In a city dominated by cartoon classics, a diverse collection of local illustrators, artists and designers is hosting its first-ever showcase of new works from across Central Florida.

“Giant Illustrators: Pictures and Process” is an assortment of original art, commercial prints and fresh-off-the-press books from several well-known area artists, including University of Central Florida faculty and staff members and alumni.

Included in the lineup are artists who’ve created illustrations for Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Panera Bread.

The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, will be hosted during the entire month of September in UCF’s downtown Center for Emerging Media at 500 W. Livingston St. An opening reception with the artists will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, at the center.

“Giant Illustrators” is an opportunity for art enthusiasts and aspiring illustrators to get a behind-the-scenes peek at different stages of work — from concept to completion.

“Many of our artists will be showing sketches and in-progress work, so visitors will have a glimpse into the actual professional process from sketch to finished product,” said Matt Dunn, one of the artists and a senior art specialist in UCF’s College of Arts and Humanities.

Visitors will be able to view original works from Larry Moore, the internationally acclaimed illustrator and painter whose inspired murals cover the walls of Panera Bread and Barnes & Noble. His work will soon adorn the new Amway Center.

Other artists featured include Chuck Abraham, a former manager of Creative Services at Universal Studios Florida, illustrator for Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co., Walt Disney World, Coca-Cola and associate professor of Graphic Design at UCF; Will Gay, creative director of Disney’s Yellow Shoes; Kevin Haran, an associate professor in UCF’s School of Visual Arts & Design; and Dunn and Victor Davila, both UCF graphic designers and freelance illustrators.

Together, the artists make up a local group with the same name as the exhibit. The members of Giant Illustrators aligned in June 2007 with the common goal of building a community of artists to inspire and learn from each other and to pool resources to increase the visibility of local illustration.

“There are so many talented artists working in Orlando, and ‘Giant Illustrators’ is a way for us to let the community know that we’re here,” Dunn said.

To learn more about “Giant Illustrators” and the artists involved visit