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Release: Feb. 9, 2001

WOW! Family Day at the UI Museum of Art Feb. 25

IOWA CITY, IA -- The 11th-annual Widen Our World (WOW!) Family Day, a fun-filled afternoon of art, storytelling, music, 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, Feb. 25. 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 1,500 students from 24 local schools visited the UI Museum of Art through the WOW! program.

Emphasizing this year's theme, "Way Out West!" the day's events will focus on artwork in the museum's current exhibition, "Lure of the West: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum," on display through March 18.

Family Day events scheduled throughout the afternoon are: "A Journey West Through Stories" by Judith the Storyteller; "Picture Story Theatre," presented by Deanne Wortman, storyteller, and Tom Nothnagle, guitarist; and "Songs of the American West, Originals and Longtime Favorites" performed by Glenn Lonsdale, guitar, and Carlis Fourot, fiddle.

There will also be videos, refreshments and self-guided tours available at any time during the afternoon.

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.

"Lure of the West: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum" features 64 important paintings and sculptures from the 1820s through the 1940s by American artists fascinated with Indian and Hispanic cultures and the majestic landscapes of the western territories. The artworks, which celebrate the landscape and pay tribute to Native Americans and their cultures, served to establish American art and its subject matter as new and exciting to audiences worldwide.

WOW! is a collaboration among the Museum of Art, the Iowa City Community School District and Firstar Bank, Iowa City. Participating students come from the Iowa City Community School District, Regina Elementary and Willowwind School in Iowa City, Lakeview Elementary in Solon, Johnson School of the Arts in Cedar Rapids, Herbert Hoover Elementary in West Branch, Clear Creek Elementary in Oxford and Amana Elementary in Middle Amana.

"Lure of the West: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum" is one of eight exhibitions in "Treasures to Go," touring the nation through 2002. The Principal Financial Group is a proud partner in presenting these treasures to the American people.

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.