Artist: Valerie Sofranko
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Title: "Gizmo 30 years later"
Medium: Digital painting
Description: This limited edition, hand-signed and framed art piece, rendered digitally by Ms. Sofranko depicts "Gizmo" 32 years later, as an older, wiser gremlin. (Note his SETI pocket protector). A rare opportunity to purchase and own a piece of commemorative artwork created by an actual crew member of Gremlins and one of Gizmo's lead handlers and puppeteers.
Artist Bio: Valerie a professional Fine Artist of 35 years and a Special Effects Technician for 16+ of those years worked as a Sculptor, Painter, Fabricator, Puppeteer, Model Maker and FX Makeup Artist in the Film Industry on major feature films such as "Return of the Jedi", "Gremlins", "Enemy Mine", "Arachnophobia", "The Fly", "Naked Lunch", "Ghostbusters II", "Back to the Future II", "Hook", "Nightmare Before Christmas" along with a few other films and TV commercials. She has exhibited her Fine Art in Fine Art shows and Galleries in United States and is an adjunct faculty member of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in the Entertainment and Industrial Design Department.
In 2008, Valerie worked for and received a Master of Entertainment Technology degree from Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center, where she worked in teams with other grad students building Virtual Worlds for games, Edutainment and Location Based Entertainment. She is now employed by CMU's Entertainment Technology Center as their staff Artist, working and assisting graduate students with their projects and giving workshops in Makeup FX, Props making and Sculpting.
Valerie has affectionately been dubbed "Gizmo's Mother" by fans of the classic Amblin film "Gremlins." As part of the crew of the talented, brilliant and Academy Award winning make-up effects artist Chris Walas, Valerie was a fabricator, furrier, handled the outside detail finishing & cosmetics on, and was one of the lead puppeteers of the character "Gizmo" in "Gremlins", and was responsible for caring for and repairing "Gizmo" during filming.
Her other illustrious achievements in film include working as one of the lead sculptors of the lead alien character on the film "Enemy Mine" and being a lead fabricator of Princess Leia's slave costume for "Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi" which has since become one of the most popular pieces of wardrobe worn in cosplay by movie fans at conventions all over the world.