Oz in the News 3.16.11

Parallels seen with the world of Oz Peta Wright paints expressively and from the heart in a brisk, naive style. However, there’s nothing impulsive about her exhibition The Wizard of Oz and Friends, now showing at Art@203 in Trafalgar St, Nelson – she’s been working on it for four years.  Wright identifies closely with Dorothy and her journey from Kansas, seeing in the story parallels with her own life and journey.  Her dog Peaches is central to her painting. “My relationship with Peaches is the same as that between Dorothy and Toto.”

Past comic crossovers inspire ‘Dream Eater Saga’ The company began in 2005 with the initial series Grimm Fairy Tales, which started setting up a world full of twisted takes on fairy tales and their famous characters, and since 2007, Gregory has written many stories, including all the Wonderland books, as the Zenescope universe has expanded to inhabit four different realms: Neverland, Wonderland, Myst and the heretofore-unseen Oz.  It hasn’t been explored in real detail yet, but Oz is the big Zenescope story left to tell, and at the end of The Dream Eater Saga, “you do see the first hints to when that’s coming,” says Gregory, who is also planning a new Wonderland ongoing series to spin out of the crossover.

‘Oz’-themed party an affair with heart The team has been working for months to re-create their visions of Oz, incorporating bits and pieces from the book, the movie and the musical “Wicked.” Heading up the visual effort is Ron Pleasanton, creative director of the gala.  “We have everything from the gates of Oz, to the windmill on Dorothy’s farm,” he said.  The 15 different sets include the witch’s castle, Dorothy’s tornado-stricken house, munchkin huts and more.
Cindy Thurman, decorating chair, said part of the fun of this gala was interpreting the theme, because everyone knows it.  “With Oz there’s so many things that pop into your mind, like the Winkies, or the Flying Monkeys, or the broom, or the Yellow Brick Road,” she said. “I think that part was the fun part, because everybody could put in their own input, they knew they could throw in their own ideas.”

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