April 24, 2013

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University's Downtown Art Gallery will host a visit by Christen Sperry-Garcia and Brian Dick, founders of the Nation Wide Museum Mascot Project (NWMMP), Saturday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside the gallery, located at 416 Market St.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is featured as part of the 44th Annual Lewisburg Arts Council's Celebration of the Arts Market Street Festival.

The NWMMP promotes art museums through custom-made, sports team-like mascots that engage with visitors and staff alike with handshakes, high-fives and hugs, pro-museum sign picketing, social networking and workshops.

"Free giveaways range from homemade buttons and stickers to balloons, zines and corn-dogs. This project is on the tipping point between sincere promotion and playful parody," they said.

In effort to encourage art involvement and museum awareness, the NWMMP will partner with the Gallery Engagement Team (G.E.T.), a student-run group of arts ambassadors advocating community involvement with the Samek Art Gallery and Downtown Art Gallery.

The artists, who will greet members of the community to the festival, will assist with gallery activities including a "make your own mascot" station outside of the gallery that will allow children of all ages to create their own individual mascots. Participants can collect buttons, candy, and "museum swag" to show their spirit for the arts.

Since 2008, the NWMMP has represented an expanding list of art museums that include the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Diego Museum of Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Festival attendees are invited to view the Downtown Art Gallery exhibition "Makeover" featuring the work of California-based artists Elliot Anderson and Bill Domonkos. Anderson's light-boxes layer images from tourist snapshots of famous American sites into an "averaged" landscape and Domonkos weaves archival film footage into dream-like film shorts.

Contact: Division of Communications