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Troutdale exhibit celebrates famous comedians' paintings

Fenske Galleries exhibit showcases Red Skelton's artwork


The Fenske Galleries, 255 E. Columbia River Highway, Troutdale, is displaying the artwork of the late vaudeville, radio and TV star Red Skelton, and kicked off the exhibit June 5 during Troutdale’s First Friday ArtWalk.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The late comedian Red Skelton created this painting of his character Freddie the Freeloader. Skelton's artwork will be on display at the Fenske Galleries in Troutdale starting June 5.

Born in Indiana in 1931, Skelton died in 1997 following a rich and varied career as a clown, comedian and actor who created such characters as the punch-drunk boxer Cauliflower McPugg, the inebriated Willie Lump-Lump and Junior the “mean widdle kid.”

“Many of these newly discovered paintings and drawings will be shown to the public, at this exhibition, for the very first time,” the galleries’ press release states. “They are in excellent condition, are between 40 and 50 years old, and all are very rare and very collectible.”

Skelton painted and drew clowns on the lids of cigar boxes from the Centro America Cigar Company, whom he represented for more than half a century.

Other works of art on display are illustrations that Skelton created for several children’s books he had written.

The exhibition includes limited-edition signed lithographs and serigraphs featuring the fictional life of Skelton’s “Freddie the Freeloader” character, from his parasailing over the Pacific Ocean to walking a tightrope. Copies of Red Skelton’s “Pledge of Allegiance,” in which he explains what the pledge means word by word, also may be acquired at the Fenske Galleries.

For more information, visit fenskegalleries.com and redskelton.com.

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