Art Clokey: Creator Extraordinaire

A True Pioneer

For more than 50 years, Art Clokey worked with clay to produce works of art that form a catalog of “firsts” in the medium of film. He made the first music video, Gumbasia, in which colored clay shapes moved and transformed to the jazz rhythms. He was the first to introduce the use of clay models of objects, animals and people in television commercials. He was the first to develop clay animation techniques and the first to use them in full-length feature films. He invented trimentional animation based on kinesthetic principles, and it became the signature of his career.

Art Clokey, born October 12, 1921, was a dynamic creator who inspired children and adults for the past six decades. Gumby, his most famous character, is a pop-culture icon. He and his first wife, Ruth, also created the famed Davey and Goliath series.

Read about Art’s dramatic life and his creative process in this section of the website or check out the documentary Gumby Dharma, which aired on PBS and also on the Sundance channel more than 30 times from 2008 to 2010. The entire world mourned the loss of this amazing artist on January 8, 2010, when Art passed away peacefully in his sleep.

Learn more and watch clips from some of Art’s works:

Young Art Clokey filming

The Formative Years

Budweiser animated commercial

The Beginning: Thank You Budweiser!


Mandala: A Visionary Masterpiece

Art Clokey's art film Gumbasia

How Art Got His Big Break: The Power of Gumbasia

Davey and Goliath

Davey and Goliath: A Message of Love

Pluckey Plumber Pilot

The Pilots

Art Clokey theater presentation

Art on the Art of Film and Animation

The Clay Peacock

The Clay Peacock