Zappa and the Red Hot Chili Peppers -- will present a public lecture on his work as a guest of the painting and drawing areas of the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9 in Room E-109 of the UI Art Building.

Panter's talk will be free and open to the public. During his campus visit, Panter will also hold a discussion seminar with graduate students in the painting and drawing areas.

Panter grew up in the 1950s and made his mark in the art world in the 1980s as head set designer for the kid/adult TV show "Pee Wee's Playhouse," for which he won three Emmy awards for production design. The influence of his characteristically jagged art and surreal cartoon ideas was recognized when he won the 2000 Chrysler Award for Design Excellence.

Panter has drawn inspiration from diverse vernacular and classic arenas to continually redefine his work. He has worked as an underground cartoonist, an interior designer and an Internet animator whose "Pink Donkey and the Fly" series can be seen online at Cartoon Network's web site. He is the creator of Jimbo, a post-nuclear punk-rock cartoon character whose adventures were first chronicled as a comic strip in the '70s LA hardcore-punk paper Slash and later in RAW magazine.

His commercial art has included illustrations for Time, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and The New Yorker, a set of album sleeves for Frank Zappa and the cover illustration for the debut album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

More information on Panter is available on his Web page,

The School of Art and Art History is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,