DANVILLE -- There is wisdom in the song "Make 'Em Laugh."

While the route to a man's heart may be through his stomach, the way to a kid's aesthetic sensibility is through his funny bone. Want him to like art? Show him Dali's melting clocks, or one of Clayton Bailey's fanciful and funny robots. Or, one of Harrod Blank's art cars, covered with all manner of stuff, like his first car, "Oh My God," a VW bug decorated with everything from a world globe to tiny toys.

Anyway, that's the notion behind the Village Theatre Art Gallery's Young @ Art exhibit "What's So Funny?" that opens Friday in the gallery at 233 Front St. in Danville. The show leads into a March 21 program for children 5 through 11 in which kids will get a close-up look at the exhibit and a chance to try their hand with being funny in an artistic way.

Although Dali's clocks won't be there, visitors to the exhibit, which runs through April 19, can enjoy the works of Bailey and Blank, along with, Marsha Bailan, Phillip Glashoff, Kate Savage, Michael Cutlip, Paul Madonna, Keith Schnieder, Lush Newton, Karen Stanton, Tom Miller, Wes Horn, Maestro Gaxiola, Charolotte Kruk and Ya Ya Chou.

Those attending the opening night gala from 5 to 8 p.m. in the gallery can enjoy works of the artists mentioned above, along with a special treat -- the appearance of one of Blank's art cars. Some of the artists are expected to be on hand for the gala. Children attending the class designed to stimulate their creativity and give them some insight into the artworks can also try their hand at creating works of their own, inspired by Bailey's robot dogs.


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After looking at Bailey's amazing and often hilarious creations, the kids will be able to create their own works using their own materials and paint. And if the kids get some inspiration toward some seriousness from Bailey, they should consider some of the artist's own words.

"I get a lot of my ideas from Weekly World News," he explained in an interview. "So far, I haven't made any money on any of these things."

Or perhaps consider some of his more sage advice about art.

"One of the best things you can do for people is make them laugh," he said. "So if I can do that, why should I worry about being anything else?"

FYI
  • What: Young @ Art program for ages 5 to 11, to introduce kids to the "What's So Funny?" exhibit -- children will make their own robot sculpture.
  • When: 3:30 to 5 p.m. March 21
  • Where: Village Theatre Art Gallery, 233 Front St., Danville
  • Cost: $12; $14 for nonresidents
  • Details: Registration required. Visit www.danvillerecguide.com and search for bar code 28301 or call 925-314-3400