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Blue Connection will feature the children's books of Millikin University's student-run publishing company Bronze Man Books this February. The event scheduled for Friday, Feb. 1 from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. will include the promotion of "Ants in the Band Room," "OOPS! Did I Say That?" and "Monsters Don’t Read." Artwork by illustrator Amy Kuhl Cox '98 will also be featured alongside Bronze Man Books' newest release "Am I Like My Daddy?" This event will be held in conjunction with the opening of "Art of the Comic Book" at the Decatur Area Arts Council's Anne Lloyd Gallery.

Amy Kuhl Cox’s illustrations are digital drawings resembling stained glass panels. Her process begins with conceptual drawings that are then hand-drawn with pencil and subsequently inked with Pigma Micron pens. Each intersection between lines is contoured to resemble leading between stained glass panels. The drawings are then scanned and completed in Photoshop using the computer to "paint" the colors and textures from the stained glass into each "pane" within the drawing.

"Am I Like My Daddy?" by Marcy Blesy '94 and illustrated by Amy Kuhl Cox, is an important book in the children's grief genre. The book focuses on years after the death, when a maturing child, Grace, is reprocessing her grief. She uses the process of journaling to discover more about her deceased father. In "Monsters Don't Read" by Heather Champion '09 and illustrated by Chris Knudson '10, the main character, Monster, resists learning to read with the rest of his class. But as the rest of his class enjoys the world of books, Monster begins to feel left out.

"OOPS! Did I Say That?" is a guide to positive support for cancer patients. Inspired by her own experience with cancer at the age of 14, author Sarah K. Johnson '08 created this book in hopes of helping the caregivers to relay their genuine concern for a patient. Written and illustrated by Laura Podeschi '06, "Ants in the Band Room" is the story of a troop of ants who explore various musical instruments in search of a suitable home. The book includes an audio book with musical composition by Millikin Associate Professor of Music, Randy Reyman, and narration by Interim Dean of Millikin University’s College of Fine Arts, Laura Ledford.

A student-owned and operated press located on Millikin University's campus in Decatur, Ill., Bronze Man Books is dedicated to integrating quality design and meaningful content. The company exposes undergraduate students to the process of publishing by combining the theory of writing, publishing, editing and designing with the practice of running a book publishing company.

Opened in 2003, Blue Connection is Millikin's retail art gallery located in the Madden Arts Center in Downtown Decatur. Focused on arts and specialty businesses, the retail location is used by students in Millikin University's Arts & Entrepreneurship Program to grow their businesses. Millikin's Arts & Entrepreneurship Program is a six-credit course sequence providing performance-based learning opportunities for students to practice self-employment. The program utilizes curricular-based activities and student-run ventures to give students a live laboratory experience in developing, launching, and growing a business.

The February After 5 Live event featuring Bronze Man Books will be held Friday, Feb. 1 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Blue Connection’s downtown location, 117 N. Water St. in Decatur. Complimentary refreshments will be provided by Lock, Stock, & Barrel. The event is free and open to the public.

For further information on Millikin University's Blue Connection visit www.millikin.edu/blueconnection, or contact the gallery at 217.428.0112.
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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL