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Disney artists to give presentations in Gettysburg

It's a small world after all.

That's what Wendy Allen thought when she realized Hans Teensma, the artist who designed her recent book, "Lincoln Into Art," had worked with her friend and colleague, Ken Shue, at Disney Studios.

Both artists will help enhance the creative experience Allen and her colleague, Elaine Henderson, are bringing to Gettysburg through their new company, American Art Retreat. They hope the company will encourage discussions with experts who have insightful perspectives on interesting art topics.

What better topic to start with than the world's most beloved brand?

Teensma and Shue will share their artistic expertise at The Art of Disney Publishing and Making Magic: The Art of Disney Storybooks, two educational workshops focused on the development of Disney art and films. The first event, scheduled for April 29 at the Wyndham Gettysburg, is for adults and will include an open bar, rustic French dinner and presentation. An April 30 program at The Gateway Theater in Gettysburg will give children the opportunity to learn all about Disney and how to draw Mickey Mouse.

"Anybody interested in Disney and art will be fascinated," Allen said. "It's a whole insight into the whole process that people just don't get anywhere else."

The Walt Disney Company's influence on the art world is significant, according to Allen, who is a guest artist with American Art Retreat.

"When you look at Walt Disney himself, he's just an American treasure," Allen said.

With films and books spanning 90 years, Disney artwork has long-appealed to audiences both young and old.

"He's sort of integral to our childhoods," said Henderson, who is director of American Art Retreat.

Shue is Disney's Vice President of Global Art and Design Development, Allen said, and Teensma is a designer of Disney picture books and the former director of Disney Magazine. Additionally, Shue is a bit of an expert on all things Walt Disney, she said.

The artists were not available for interviews, but Allen assures those thinking about attending the event that Shue and Teensma are preparing captivating, informative presentations, complete with original vintage artwork.

The adults' program, scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. April 29, will delve into the creative process of Disney art-making, including the visual development of films and the publishing enterprise. Shue and Teensma will share content from the Disney's Animation Archives book series and engage with the audience in a question-and-answer session.

The children's program, set for 10 to 11:30 a.m. April 30, is similar to the adults' program but tailored for youngsters. Attendees will get to see original Disney book illustrations, both old and new, and learn step-by-step how to sketch the world's most famous mouse. A question and answer session will conclude the presentation. Refreshments will be provided.

Admission for the adult program is $85 per person. For the children's program, each adult ticket costs $10, and they may bring one child age 15 and under for free. Additional children's tickets are $5. For tickets and details, visit or find American Art Retreat on Facebook.