The general memberships of the 900-member Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 876) and the 700-member Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists (IATSE Local 816) voted overwhelmingly to merge their two locals into one — IATSE Local 850, Art Directors Guild & Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists, it was announced today by IATSE International President Thomas C. Short.
The merger of the two locals is effective July 1, 2003; the joint boards will have their first meeting within two weeks following the effective date.
Local 876 voted 215 for and 110 against the merger; Local 816’s tally was 177 for, 12 against.
The Art Directors Guild (ADG), founded in 1937, represents Production Designers, Art Directors and Assistant Art Directors in the motion picture, television and commercial industries. The Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists (STG), founded in 1949, represents Scenic Artists and Graphic Artists, as well as Courtroom Artists, Computer Artists and Graphic Designers.
Tom Walsh, ADG’s President, said today: “We now have an historic opportunity to reinvent the Art Department from the ground up, while reaffirming its relevance, capabilities and leadership far into the digital age. From this point forward our new union of artists will be swiftly moving into an enviable position within our industry from which we will be able to significantly influence the creative process from its earliest conception to its final realization, while extending to our combined membership many new opportunities from which they may continue to learn, grow and excel in the art and craft of design for the moving image.”
Scenic Artists President Pat DeGreve today said: “I am very pleased to see that the membership has approved this merger. I believe it is an important step forward for both locals. This merger brings together the creative talents of Hollywood’s most prestigious locals, and should enable us to better represent our members in an ever-changing environment.”
Local 850 will be governed by a 15-member Board of Directors and by two 12-member crafts councils, one representing Art Directors, the other Scenic Artists. Until elections occur for the officers of the Board of Directors and the two councils, the new local will be jointly governed by the officers of the former locals.
The Executive Director of Local 850 is Scott Roth, formerly ADG’s Executive Director. He said today: “The merger is a signal event in the history of both our groups; its legacy will be greater bargaining strength and craft cohesion for and among the Art Directors and Scenic Artists, as well as more recognition for the astonishing visual artistry of the two crafts. This combination is in the best interests of our two groups, the International, and, we believe, the industry as a whole.”
Missy Humphrey, formerly STG Executive Director and now Associate Executive Director of Local 850, today said: “The partnership of our two Locals will create a community of the finest artists in our industry, and the world.”
Offices for the new local will be at 11969 Ventura Boulevard, in the Studio City office building that separately housed both unions prior to the merger.