WILMINGTON — Jesse Wilson and Jansen Dell both have ties to Wilmington, but they’ve taken their creative talents in different geographical directions.
And each of them answered the call of their hometown theatre when it needed them.
With Jesse working as a creative director for Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, and Jansen serving as the director of creative operation for the Cincinnati Reds, each man brought big-league talent back to their small town, offering their gifts as volunteer designers for the poster and the logo for the Murphy Theatre’s 100th birthday, which will be celebrated July 24, 2018.
Two years ago, when Leslie Keller-Biehl, development director for the Murphy Theatre, began thinking about the design for the 100th birthday, she knew just who to contact — Jesse Wilson.
Jesse is the son of Rod and Sheri (Fisher) Wilson. Sheri is Keller-Biehl’s childhood best friend; his grandparents are Wilmington natives Ruby Fisher and the late Herman Fisher. The relationship with the Murphy Theatre runs deep in the Fisher-Wilson family.
Sheri’s sister Teri is a theatre volunteer whose son A.J. Gumley helped around the theatre in many capacities, including changing the marquee. A.J. loved the theatre so much that he had one of his senior pictures taken under the marquee.
Jesse’s great-aunt Jean Black is on the theatre’s board of trustees and is the theatre’s longest-serving volunteer. Jean and her sister Janet were involved with Bank Night back in the 1950s. While stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base a few years ago, Sheri, Rod and Jesse’s younger sister Katie volunteered during shows.
It was during a 100th birthday committee meeting about a year ago that the committee decided a logo would be needed. Committee member Taylor Stuckert reached out to Jansen Dell.
“He created an incredible logo,” Keller-Biehl said, noting that Jansen is also the creator of the Murphy Theatre’s season program cover. “He came to the theatre and took photos of various architectural features of the theatre, which he incorporated to make our logo.”
Jansen Dell is the son of Rex and Debbie Dell. They have lived in Wilmington almost 40 years.
Jansen started working for the Cincinnati Reds in 2005, months after graduating from Miami University with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design.
Jansen, who had been a Reds fan since he was a boy, started as a production and design intern. In 2010, he designed the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame “Wire-to-Wire” exhibit to mark the 20th anniversary of the world championship. His creative team of four at the Reds is involved in up to 2,500 projects per year.
Jesse Wilson is a creative director for Paramount as well as for the nonprofit For the Win Project.
He has been working in the movie industry for nine years and created movie posters and art for “Captain America,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “World War Z,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Star Trek,” and “Thor,” as well as for Stan Lee of Marvel Comics and singer Katy Perry. He is working on a documentary about his late grandfather, Herman Fisher.
When Jesse was asked for his vision and inspiration for the 100th poster, he said, “Golden-age Hollywood spectacle. I drew from the movie The Majestic. I thought it would be fun to see an iconic small-town landmark really shown off with a chance to surround it spiritually with its history, sort of mythic. And you know, to see it big like you’re a little kid with awe and presence.”
Jesse currently lives in Hollywood, California with Meghan and their son Jack.