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'Painter of Light' to visit Gettysburg

July 02, 2009|By CHRIS COPLEY

GETTYSBURG, Pa. -- Thomas Kinkade will visit Boyds Bear Country in Gettysburg on Saturday, July 4, and Sunday, July 5, to meet his fans and dedicate a new gallery of his paintings and reproductions.

"We enjoy the idea of putting art where real people are," Kinkade said recently by phone from his office in Placerville, Calif. "I'm less inclined to put art in a museum somewhere people won't enjoy it."

Kinkade's popular paintings depict homey cottages, small-town scenes, steepled churches and other classic American scenes -- all rendered in rich colors and romantic style.

Kinkade said he paints images that are unashamedly romanticized.

"The basic message of my art is to give people hope," he said. "I like to show the beauty of nature, simpler ways of living. I think we need that message today."

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In recent years, Kinkade said he has tried stretching out of his usual style. He has painted looser, Impressionist-style painting on site. Also, he has painted works to celebrate sports milestones such as the closing of Yankee Stadium.

Kinkade said the gallery at Boyds Bear Country is special to him.

"There's been a real tradition of realist art (in Pennsylvania)," he said. "There's been this grassroots tradition of celebrating earthy values of rural life. The (gallery) will give me a chance to share art in the heartland -- the rural roots of the American culture."

Boyds Bear Country, at 75 Cunningham Road south of Gettysburg, has scheduled several events with Kinkade this weekend, including breakfast, an ice cream social and a birthday party for Kinkade's wife, Nanette.

For information and tickets, call 866-367-8338 or go to www.boydsbearcountry.com .

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