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Riverside CA – The Riverside Art Museum announces the opening of Pure Imagination, an exhibition of artwork by contemporary children’s book illustrators paired with work from RAM’s own collection. Since the introduction in 1957 of a mischievous cat donning a red and white hat and a bow tie, readers of all ages have been captivated by stories that spark the imagination and transport them to new worlds where anything is possible.  From the celebrated works of Dr. Seuss to new stories and updated renditions of beloved classics, Pure Imagination features artists who tell fantastical stories through a myriad of different visual styles.  This exhibition will feature notable contemporary artists working in the field of children’s book illustration, artists who address themes of childhood and storytelling, and complementary works from the museum’s permanent collection.  A reading area and interactive installation is included.

“For many, the images we see in children’s books are our first introduction to the world of visual art,” says guest curator Michele Urton. “This exhibition is meant to engage young visitors, but also to remind viewers of all ages of how these fantastical stories shaped their childhood and informed the way they see the world today.”

Pure Imagination is organized by guest curator Michele Urton, an independent curator and project manager at Metabolic Studio, The Annenberg Foundation. Prior to joining Metabolic Studio, she was with Gemini G.E.L., the groundbreaking Los Angeles printshop, and spent seven years as Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art where she coordinated the inaugural exhibition of contemporary art in the new Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) building.  During her tenure, she curated Allan Kaprow: Fluids and EATLACMA, and assisted in the organization of Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form, 1940s– 70s and Tim Hawkinson.  She has also worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.  She received her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her M.A. from Brown University.

“This is an exhibition for the entire family – parents and kids,” says RAM Executive Director Drew Oberjuerge. “RAM has a tradition of fun children’s programming in the summer and we are excited to add this new dimension.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, RAM will host free (with the price of admission) hands-on art activities that correspond with the exhibition. RAM encourages families to enjoy Sunday afternoons throughout July and August at RAM.

Pure Imagination
June 26 – September 25, 2013
Free Summer Exhibit Celebration on Thursday, August 1, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Free with admission hands-on art activities on Sundays,
1:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in July and August
For more information, visit www.riversideartmuseum.org

In addition, RAM’s Summer Exhibition Celebration is on Thursday, August 1, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and is free to the public.

RAM relies on the generosity of members and donors to support its exhibitions, education programs, and special events. A 50-plus-year-old, private, non-profit cultural arts institution housed in a National Historic 1929 building designed by Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan, the museum welcomes over 50,000 visitors a year. The museum is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m. For information on exhibits, events, classes, memberships, or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.RiversideArtMuseum.org. Find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/riversideartmuseum) and Twitter (RAMRiverside).

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