Oz in the News 8.4.12

Holland’s new murals honor city’s history, brush with Wizard of Oz  Author L. Frank Baum and his book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” are used as the focus two of the murals. Baum, who summered at Castle Park on Lake Macatawa in the 1890s, is said to have written the book using local characters and locations as inspiration for the book. In 1939, the book was turned into the classic MGM movie “The Wizard of Oz.” Holland artist Joel Schoon-Tanis is creating a whimsical mural of Baum at his lakeside cottage daydreaming on the writing of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. “Baum’s summers at Castle Park have all the ingredients of the book, from the castle of the Great Oz to the yellow brick road pathway. It’s a great part of the history of Holland,” said Schoon-Tanis, who is a multimedia artist and creator of the children’s television show “Come On Over” on cable. Kalamazoo mural artist Conrad Kaufman has incorporated Oz and its yellow brick road with the city’s well-known “Immigrants” statue at the end of the road that passes historic landmarks like the Ottawa Beach Hotel and Hope College and ends in a garden of tulips.

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