TOWNSHEND — The next time you watch someone drenched in slime while getting a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award or lifting the golden popcorn on MTV, know there is a little bit of Townshend being presented on a national level.
In a second-floor art studio in Townshend, Robert DuGrenier works next to a large window on assembling the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.
DuGrenier was approached back in 1991 to redesign the award that was originally a little boy holding a teleidoscope, which is a kind of kaleidoscope with a lens and open view so it can be used to form kaleidoscopic patterns from objects outside. The current orange blimp award is a working teleidoscope.
"They wanted an award that was fun, that interpreted the kids' view of the world," said DuGrenier. "I looked at a bunch of their logo sheets at the time and came across four logos I really liked, and the blimp was one of them."
He made the prototype in 1991 and has been making them ever sense.
The award is not made from glass, a medium with which DuGrenier normally works, but instead, is made from a cast epoxy. The award is cleaned up and painted, and DuGrenier then puts in a functioning teleidoscope.
DuGrenier recalled a memorable story about a person who received one of these coveted orange awards.
"I was working with Whoopi Goldberg. When she just moved into her house in New Jersey, the movers broke two standing dome lamps and (she) wanted to get them reproduced," said DuGrenier. "I arrived at her house, she opened her door still wearing her nightgown, and invited us into the kitchen. I asked her where her Kids' Choice Awards were, and she went running out, and came back with all three of them (at the time) and I told her that I made those. She was totally astonished that I made them."
The Nickelodeon awards are not the only award DuGrenier makes. He also makes the MTV Movie Awards, the CMT Country Television Awards, the Espy Awards, TV Land Awards and locally, the ITV Fest.