Basketball star Patrick Ewing unveiled his new artwork for Discover’s ‘Private Issue’ card yesterday in New York and also announced a new art book for children.
New York City day camp children joined basketball star Patrick Ewing on the court at Madison Square Garden today as he unveiled his latest artistic creation — a new Private Issue(R) Card — and launched his newest foray in the arts — a book for children and their parents about how and why children make art.
With assistance from some of the children, Mr. Ewing rolled a tarp off a 14′ x 9′ foot replica of an oil pastel of a reflective pond bordered by golden reeds and pine trees that he created for the Private Issue credit card. For the second consecutive year, artwork by Mr. Ewing will be featured on the face of the Card. He is the first of Private Issue’s celebrity artists to be commissioned to create a second card. His first credit card creation — a landscape of rolling hills — was introduced last year. Since 1995, Private Issue has commemorated multi-talented celebrities by featuring their artwork on the face of the card.
Patrick Ewing: Baskets, Brushes and, Now, a Book
Following the unveiling, Private Issue and Abbeville Press announced Mr. Ewing’s participation in an illustrated children’s book guiding and encouraging them to express their ideas through art. The book, a collaboration between Mr. Ewing and Linda L. Louis, an art educator and instructor of art education at Columbia University Teachers College, will also include advice for parents and teachers to help them encourage and inspire children. Mr. Ewing will cite his artistic experiences throughout the publication as examples for young artists and their parents. He will also write the foreword of the book. Ms. Louis will guide children, parents and teachers through an exploration of art as a way to communicate thoughts, feelings and imaginations. The book is sponsored by Private Issue and will be published by Abbeville Press Inc.
“This is an exciting opportunity for me to bring my interest in the arts to the literary world and to reach out to children at the same time,” Mr. Ewing said. “I have enjoyed creating art since I was a child. Private Issue is giving me a chance to show children and adults another important part of my life.”
As the book was announced, approximately 80 New York City children who attend camps operated by The Boys’ Club of New York, Lower Eastside Girls’ Clubs and Westside YMCA in New York City were following Mr. Ewing’s artistic example. The children drew murals on massive sheets of paper along the court sidelines. Mr. Ewing then helped the children roll out the murals across the Madison Square Garden basketball court.
“Children create art as a way of making sense of their world,” Ms. Louis explained. “When they draw, paint or sculpt they’re telling us more about what they experience than what they actually see. Our book will help children to use materials to give shape to their experience. It will also offer parents and teachers tips on how to nurture children’s artistic growth and talk to them about their work.”
“I am very pleased to include this book on Abbeville’s list because I am committed to publishing books about art for children, as exemplified by our new, critically acclaimed series How Artists See,” Robert E. Abrams, president and publisher of the Abbeville Publishing Group, said. “We expect to reach a very wide audience with Patrick Ewing, who is a terrific role model. He’s sharing his love of art with children and giving them insights about how he creates and enjoys his art.”
Private Issue – A Celebration of Visual Arts
“The Private Issue Card celebrates art by bringing it into people’s lives every day,” Vicki L. McMannon, Vice President, Marketing, Private Issue, said. “Our cards also salute the talents of people who are great actors, musicians or athletes and are visual artists, too. With this book, we expand our message from the aesthetic to the creative. We’re delighted to be able to work with Patrick, Linda and Abbeville Press to help foster the creative experience in children and their parents.”
The book, as yet untitled, is scheduled to be released by Abbeville Press in the first half of 1999. According to Ms. McMannon, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA), a non-profit arts organization that identifies young, emerging artists and assists them in their educational and professional development. Earlier this year, Ms. McMannon announced the funding of four Private Issue Scholarships in Visual Arts to be awarded through the NFAA in recognition of previous Private Issue celebrity artists.
In addition to Mr. Ewing’s creation, the 1997 series of Private Issue Cards includes artwork by singer Tina Turner and the late Jerry Garcia of the rock band The Grateful Dead. Former Private Issue celebrity artists were Ringo Starr, Florence Griffith Joyner, Jane Seymour and Anthony Quinn.
To apply for a Private Issue Card, consumers can call toll-free 1-800-4-PI-CARD (1-800-474-2273) or visit Private Issue on the internet at http://www.privateissue.com.
The Private Issue Card, issued by a business unit of Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter, Discover & Co., is a general purpose credit card that is accepted nationwide wherever the NOVUS(R) sign is displayed. NOVUS Services, a business unit of Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter, Discover & Co., operates the Discover(R) Card, the NOVUS Network and a growing number of new card brands accepted at all NOVUS Network locations.