Discovering Great Artists: Hands-on Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters


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Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters

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A Creative Collection of
Easy Art Appreciation
Activities for Children

110 amazingly fun and unique art activities for
children to experience the styles and techniques
of the great masters, from the Renaissance to
the present. A biography of each artist is
included with a fully illustrated, child tested art
activity, featuring painting, drawing, sculpture,
photography, architecture, and more!

Great Artists activities include:
- Da Vinci - Invention Art
- Michelangelo - Fresco Plaque
- Rembrandt - Shadowy Faces
- Monet - Dabble in Paint
- Degas - Resist in Motion
- Picasso - Fractured Friend
- Van Gogh - Starry Night
- Dali - Dream Photographs
- Matisse 0 color Collage
- Pollock - Action Splatter
- Lichtenstein - comic Dots
- O'Keeffe - Close-Up Flower

About the creators of Discovering Great Artists:
MaryAnn F. Kohl is the author of award winning titles
Scribble Art, Mudworks, ScienceArts, Preschool Art,
Cooking Art, Good Earth Art, and others. She is a national
speaker at educational and publishing conferences and
owns Bright Ring Publishing, Inc. MaryAnn lives in
Bellingham, Washington.

Kim Solga is the author of Draw!. Paint!, Make Prints!
and five other books. Her articles on arts and crafts appear regularly in national education and parenting magazines. Kim owns KidsArt, a mail order art supply catalog, and writes and illustrates children's books.
She lives in Mt. Shasta, California.

Rebecca Van Slyke has taught second grade since 1987.
She gives private art lessons to children and writes
and illustrates children's books. She lives with her
husband and daughter and numerous furry and
feathered critters on a small farm near Bellingham,

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

""Discovering Great Artists" encourages children to know the great artists and their techniques through hands-on experience, to be inspired to read books, to visit museums, and to see the world in a new way. Children will encompass a greater sense of history and art appreciation, and see themselves in a grander scope of time."
~ MaryAnn Kohl, author and educator

""Discovering Great Artists" offers children the opportunity to explore a variety of artistic mediums including paint, chalk and pencil drawings, sculpture, photography and construction. Artists from the Renaissance to the present time are included, covering artistic styles such as cubism, abstract, cartoon, naturalism, impressionism and folk art. Activities are as diverse as the artists themselves, with Invention Art (Da Vinci), Action Spatter (Pollock), Starry night (Van Gogh), Colour Collage (Matisse) and Comic Dots (Lichtenstein). Instructions are clear and easy to understand. Materials are generally common art supplies easily accessed by teachers and parents."
~ Susan Whelan, Suite101

"100+ activities teach the styles, works, and techniques of the great masters - Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and more. To experience Van Gogh’s style, children mix paints into a thick substance called “impasto” and then paint with heavy, swirling brush strokes. Each activity contains a brief history of the artist, a project, and an example of that artist’s work. Discovering Great Artists is a great value for the money and belongs on every art shelf."
~ Rainbow Resource

"Students study artists from the Middle Ages and Renaissance to present day, and learn a variety of techniques and styles. The publisher, Bright RIng Publishing, provides links to full color examples of artwork by many of the artists that are featured in the book. Highly recommended."
~ Successful Homeschooling

"You have to get this book! It is jam packed full of great ideas - with 140 pages of information on great artists and projects representing them. Each artist’s section has a short biography which is what I have used for our Artist pages in our History Notebook. There are such original and fun projects demonstrating the style and materials used by the Artist of study. There are projects of ink, acrylic paints, watercolors, pastels, collage compositions, clay pieces, and just too much to mention."
~ Noggins and Nonsense

"Hands-on Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters
110 amazingly fun and unique art activities for children to experience the styles and techniques of the great masters, from Renaissance to the present. A brief biography of each artist is included with a fully illustrated, child-tested art activity, featuring painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, architecture, and more!"
~ Classical Conversations

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
This book features art projects for kids based on the styles and techniques of artists from the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Europe through to a selection of present day artists, cartoonists, and illustrators. These projects will likely spark a real interest in art history with a fun hands-on approach. The book is divided into chapters featuring artists from "Long, Long Ago" (a.k.a. the Renaissance), Impressionists and Postimpressionists, Abstract Artists, and Artists working today. Half the book is dedicated to Nineteenth Century artists and their art. It would have been nice to see more works by contemporary artists and even a few artists from prior to the Thirteenth Century in Europe. Perhaps a sampling of art from Africa, Asia, or South America would have been appropriate in our modern global village. The resource section and index is quite detailed and projects are classified by their level of difficulty.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780935607093
  • Publisher: Bright Ring Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Series: Bright Ideas for Learning
  • Pages: 141
  • Sales rank: 89,781
  • Age range: 2 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.99 (w) x 8.45 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

MaryAnn F. Kohl is the author of "First Art," "Preschool Art," "Scribble Art," "Mudworks," and 15+ other titles. Kim Solga is the editor or author of books in the Art and Activities for Kids series, including "Art Fun! "and "Craft Fun!" Kim produces the KidsArt magazine and catalogue.

Kohl and Solga also co-wrote "Great American Artists for Kids".
Series: Bright Ideas for Learning™

MaryAnn F. Kohl is currently (2013-2014) in her second term on the Board of Directors for the Independent Book Publishers Association.

• Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Kids in the Styles of the Great Masters (WITH SOLGA)
• Great American Artists for Kids: Hands-On Art Experiences in the Styles of Great American Masters (WITH SOLGA)
• Storybook Art: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of 100 Great Picture Book Illustrators
• Scribble Art: Independent Creative Art Experiences for Children
• Mudworks: Creative Clay, Dough & Modeling Experiences
• Mudworks Bilingual: same as Mudworks, in both Spanish & English ebook only
• ScienceArts: Discovering Science Through Art Experiences (with Potter)
• Good Earth Art: Environmental Art for Kids
• Preschool Art: It’s the Process, Not the Product
• First Art: Art for Toddlers and Two’s
• MathArts: Discovering Math Through Art Experiences
• Cooking Art: Edible Art for Kids
• Global Art: Activities, Projects, & Inventions from Around the Word
• Making Make-Believe: Props, Costumes & Creative Play Ideas
* Art with Anything: 52 Weeks of Fun with Everyday Stuff

• Great American Artists for Kids: Hands-On Art Experiences in the Styles of Great American Masters (WITH KOHL)
• Great American Artists for Kids: Hands-On Art Experiences in the Styles of Great American Masters (WITH KOHL)
• Art Fun! (Art & Activities for Kids)
• Paint! (Art and Activities for Kids)
• Craft Fun! (Art & Activities for Kids)
• Make Cards! (Art and Activities for Kids)
• Draw! (Art and Activities for Kids)
• Make Costumes!: For Creative Play (Art and Activities for Kids)
• Make Gifts! (Art & Activities)
• Make Clothes Fun! (Art and Activities for Kids)
• Make Crafts! (Art and Activities for Kids)
• Make Prints! (Art and Activities for Kids)
• One-Hour Nature Crafts (with J. Haynes)

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Read an Excerpt


Discovering Great Artists offers children
hands-on activities to explore the styles
and techniques of the world’s greatest
artists. Each art process focuses on one
style and one artist. A brief biography and
portrait of each artist adds depth and
interest to the art project. The most
important aspects of the art projects are
discovery, exploration, and individual
creativity. The finished product will be an
indirect benefit.

Discovering Great Artists introduces
children to the great masters. Many great
artists will be familiar names, like
Michelangelo, da Vinci, Picasso, Rembrandt
and van Gogh. Other names will perhaps
be new, such as Arp, Nevelson, Hokusai, or
Paik. Each featured artist has a style that is
readily imitated and explored by children,
with a life history that will inspire or add
depth to the experience. Try one or try
them all!

Discovering Great Artists is a book of
exploring. Young children are usually most
interested in the process of art, not the
finished product, and may or may not
show interest in the associated art history
or art appreciation. Many will be curious
and can absorb as much as their interests
allow. Most older children will want to
know more about the artist’s life and how
it affected the artist’s style. No one is
required to learn the history of each artist
or the eras or movements they represent.
The information on each page is offered as
a source of reference and inspiration for
interested learners. Don’t be surprised if
children want to collect information about
different artists much the way they collect
baseball cards and statistics.

Discovering Great Artists encourages
children to learn by doing, to become
familiar with new ideas. If a child
experiences painting with the impasto
paint van Gogh used in his swirling,
expressive brushstrokes, then that child
will feel more comfortable and familiar as
an older student or adult studying van
Gogh. Imagine visiting a gallery in Paris
and seeing that same impasto style by van
Gogh in person! Many children have
expressed that it is like meeting an old

The most important thing for the child is
to explore new art ideas and techniques.
Above all, the activities are “open-ended”.
It is up to the child to decide exactly how
his or her work of art will turn out.
Independent thinking is encouraged, while
skills and responsibility are enhanced
through individual decisions.

Discovering Great Artists offers art
activities to expand the creative
experience and awareness of children in
all aspects of the visual arts through:
painting, drawing, printing, sculpture,
architecture, and other manipulations of art
materials. The activities in this book work
well for all ages and abilities, from the
most basic skill level to the most
challenging. Repeat projects often and see
new outcomes and learnings each time.

Discovering Great Artists encourages
children to expand their knowledge.
Getting to know great artists will inspire
children to read books, visit museums, go
to the library, collect information, and look
at the world in a new way. They will begin
to encompass a greater sense of history and
art appreciation and see themselves in the
scope of time. Perhaps they will be inspired
to carry art in their hearts as they grow and
develop. They are already great artists in
every sense of the word.


Resources for wonderful art materials are everywhere
you look – in libraries, in stores, in museum shops, in
catalogs, in the trash! Once you start looking, they will
seem to appear out of nowhere! Some are free while others
range from inexpensive to costly.

Books with colorful reproductions of artwork are readily
available at libraries and bookstores. Posters and prints of
famous artwork can be purchased from catalogs,
bookstores, museum shops, or checked out from most
libraries. Illustrations can be cut out of magazines and used
books, then mounted on cardboard to create small posters
and cards. Many videos and slide sets are available for
school and home use. The internet offers connections with
museums around the world, with thousands of great
paintings to view. Visits to museums, art galleries and the
studios of local artists, give children eyewitness, hands-on
experiences with works of art. Free brochures and catalogs
of expensive art prints can be cut apart and used in many
ways. The following resources for books, prints and other
art history materials are suggested. Contact all of them for
their free brochures and catalogs.

• Eyewritness Art, series
by Colin Wiggins
Over 10 books. Like having a private art gallery or
museum. Available on Perspective, Watercolor, Monet,
Manet, Goya, Renaissance, and more. Post
Impressionism is excellent.
Published by Dorling Kindersley, Inc., New York, NY
Look at other publications by Dorling Kindersley.
• The Famous Artists, series
Offers 8 excellent paperback books on famous artists,
including Miro, Da Vinci, Michelangelo. Many others.
Published by Barrons Education Series, Inc.,
Hauppauge, NY
• The First Impressions, series
Offers at least 17 titles developed especially for young
people (and old people who like things simple and
sweet!), with each artist’s own works and life story.
Titles include: Chagall, Cassatt, Frank Lloyd Wright,
Rembrandt, Wyeth. Many more.
Published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, NY
• Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists, series
by Mike Venezia
Gives children a delightful glimpse into the lives of 13
different artists and their works.
Published by Children’s Press, Chicago, IL

Write to each supplier for a catalog, price, and availability.
Many of the catalogs will be sources for cut-and-paste activities
using prints of great art.

Prints, Posters, and Laminated Reproductions

• Art Extension Press, Box 389, Westport, CT 06881
Dover Publications (Print Portfolios), 31 East 2nd St.,
Mineola, NY 11501
• Parent Child Press (Art Prints for Children), PO Box 675,
Hollidaysburg, PA 16648
• Shorewood Reproductions, 27 Glen Rd., Sandy Hook,
CT 06482
• University Prints, 21 East St., Winchester, MA 02890
Postcard Art Reproductions
• Abbeybille Press, Inc.,
488 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022
• Dover Publications - see above
• Parent Child Press (Mommy, It’s A Renoir materials)
see books above
• Pavilion Books Limited,
196 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JL, England
• Running Press, 125 S. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19103

Programs, Textbooks, Newsletters, and Other Books

• Art Image Publications, PO Box 568,
Champlain, NY 12919
• Art Media, Etc., 1905 Studebaker Pl.,
Gold River, CA 95670
• Bright Ideas for Learning, series, art activity books by
MaryAnn F. Kohl, Bright Ring Publishing, Inc.,
PO Box 31338, Bellingham, WA 98228-3338
• Crizmac, PO Box 65928, Tucson, AZ 85728
• KidsArt, art education booklets,
PO Box 274, Mt. Shasta, CA 96067
• Dale Seymour, PO Box 10888, Palo Alto, CA 94303
• Davis Publications, 50 Portland St.,
Worcester, MA 01608
• Wilton Programs, PO Box 541, Wilton, CT 06897

Museum Reproductions

• Metropolitan Museum of Art, Special Services Office,
Middle Village, NY 11381
• Museum of Fine Arts, PO Box 1044, Boston, MA 02120
• Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd St.,
New York, NY 10019
• National Gallery of Art, Publications Services,
2000 B. South Club Dr., Landover, MD 20785
• St. Louis Art Museum, Resource Center,
Forest Park, St. Louis, MO 63110-1380
• Whitney Museum of Art, 945 Madison Ave.,
New York, NY 10021
• museum gift stores
• all local art galleries and museums with art

• Museums and galleries around the world have sites on
the internet, with more added each month. This is a new
and changing medium. Our best recommendation is to
use a search option to find names of individual artists or
museums. These searches will yield the most current
information, and by following the links suggested, a
world of information and images will be discovered.

• The public library has the most to offer for children’s
curiosity, found both in the children’s and the adult
departments. Enjoy the discovery of searching for
materials to supplement Discovering Great Artists based
on the curiosity of each individual child.
• Free catalogs are available from museums and museum
shops, filled with reproductions of great art that can be
cut apart to your heart’s content!

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Table of Contents

Chart of Contents

3 Dedication & Acknowledgments
4 Introduction
5 Art Resources
6-7 Icons
8-10 Chart of Contents

11-36 Chapter 1 Long, Long Ago
Renaissance & Post Renaissance

12 Giotto 1266-1337 Egg Paint
13 Limbourg Brothers 1375-1416 Book of Days
14 Ghiberti 1378-1455 Florentine Relief
15 Van Eyck 1395-1441 Triptych Panel
16 Angelico 1400-1455 Leaf Painting with Silver
17 Masaccio 1401-1428 Profile Portrait
18 Botticelli 1445-1510 Art in the Round
19 Da Vinci 1452-1519 Drawing Things Apart
20-21 Da Vinci 1452-1519 Da Vinci Invention
22 Dürer 1471-1528 Wood Block Print
23 Raphael 1483-1520 Mother & Baby
24 Michelangelo 1475-1564 Fresco Plaque
25 Michelangelo 1475-1564 Lie-Down Painting
26 El Greco 1541-1614 Drawing Tall Figures
27 Rubens 1577-1640 Chalk Light Face
28 Rembrandt 1606-1669 Making Faces!
29 Rembrandt 1606-1669 Shadowy Faces
30 Linnaeus 1707-1778 Botanical Illustrations
31 Gainsborough 1727-1788 Portrait on Landscape
32 Blake 1757-1827 Hand Colored Prints
33 Constable 1776-1837 Cloudscape
34 Hokusai 1760-1849 Surimono Greeting
35 Audubon 1785-1851 Nature Notebook
36 Courbet 1819-1877 Palette Knife Painting

37-56 Chapter 2 Sunny & Free

Impressionists & Post Impressionists
38 Manet 1832-1883 Still-Life in Melted Crayon
39 Monet 1840-1926 Dabble in Paint
40 Degas 1834-1917 Resist in Motion
41 Degas 1834-1917 Chalk on Cloth
42 Morisot 1841-1895 Texture Paints
43 Homer 1836-1910 Wilderness Watercolor
Impressionist Impressionist
45 Renoir 1841-1919 Mixed Media Still-Life
46 Van Gogh 1853-1890 Impasto Post
Impressionist Impressionist
48 Cézanne 1839-1906 Seeing Shapes Still-Life Post
49 Rousseau 1844-1910 Jungle Prints Post
50 Rodin 1840-1917 Carving Clay Post
51 Gauguin 1848-1903 Surprising Colors Post
Impressionist Nabis
52-53 Toulouse-Lautrec 1864-1901 Event Poster
Post Impressionist
54 Seurat 1859-1891 Pointillist Color Cards Post
Impressionist Pointillist
55 Vuillard 1868-1940 Artist’s Studio Post
Impressionist Nabis
56 Russell 1864-1926 Western Sunset

57-82 Chapter 3 Wild & Wacky
Expressionists, Abstract, Abstract-Expressionists, Cubists, Dadaists, & Surrealists

58 Matisse 1869-1954 Story Color Collage
Post Impressionist Fauvist
59 Munch 1863-1944 Clay Facial Expressions
60 Kandinsky 1866-1944 Painting Music
61 Mondrian 1872-1944 Straight Line Design
Abstract DeStijl
62-63 Klee 1879-1940 One Line Designs
64 Stella 1880-1946 Mixed Media Lines
65 Escher 1889-1972 Tessellation Design
66 Calder 1889-1976 Standing Mobile
67 Moore 1898-1986 Carving Stone
68 Braque 1882-1963 Cubist Collage
69 Picasso 1881-1973 One Color Painting
70-71 Picasso 1881-1973 Fractured Friend
72 Rivera 1886-1957 Giant Projector Mural
Social Realist
73 Duchamp 1887-1968 Happy Accident String
74 Arp 1887-1966 Muse of Chance Collage
75 Oppenheim 1913-1985 Wacky Work of Dada
76 Chagall 1887-1985 Scenery Mural
77 Magritte 1898-1967 Giant Tennis Shoes
78 Dali 1904-1985 Dream Photographs
79 Giacometti 1901-1966 Sticks ‘n Straws
80-81 Kahlo 1910-1954 Special Self-Portrait
82 Wright 1867-1959 Box House
Architect Modern

83-106 Chapter 4 Art Today Everyway
Pop, Op, Folk, Modern, Cartoonists, Photojournalists, & Children’s Book Illustrators

84 Grandma Moses 1860-1961 Busy Folk Art Scene
Folk Art
85 Rockwell 1895-1978 Tell-a-Story Illustrations
86 O’Keeffe 1887-1986 Close-Up Flower Painting
87 Wyeth 1917-2009 First Snow Realist
88 Lange 1895-1965 Photo Story Collage
89 Bourke-White 1906-1971 ABC Photography
90 Lawrence 1917-2000 Series Drawing
Realist & Modern
91 Smith 1906-1965 Cubi Structure Abstract
92 Vasarély 1908-1997 Dizzy Op Art
93 Pollock 1912-1956 Action Spatter
Abstract Expressionist
94 Cornell 1903-1972 Portrait Box Collage
95 Nevelson 1900-1988 Scrap Box Art
96 Rauschenberg 1925-2008 Combines
97 Chamberlain 1927- BIG Junk
98 Kienholz 1935-1994 Walk Through Sculpture
99 Christo 1935- Transformations
100-101 Paik 1932-2006 Robot People
102 Lichtenstein 1923-1997 Comic Dots
103 Warhol 1930-1987 Lots of Me!
104 Ringgold 1930- Quilted Work
105 Davis 1946- Comic Creatures
106 Van Allsburg 1949- Glowing House
Children’s Book Illustrator

107-126 Chapter 5 Make It & Play It
Games & Child-Made Activities

108 Great Artist Cards card game
109 Masters Match
matching game
110 Master-Puzzlepiece puzzle game
111 Masters Scrap Book cataloging activity
112-113 Smart Art Cards matching game
114-115 Great Art Cookies cooking activity
116-117 Great Art Dominoes matching game
118 Great Art Coloring Pages
coloring activity
119 Great Time Line sequencing activity
120-121 Happy Birthday, Mr. Picasso party activity
122 Gallery Walk exhibition activity
123 Masterpiece Montage drama activity
124-125 Map of Honor geography activity
126 You & Me Notebook cataloging activity

127-144 Chapter 6 Resource Guide
128-132 Great Art Words glossary and art terms
133-135 Materials Index index by art materials
136 Great Art Techniques index by kid art technique
138 Great Art Birthdays
list of artist birthdays
139-140 Great Artists & Activities index by artist and activity
141 About the Authors biography of authors
142 Bright Ideas for Learning other book information

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2008

    My Favorite

    This is my favorite art books for homeschooling. It's all there, all on one page, and the art activities are really well done. I like that my kids of all different ages can do the same activity with all kinds of different results and experiences. Very nice. One thingI like for myself is the glossary of art terms, and for me finally, I understand which artist is a part of which era or movement.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2000

    Comments by the author

    Picasso for Kids? Sure! I spent about an hour earlier today exploring a Picasso activity from my own book about exploring art techniques of the great masters, mixing green tempera paint into lighter and darker shades of that same green. Then I painted several works with green shades only... just like Picasso's Blue Period (MaryAnn's Green Period). What a nice way to spend an hour! Did someone say this book is for children? Then I am happy to report that I am still a kid at heart! All the ideas in this book reflect the style or techniques of great painters and artists such as Monet, van Gogh, Rembrant, da Vinci, over 80 artists from the Renaissance to the present day. All activities use materials found in most homes or classrooms. What could be easier? But most important, what could be more awesome than imitating the great masters? Kids love it!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful for Homeschoolers who want to learn about art

    Our kids have enjoyed learning about the artists by trying to copy their styles. It helped them retain so much more information by actually doing the art themselves. It is a great book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2002

    Great Book!

    I'm an art education major and I recently came across this book and it's wonderful! The activities are great and it's written very well and easy to understand. This is a great way to be involved with your children and have fun at the same time.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Author's Website

    Remember to check my website for direct "click-to" artworks for each great master in this book. We've pre-selected a beautiful artwork for each artist that is suitable for all ages of kids. the clicks start with chapter one, and go page by page, artist by artist, in the same order as the book.
    Click here to enjoy:

    Stop by my website soon to view free art activities from all my books. Thank you!

    ~ MaryAnn F. Kohl, author

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2008

    Perfect for classroom use

    I use this book as a reference to do art activitities with my students. I teach Kindergarten and First Grade and my students love the activities! There are a wide variety of artists and styles of art adapted for children to use with ease. A great addition to any classroom.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 12, 2009

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    Posted July 24, 2009

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    Posted August 31, 2009

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    Posted July 1, 2010

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