Jerry Wayne Downs
Jerry Wayne Downs was born in Mount Olive, Alabama in 1934, the last of six children. After graduating from high school, Downs served in the Navy in the Pacific. After leaving the Navy, Downs joined the animation department of Walt Disney Studios in 1956, working under two of the famed “Five Old Men” who founded Disney Animation.
Downs went through the Animation and Training Apprentice Program at Disney Animation. Despite having no prior art training, Downs was promoted within six months to do animation work that would normally not be entrusted to apprentices until six years of training in the program.
Downs worked as an animator at Disney Animation for ten years, working on productions such as “Sleeping Beauty”, “Mary Poppins”, “The Sword in the Stone”, and “The Jungle Book”.
Downs then left Disney Animation to pursue a career in fine art in 1967. He also served as the artist in residence for “Far West” magazine until 1972. Thereafter, Downs devoted himself entirely to his career as a fine art painter in the Surrealist tradition.