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Paul Medina’s Family Fairytale

An OKC artist spins and sketches a new circular tale



 



A bedtime story that Oklahoma City native and visual artist Paul Medina told his imaginative daughter when she was little has become the core of his newest creative effort: self-illustrated books.
 

That daughter, Emily Medina, is now in her 40s. But he told the story so many times that “it just stayed with me over all of those years,” Medina says. Unbroken Circles was published last November, and is the second in a series that bears the name of the first book, Enchanted Circle, published in December 2014.

“It was only after working with at-risk kids that I was able to flesh out these books,” Medina says. He believes that without that influence, the stories would have simply stayed in his memories about his daughter’s childhood.

The idea for the series eventually made it into book form because of that work with OKC Public Schools elementary children – beginning in 1999 and continuing today. It was an outgrowth of training and experience that he gained while leading art activities in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County.

The program originally was called Art Shaping Character, and was the prevention element of a truancy program started by Bob Macy, then Oklahoma County District Attorney. Today, Medina’s approach has become an initiative within the larger All-Access Arts program administrated by Arts Council of Oklahoma City. All-Access Arts provides students from low-income neighborhoods with art training and meaningful relationships with trained creators.

“He does very valuable and meaningful work with at-risk children,” says Sharon Astrid, director of All-Access Arts. She said that Medina does quite well in helping students “give artistic expression to feelings that they cannot otherwise find a way to express.”

One of several distinctive aspects of the books is that Medina has both written and illustrated them. The illustrations, especially in the digital editions, possess bold colors with mixed symbolism from Medina’s imagination. It’s a departure from the Southwestern style of art that he was best known for producing for galleries across the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s; today, he is better known for eclectic creativity across a variety of mediums rather than the paintings from his earlier career.


But he insists that the books’ art is a departure even from his latest work.

“The influence for the illustrations comes directly from the richly illustrated fairy tale books that I grew up reading,” Medina says. “I would spend hours just getting lost in those illustrations, even more than the story itself. I think that’s why I wanted so much to illustrate these books.”

Medina describes the main character, Zac, as partly a composite of many of his unique elementary students … and partly something more.

“Zac is really kind of the best of who I thought I was. Taking with him the baggage from issues that I went through when I was a kid,” he says. He set the first book in northern New Mexico because of his childhood experiences, while the second includes Venice, Egypt and West Texas, as well.

“When I was a kid, my parents used to love to vacation in northern New Mexico and visit my aunt who lived near Red River,” says Medina. “There were mountains there that I used to explore. They really stimulated my imagination then and provided plenty of settings for my stories in these books.”

Fittingly, Full Circle Books in Oklahoma City has been the main retail outlet for Medina’s “Circle” series.

“It’s been a good seller so far,” says Dana Meister, Full Circle’s general manager. “People have been looking for it. It’s imaginative.” It was so popular over the holidays that by Jan. 7, the store sold out of both and had to reorder.

 

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
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This year will mark the eighth time the John F. Kennedy Awards have been celebrated, honoring individuals making a significant contribution to Oklahoma, its communities and its people, while paying...

Cost: $300

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: Santa Fe Family Life Center
Telephone: 405-840-1817
Contact Name: James Timberlake
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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
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Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
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Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
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A fabulous art auction to raise money to help support Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO.

Cost: $100

Where:
CHK|Central Boathouse
732 Riversport Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
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Sponsor: Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO
Telephone: 405.974.3791
Contact Name: Heather Bryant
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The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
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Join supporters in communities across the nation for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This family-friendly event raises funds to support the...

Cost: $10 for adults or children six and older

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive
Oklahoma City , OK  73116
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Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
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Let’s end childhood cancer. Together! This September, supporters across the country will unite to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an exciting, family-friendly...

Cost: $10 for Registration

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
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Sponsor: ALSAC St. Jude Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

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