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Stark Foundation Programs to Participate in Art in the Park

ORANGE, TX.- In celebration of art and nature, the Stark Museum of Art, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, and The W.H. Stark House will participate in the seventh annual Art in the Park festival on Saturday, March 28 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Stark Park, 711 Green Avenue, Orange, Texas. Each program will have an activity booth at the festival.

The Stark Museum of Art will give visitors an opportunity to create art at the museum's activity booth at Art in the Park. Museum docents will help families make leaf prints on greeting cards. In addition, visitors to the booth will see a display of paintings by participants from this spring's Painting in the Landscape Workshop, co-sponsored by the Stark Museum of Art and Lamar State College-Orange.

Amelia Wiggins, Educator for Public Programs at the Stark Museum of Art, invites the public to visit the museum during Art in the Park. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., docents will offer free tours of the museum's current exhibition, Bluebonnets and Beyond: Julian Onderdonk, American Impressionist, organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and on view at the Stark Museum of Art until May 24, 2009. "We hope families will join us at Art in the Park to create works of art inspired by nature, see the accomplishments of local artists in one of our classes, and visit the special exhibition of Texas landscape paintings by Julian Onderdonk on view at the Stark Museum," said Wiggins.

Nature enthusiasts will also want to stop by the Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center booth to learn all about the serene Orange, Texas, oasis. Shangri La reopened to the public on March 7, 2009, after a nearly six-month closure for recovery from damages caused by Hurricane Ike in September 2008. At the Art in the Park booth, children of all ages will have the opportunity to make leaf rubbings using rubber leaf molds, paper, and crayons. Also, winners of the annual Shangri La art contest will be announced on the main stage during the festival, and prizes will be awarded. Art in the Park visitors may view the winning entries at the Shangri La booth.

Visitors to the Shangri La booth will also have access to pamphlets containing information about the facility, including tour and admissions information, membership, volunteer involvement, Earth Week activities and the Eco-Fest celebration. Visitors will also have the opportunity to purchase a Shangri La membership at the booth.

Those wanting a first-hand view of Shangri La may also visit the gardens and nature center at 2111 West Park Avenue during the Art in the Park festival. Shangri La will be open to visitors of all ages from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., with general admission charges as posted at the Shangri La admissions window and on the Shangri La website at Admissions will end at 6 p.m., one hour prior to the close of the facility.

The W.H. Stark House will also participate in the Art in the Park festival by offering an arts and crafts project for children. Participants will create their own placemat using a sheet of cover stock paper, which they will decorate and personalize with markers and stickers. For inspiration, the Stark House staff will show sample table settings as well as photos of the Stark House Breakfast Room place settings. The staff will also provide a handout on table manners.

In addition to the activity, The W.H. Stark House guides will offer first-floor tours of the historic home from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for visitors ages 10 and older. The tours, which will be offered for a $2.00 admission fee, will begin at the Stark Museum of Art, located at 712 Green Avenue, across from the Stark House and Stark Park. Tours of the second and third levels of the Stark House will not be offered during the Art in the Park festival.

"The W.H. Stark House planned art activity for Art in the Park will allow children to learn the proper way to set a table, and the importance of table manners," said Patsy Herrington, Director of The W.H. Stark House. "Proper manners and the use of large varieties of table settings were important to Victorian families such as the W.H. Stark family, and even though current society is more casual, it is nevertheless important to learn proper table manners." Herrington added, "We hope that by working on their own placemat, the children will enjoy and learn at the same time."

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