Harry Potter art show pays tribute to the wizarding world


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Just in time for the July 15 release of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2,’ Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra is showcasing a collection of art inspired by author J. K. Rowling’s wizarding world.

The tribute show features more than 100 paintings, sculptures and installations from 50-plus Muggle artists who share a love for all things magical.


The exhibition, which runs through Aug. 1, opens Saturday in full-blown Hogwarts fashion. Guests will pull buttons inspired by each of the Hogwarts houses from a sorting hat upon admission, enjoy complimentary butter beer, and compete for prizes in a Snitch-seeking game and a Harry Potter trivia contest. Admission is $2 for the opening reception, to be held at 7 p.m., and all ages are welcome.

The event is the culmination of two years of open submissions on the gallery’s Harry Potter blog, from which the bulk of the show was curated, said Ben Zhu, one of the show’s curators. Gallery staff picked the ‘higher-level fan art,’ Zhu said.

The exhibition also features art from professionals, including Disney artist Bill Perkins, movie poster artist Drew Struzan, and Mary Grandpré, who is best known for illustrating the book covers of the U.S. editions of the Harry Potter novels.

‘The thing that I really noticed about this exhibit is that most everybody who contributed is a fan,’ said curator Wade Buchanan. ‘Every piece has some kind of endearing quality to me. It’s not just somebody that was like, ‘Oh, I’m just going to do a themed piece on Harry Potter.’ You can tell that they’re sincerely a fan, and they’re inspired by it. It’s like little details in the pieces that stand out, that maybe only fans would really pay attention to.’

Gallery Nucleus is known for its offbeat events and themed shows; it hosted an ‘Edward Scissorhands’ 20th anniversary tribute exhibition in April, and its ‘Zombies in Love’ event last year included zombie-themed art, a zombie walk and live performances.

The mass appeal of Harry Potter is partly why the gallery decided on the Hogwarts-themed show.


‘A lot of people admire the fantasy series, and we’re all huge fans of it here,’ Buchanan said. ‘There’s definitely a visual aspect to that. There’s enough in the book to keep people’s interest. Who doesn’t like to learn about magic and wizards and all that good stuff? I mean, that’s really fun for kids and people who are kids at heart, and I think that just opens up the door for all kinds of imagination.’


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—Noelene Clark