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CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: peter-alexander@uiowa.edu

Release: April 7, 2000

WOW! Family Day will be held at the UI Museum of Art April 16

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The tenth-annual Widen Our World (WOW!) Family Day, a fun-filled afternoon of art, visiting artists, African drums, storytelling, prizes and hands-on activities for the entire family, will be held at the University of Iowa Museum of Art from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 16. Designed for participants of all ages, the event will be open to the public free of charge.

Family Day is the culmination of the museum’s WOW! program, which brings third-grade students from the Iowa City area into the museum. This year, more than 1,200 students from 22 local schools visited the UI Museum of Art through the WOW! program.

The WOW! program celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

Emphasizing this year’s theme, "People! Places! Art! WOW!," the day’s events will focus on artwork from current exhibitions at the museum: "Renewing Tradition: The Revitalization of Bogolan in Mali and Abroad," an exhibition of more than 80 African fabrics and fashions, and "Siah Armajani," which shows models of bridge designs created by the artist, including the model for the "Bridge for Iowa" that spans Dubuque St. and links the new and old biology buildings.

Family Day events scheduled during the afternoon are:

-- at 1 p.m., African stories told by Baba Wague Diakite, prize-winning author, artist and story teller;

-- at 2 p.m., a performance by City High School string ensembles directed by Candace Wiebener; and

-- at 3 p.m. African drums, drama and dance by Olabayo Olaniyi, Nigerian artist and performer.

Four visiting artists from Mali, West Africa, will be on hand throughout the afternoon to give demonstrations of mudcoth, the fabric that is featured in "Renewing Tradition." The museum’s hands-on activity room will feature "Building Bridges and Making Mudcloth" and give families the opportunity to create their own bridge models and mudcloth designs.

In addition, a video on the "Bridge for Iowa" by Siah Armajani will be played throughout the afternoon. Families will have the opportunity to interact with a CD ROM titled "Right Where you Left It" by UI Professor Franklin Miller that shows a form of panoramic computer art.

Visitors are encouraged to take self-guided tours. Cookies, cake, and punch will be available to all.

The WOW! program is intended to introduce students to art and art museums as a life-long resource for learning and enjoyment. By exposing children to art from many cultures, the museum hopes to deepen the children’s appreciation of their own multi-cultural heritage.

WOW! is a collaboration among the Museum of Art, the Iowa City Community School District, Mercantile Bank, Knutson Construction Services and Cedar River Paper Company. Participating students come from Iowa City elementary schools, as well as Regina Elementary, Willowwind School, Lakeview Elementary in Solon, Herbert Hoover Elementary in West Branch and Cedar Rapid’s Johnson School of the Arts.

For further information concerning WOW! Family Day, call Emily Vermillion, curator of education at the UI Museum of Art, at (319) 335-1730.

The UI Museum of Art is located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive and just north of the museum.