Work by Ken Kesey to be Celebrated at the University of Oregon

Mar 21, 2011, 20:04 ET from University of Oregon

West Coast documentary premiere, original pages of Jail Journal, and unpublished writing to be shared

EUGENE, Ore., March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ken Kesey fans will gather at the University of Oregon on Friday, April 8, for a day-long celebration of Kesey's life, work and status as Oregon's iconic author and counterculture personality.  

In honor of the accomplished author and one of the area's most famous residents, "From Ken's Pen: Celebrating the Ken Kesey Collection at the University of Oregon Libraries" will include talks, a special collection open house, an art exhibit, and the West Coast premiere of the new Ken Kesey documentary, "Magic Trip: Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place."

The film "Magic Trip" takes audiences into the Pranksters' counterculture and their legendary LSD-spurred road trip across the country. The documentary features Kesey's personal footage, audio recordings and photographs that intertwine to create an immersive cinematic experience. Director Alex Gibney, the Academy Award-winning director of "Taxi to the Dark Side" and "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," will attend, along with co-director Alison Ellwood, Pranksters George Walker and Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia, and other special guests.

An afterparty will follow the film screening with live music, a Ken Kesey gallery exhibit and readings. Tickets for the film and afterparty are $20. More information about events associated with the screening is here.

The film premiere is part of the university's five-day Cinema Pacific film festival, which will include more than 20 film screenings, live performances, symposiums, gallery exhibitions and two filmmaking competitions.

Kesey day events are sponsored by Cinema Pacific, the UO Libraries Special Collections and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

As a prelude to the film, Ed McClanahan, Kesey's fellow Stanford University classmate and Merry Prankster, will present a talk about Kesey's Jail Journal, which will be on display at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. McClanahan wrote the introduction to the published edition of "Kesey's Jail Journal," a series of large-scale pages of art and writing Kesey created while serving time in the minimum security San Mateo County Honor Camp in 1967.

The university's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art opens an exhibit, "Kesey's Jail Journal," to display 21 original pages of the publication.  The pages are on loan from Faye Kesey, Ken's wife, and housed at the UO Libraries Special Collections. The exhibit will remain on view at the Gilkey Center at the museum through June 26.

In addition to the Jail Journal pages, the museum exhibit will display some "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" deposition notes, and photographer James Smircich's rarely seen images of Kesey's bus Further, the "Acid Test at the Longshoremen's Hall," and a young Jerry Garcia.

As part of the day's events, Kesey biographer Robert Faggen will speak about the importance of the work for research and scholarship purposes. Faggen is a scholar of American literature from Claremont McKenna College and author of the forthcoming book "Ken Kesey: An American Life."

Improving access to the author's work is one goal of the UO Libraries' ongoing effort to purchase the Kesey Collection, a comprehensive archive of typewritten and handwritten manuscripts, journals, artwork, photographs, correspondence, personal papers and other material Kesey amassed during his lifetime.

SOURCE University of Oregon