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Art from the smallest hands

May 04, 2002

Young Chang

There's a countywide celebration of what happens when a child imagines

something and translates that thought onto paper, onto canvas, with

paints, with film, with clay, with whatever qualifies as the stuff of

visual art.

Imagination Celebration of Orange County, a longtime tradition that

started its 17th festival last week and will run through May 12, includes

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a series of exhibits in Newport-Mesa and Laguna Beach amid dance, music

and theater programs.

"If it can be classified as art -- I know that's a pretty broad

subject -- I know that we cover it," said Daniel Stekol, executive

director of Imagination Celebration.

Places such as the Laguna Art Museum and the Orange County Museum of

Art will display works made by tiny hands and offer workshops for kids to

stop in and be artists.

"Drawing From the World of the Imagination," a day of art activities

and music, as well as dance performances, will start at 11 a.m. today at the Laguna museum. Art projects will teach such techniques as watercolor

painting, embossing and collage-making, while a treasure hunt will

require children to closely examine art and allow them to look at works

in a different way.

"I think it will get them involved," said Jean Lawson, chairwoman of

the museum event. "They'll find out that the museum is not a forbidding

place. It's some place you can just have fun with art."

A dance performance by students of the Kyne Dance Academy will follow

a choral show at noon.

"We wanted all the arts to make it a real rounded experience," Lawson

said.

Also in Laguna Beach today will be "Sharing Art from Heart to Heart"

at the Art-a-Fair Festival Grounds, a program in which artists will lead

children through art activities.

The Orange County Museum of Art's satellite gallery at South Coast

Plaza will present "Major Art/Minor Artists" from May 11 to Sept. 12. The

show will include more than 600 pieces done by third- to fifth-grade

students from area schools.

The Newport Harbor Nautical Museum in Newport Beach will exhibit works

by students between kindergarten and eighth grade through May 12, the

Orange County Department of Education in Costa Mesa will honor works

created by department workers and their families through May 12, and

about 10 other venues throughout the county will exhibit art during the

festival.

Less obvious locations -- including shopping malls, schools and

libraries -- are sprouting patches of art to target people not

necessarily looking for it.

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