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Published 3/26/2004
Owens Center for Fine and Performing Arts Presents "Children's Community Arts Day", April 3

A day of fun-filled events and activities are in store for area children ages 3-16 as Owens Community College's Center for Fine and Performing Arts hosts "Children's Community Arts Day" on Saturday, April 3. Events highlighting the day will include a demonstration and public reading by renowned children's illustrator Wil Clay and the Mad River Theater Works' presentation of "Wings of Courage" - a powerful children's theatrical performance about an American adventurer and patriot.

"Owens' Center for Fine and Performing Arts is excited to host a daylong celebration exposing our community's children to the arts," said Dr. Brian Bethune, Owens Chair for Fine and Performing Arts.

The "Children's Community Arts Day" will commence with Clay's illustrative presentation at 1:30 p.m. in the College's Walter E. Terhune Art Gallery. The Ohio artist will begin the presentation by providing insight into how he creates his unique illustrations. In addition, Clay will read excerpts from various children's books, as well as put his creative skills to the test by transforming a blank medium into an illustrative masterpiece. Children will have opportunity to assist Clay with his drawing. Admission to the illustrative presentation is free and open to the public.

Clay is a Toledo native and best known for his award-winning children's books, storytelling and artistic expressions. The focus of his work is creating illustrations designed to keep children reading. Knowing that children are fascinated with make-believe, he incorporates bright colors, foreign places, unusual tales and unique creatures into the various works of art. Clay has illustrated a variety of books including "Auntee Edna", "The Real McCoy" and "I Am Rosa Parks".

The artist's work is currently on display as part of an exhibit titled "Every Picture Tells a Story". The exhibition highlights an array of handmade illustrations from children's books. The three prominent Ohio artists featured within the exhibit are Christopher Canyon, Drew Bairley and Clay. In addition, works from a local collection by the Russian illustrator Gennady Spirin also are showcased. "Every Picture Tells a Story" exhibition runs until April 10.

Clay's demonstration will be followed at 4 p.m. by the "Wings of Courage" theatrical production in Owens' Mainstage Theatre. Written and performed by Mad River Theater Works, "Wings of Courage" is based on a true story about Eugene Bullard and his unique experiences as a professional boxer, a World War I flying ace, a jazz musician and a spy. Using storytelling, music and drama, the performance shows how Bullard's determination and perseverance helped him to overcome discrimination throughout his life.

Mad River Theater Works was founded in 1978 with the purpose of crafting plays that are drawn from and produced especially for the people of rural America. The professional theater company performs over 200 times a year and has appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Their original plays are created especially for children and families and, though based in history, reflect modern issues of community and cultural diversity. The group's unique mission has attracted the support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information regarding tickets to "Wings of Courage" or Wil Clay's presentation, contact the Center for Fine and Performing Arts at 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. ARTS or (567) 661-2787.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Ohio with 27 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 44,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for Northwest Ohio college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four- year college or university.


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