, Salem, MA

Local News

May 16, 2014

'Airbender' artist brings his prints to Beverly

Bryan Konietzko always wanted to work on a large scale.

“Even as an art student, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do,” he said. “But I knew that I wanted to do something big and epic.”

That ambition has been realized in “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and its sequel “The Legend of Korra,” which have appeared over the last 12 years on the cable television network Nickelodeon.

Konietzko and co-creator Michael DiMartino have conjured entire worlds for these animated series, along with the people who inhabit them, many of whom possess magical abilities.

“We both started out as artists but had a lot of interest in storytelling and, ultimately, writing,” Konietzko said. “We both oversee and take part in pretty much every part of the process.”

But Konietzko’s ambition also extends to helping others, which is evident in the 17 prints he has donated to raise money for the One Fund and the victims of last year’s Boston Marathon bombings.

Currently hanging in the Schlosberg Gallery at Montserrat College of Art, the prints, which feature characters from the two Nickelodeon series, are up for bid in a silent auction through tomorrow

Konietzko will also hold a signing at the gallery, in the Hardie Building at 23 Essex St. in Beverly, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. tomorrow.

People are welcome to bring DVDs, sketchbooks or anything else for him to sign, or to just stop by and meet the artist.

“Sometimes, people just want to shake hands or get a picture,” Konietzko said. “Kids are into taking these selfies with people now; they actually like them more than autographs.”

The prints are drawn from the past 10 seasons of the two shows and depict a variety of characters, settings and moods.

“The show, at heart, is an action-adventure series, but it also has humor, serious or sad scenes and delves into some scary tones, as well,” Konietzko said.

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