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  GROWING UP CHICAGO

Ed Paschke on becoming an artist:

"My father was my first art teacher. His influence began when my brother Richard and I were very young and impressionable. The magic usually occurred after dinner or on Sunday afternoons while sitting around the kitchen table. Using modeling clay or drawing materials Dad would entertain and inspire us by creating birds, animals and human heads with exaggerated personalities. These performances became contagious. Soon we were imitating his colorful inventions and creating our own cast of characters."

"Seeing the Disney classic "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" inspired Dad to build a toy box featuring his paintings of Grumpy and Doc. When I saw it I thought my father was, in fact, the real Walt Disney. It was one of many crystallizing experiences that helped lead me down the path toward my own life as an artist."

"I like a lot of color. When I was a kid, I always found fireworks really fascinating. The way that firecrackers are packaged. The circus too. The heightened sense of reality and the total spectacle of it."

"I was a very introverted individual and this became an important outlet for me to express myself, to communicate, to take positions, make statements, take a stand and so forth. But I never really thought I had much a future at all . . . So the thing that I had to do was to really go inward and really work super hard in the hope that someday it would pay off. And in using that term I don't mean necessarily money, but just the fact that I would have more depth and dimension both as a human being and as an artist."