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Release: Immediate

Annual WOW program will bring third-grade students to UI Museum of Art

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- More than 900 third-grade students from 20 local schools will visit the University of Iowa Museum of Art in March and April through the "Widen our World" (WOW) enrichment program.

WOW is a collaboration among the Museum of Art, the Iowa City Community School District, First National Bank and Knutson Mid-America Construction Service, Inc. Participating students will come from Iowa City elementary schools, as well as Regina Elementary, Willowwind School and Lakeview Elementary in Solon.

Now in its eighth year, WOW is intended to introduce students to art and art museums as life-long resources for learning and enjoyment. By exposing the children to art from many cultures, the museum also hopes to deepen the children's appreciation of their own multi-cultural heritage.

This year's WOW program has been planned to coincide with the museum's international exhibition, "Victorian Fairy Painting," on display at the museum through May 24. The exhibition examines the portrayal of fairies in art and literature from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries. It includes more than 70 paintings by both well and lesser known artists, including J.M.W. Turner, John Everett Millais, Richard Dadd, John Anster Fitzgerald, Daniel Maclise, J. Edwin Landseer, Richard Doyle and Arthur Rackham.

Museum docents will guide the children, their teachers, parent volunteers, school administrators and First National Bank volunteers on one-hour tours of selections from the museum's permanent collection and special exhibitions. Student docents from City High School will also be on hand to work with the teachers.

The groundwork for the tours was laid by a teacher training in-service meeting in February. This program, as well as a "Fairy Tales" educational packet containing essays, slides and a video of selected art that will be on display, is designed to prepare teachers and children for their visit to the museum. In addition, the children will receive follow-up activity books specially designed by the museum educational staff.

Major funding for WOW is provided by First National Bank of Iowa City, with additional funding provided by Knutson Mid-America Construction Service, Inc.

For further information about the WOW program, call Emily Vermillion, curator of education at the UI Museum of Art at (319) 335-1730.