Local Los Angeles fans of NBC comedy Community received a special treat this weekend, as the "Six Seasons and a Movie" art show put on by Mark Batalla and the PixelDrip Gallery opened for all to see. Made up of hundreds of submissions from prints, to paintings, to plush dolls and Russian Nesting dolls, the art show celebrated Greendale Community College, as well as the people behind it.
After walking through a make-shift Dreamatorium, fans entered an open brick space that housed pieces on the walls in frames, as well as projected from a video player. Tucked into one corner was the "Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne" demo, and just adjacent to that was a much more in-person game of Community Guess Who? to which you could challenge your friends, or even a stranger.
(Full disclosure: We purchased that Guess Who? game and cannot wait to make it a regular installment at our game nights!)
On-hand during the opening day on Saturday June 23rd was Garrett "Crisis Alert" Lambert himself, Erik Charles Nielsen, who happily posed for photos with fans as he took in the submissions. Series creator Dan Harmon also popped by to serve as a very special judge in the costume contest, where Constable Geneva was pitted against two very special versions of Dean Pelton and a pillow-fighting Troy and Abed, to name a few.
And yes, there was a puppy parade as promised. A few wagons full of very cute (though stuffed) puppies toured the gallery in the middle of the afternoon and then hung out in the corner for the duration.
Harmon took the opportunity to give his final farewell to the fans who had gathered in front of him that day-- noting that such an event was equal parts thrilling and terrifying to him as a man who always wanted to be known for the best self he felt he put forth on the page. In person, he said, he just hoped he didn't disappoint. But to those fans in attendance, and even those who were at home, in other parts of the world tracking the hashtag on Twitter, he never could disappoint. That was evident in his applause after thanking the fans for "getting" what he does, but it was even more apparent by the tributes to his work that hung on the walls.
Not in L.A.? Check out some of our favorite pieces of art in our "Six Seasons and a Movie" slideshow!
Harmon stuck around for the opening night gala, which also saw appearances from Community writers Chris McKenna, Megan Ganz, and Andy Bobrow, as well as director Rob Schrab (whose submission in "Six Seasons and a Movie" was a perfect tribute to Harmon). Yvette Nicole Brown and Gillian Jacobs (who sported a Troy and Abed tee-shirt!) also took part in the festivities, signing autographs, posing for photos with fans, and buying some art of their own.
Admittedly, it was a bit bittersweet to look around at the love in the room and wonder whether or not it would still be as strong this time next year. Though the men behind the art show announced they hoped this would be just the "first annual," in truth, it remains to be seen what happens when Community is in new hands. Will it become like a new show? And will the overall theme of the series-- that people are generally good-- still shine through enough to inspire such creativity and passion from those who watch every week? We can only hope so.
Community will return to NBC on October 19th 2012 at 8:30pm.