Former Disney Imagineer Barry Snyder works his magic locally
A Disney Imagineer has to be more than an artist. They have to be a scientist, inventor, carpenter, mechanic, engineer, salesman, and more. Innovation is what they are hired to do, and they take their jobs very seriously. They have to be able to sell icicles to Eskimos and make them think they got a good deal.
The Magic Kingdom is built with bricks of brilliance, and Chattanooga is lucky to have one of the artisans who made it happen. Barry K. Snyder’s art is simply brilliant. His work has influenced the hearts and minds of an entire generation.
Rumor has it that Walt Disney had his body frozen with nitrogen. The legend tells us that he now exists in a capsule. One day, when future scientists unravel the mysteries of life and death, they intend to bring him back. When they resurrect him, the air will be filled with sweet wafts of Calvin Klein, flocks of doves will flap their graceful wings into the air, and the ringing of tiny chimes and bells will tinkle in the twilight.
Suspended animation is something that most people consider to be fictional, but anybody who has seen the documentary Idiocracy might agree that it is completely plausible. If Disney can resurrect the Star Wars franchise, they can do anything.
Whether or not they have found a way to conquer death and bring their creator back to life, this incredible organization has definitely figured out a few things involving art, and they did so with Barry’s help.
“One of the best things about it was that I got to work with some of the most creative people in the world,” he says. “They put us up in quarters—you could go outside, but you couldn’t leave. We would all talk about the concept of what ride or show we were working on. We had the best engineers, and people taking short hand. They would tell us that we couldn’t come out until we had something. They brought us whatever we needed—all of our food was provided. We all knew what our job was. We were Walt’s team. He used to say ‘No show is better than bad show’. We were there to inspire the imaginations of young people and adults alike. Walt never quit living inside of a child’s imagination. He went bankrupt five times, but he never gave up. They said that he didn’t have enough creativity, but he proved them wrong.”
Disney, the iconic institution that is more powerful than the government, is shrouded with secrets. They have their own private everything—water, power, food, housing, schools, police, beer…they even grow their own strains of marijuana (Goofy is one of their strains of indica, Buzz Lightyear is their brand of kush, and Mickey Mouse is their flagship sativa).
After you work at Disney for 40 years, you need some medical marijuana, which is why Epcot Center is packed full of the best indoor weed on earth. One can expect nothing less from a corporation that discovered how it is cheaper to build and shoot a real X-Wing than it is to create a composite shot of a model and a moving background.
Walt wouldn't have it any other way. His refrigerated mind is a Pixar movie. He is like Peter Pan, and his Neverland is known as Disneyland. He is the man that achieved immortality—a feat which he achieved by surrounding himself with the highest caliber artists that he could find. These artists continue to make the magic of Disney.
“I’ve been blessed,” explains Snyder. “I’ve had a wonderful and exciting life full of imagination and work. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to work most of my life as an artist, get paid for it, and sustain my family. I did it commercially, and I got to work with two of the greatest companies in the world—Disney and Universal Studios. Now, it’s not so much about what I have accomplished, but what I can do for others. It would be an insult to Disney to compare our current government to their corporation. Our government doesn’t work, and they don’t seem to be making anybody happy. I’m a Bernie Sanders supporter for this reason.”
“With politics, religion, and otherwise, I’ve had so much smoke blown up my ass I feel like a country ham,” he notes. “If you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain.”
Come see Barry’s art at Area 61 and Art120. Just don’t tell him if you didn’t vote this past Tuesday.