Art Visionary Award Honorees
Tony DeRose and Elyse Klaidman
Pixar Animation Studios
The Art in Action Art Visionary Award is given annually to recognize the significant role a person or organization has played in promoting the arts in society and our “everyday lives.”
We are honored to present this award to Tony and Elyse for their impactful legacy in our community and beyond.
Tony DeRose is currently an educational consultant. He received a BS in Physics from UC Davis, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from UC Berkeley. From 1986 to 1995 Dr. DeRose was a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. From 1996 to 2018 he was a Senior Scientist at Pixar where he led Pixar’s Research Group for most of that time.
For the past seven years, he has developed several initiatives to help make math, science, and engineering education more inspiring for middle and high school students. One such initiative is Pixar in a Box which is designed to show students how concepts they are learning in class are used to solve creative challenges at Pixar. In 1999 he received the ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award, and in 2006 and 2019 he received Academy Awards(c) for his work on the mathematics of surfaces.
Elyse Klaidman is a life-long arts professional and educator with a passion for museum and educational programming dedicated to inspiring and developing the most diverse future of artists, storytellers, innovators, and problem solvers. Before joining Pixar in 1996 Klaidman worked as a painter, a teacher, and gallery director.
In 1996 Klaidman was hired as a drawing instructor by Pixar President and Founder, Ed Catmull, and joined full-time in 1998. She developed and oversaw Pixar University’s internal education programs including art, film guest speaker programming, technical training and leadership development. She was director of Pixar University from 2008 through 2016.
In 2000 Klaidman founded and began curating exhibits for Pixar’s internal galleries. In 2004, she was asked by John Lasseter to work with curators at NY MoMA to curate and organize “Pixar: 20 Years of Animation.” Klaidman has re-curated the exhibition multiple times as it continues to tour internationally. In 2015 Klaidman and team collaborated with the Museum of Science, Boston to create “The Science Behind Pixar,” showcasing the technology and science behind Pixar film productions. The 12,000 square foot exhibit is currently touring the United States and internationally.
Klaidman co-founded and led the team that collaborated with Khan Academy to create “Pixar in a Box” a series of learning tutorials that demonstrate how math, science, engineering, and the arts are vital to the magic of the Pixar filmmaking process. There are currently over thirty Pixar in a Box lessons on Khan Academy.
After a wonderful twenty-two year career at Pixar, Klaidman has left the studio to fully devote her work to equity in education and inspiring and developing the next generation of creative problem solvers.
Art in Action is a 36-year-old nonprofit providing K-8 students a comprehensive and engaging visual arts education. AiA provides art curriculum, materials, and training that empowers students to develop creativity, critical thinking, self-expression, and problem-solving skills. Through hands-on learning students expand their knowledge in art and art techniques, science, cultural understanding, technology, and more -- so every student has the skills they need to succeed and be prepared for jobs of the future. Our mission is to empower students through arts education. We believe that every child deserves access to quality and meaningful arts education that helps prepare them for future success.