Sponsored by in Canstota, New York.
EMMA RIDLEY —RETURN TO OZEmma Ridley is a performance artist, with a history in dance, music, film, television, and burlesque. With her many transformations, including losing over 100lbs after having 3 babies, she has inspired a generation. Emma spent most of her early years being in the spotlight, starting at the tender age of only 8 months advertising as the Gerber baby, as well as appearing in many feature films, including Jackie Collins ‘The World is Full of Married Men’, starring Tony Franciosa and Carol Baker, playing their 4 year old daughter Lucy. Emma played another character called Lucy in the well known ‘Hammer House of Horrors’ film ‘The House That Bled To Death’. Many more film and television projects followed.
Emma joined the Royal Ballet London at age 6, starred as princess ‘Ozma’, the queen of Oz, in Disney’s ‘Return to Oz’, and won rave reviews as Bobbie Mechelle in Neal Simons’ ‘Last of the Red Hot Lovers’ on the British Stage in Repertoire Theater. She also had a role in the American Disney TV show ‘Boy Meets World’, all while spending her very full youth writing, performing, and producing music and music videos.
Emma then decided to “settle down”, out of the spotlight, on a Californian ranch/farm to raise her 3 children (with horses, goats and chickens, oh my!). She has since returned once again to the spotlight as a successful business creator and owner of “Goddess Fitness Dance”, a completely unique self-expressed ballet, yoga and pole dancing approach to fitness!
Steve Metzger is the award-winning author of more than seventy children's books, including Detective Blue (IRA-CBC Children's Choice List), Pluto Visits Earth! (ABC Best Books for Children), and The Way I Act, approved for classroom use by the California Department of Education.
Steve's latest work, his first chapter book, is Toto's Story: My Amazing Adventures with Dorothy in Oz. He lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.
For info: www.stevemetzgerbooks.com.
RON BAXLEY, JR.
Ron Baxley, Jr. is an experienced Oz, fantasy, and science fiction author, is a former educator of 15 years, and continues his third year as a part-time correspondent/reporter for the “Times and Democrat” in Orangeburg, S.C. He is also a travel specialist with Mad Hatter Adventures Company and a contributing writer for the Disney Avenue fan-site at .
He had books published by Maple Creek Press for two years, including The Oz Omnibus of Talking City Tales for children and adult Oz fans. In late 2016, he had an article published on the late Eugene and Eulie David, former M.G.M. Wizard of Oz “Munchkin” actors and brothers who lived in his hometown of Barnwell, S.C. He published the article in the national magazine “Filmfax" after newspaper publication. He placed this article and a fictionalization of it and Oz stories in an Oz fan-fic collection, . His combined Of Cabbages /Oz/Wonderland series, a gothic fantasy book for young adults and adults co-written with James C. Wallace II, was published for approximately two years by Maple Creek Press with illustrations by Gwendolyn Tennille. All three Of Cabbages books have now been separated into three volumes and have been moved to Oz illustrator Gwendolyn Tennille's imprint, GreenWitch Press of GreenWitch Designs of Florence, S.C. in 2017. In 2016, Ron was given the honor of a lifetime membership by the International L. Frank Baum and All Things Oz Foundation.
For more information on Ron and his other projects, see http://rbaxley37.wixsite.c om/ronbaxleyjrofoz or just do a web-search for WIX and Ron Baxley.
Gwendolyn Tennille says she didn't have a choice of what she wanted to be in life.
“From the time I was a very small child the only happiness I had was coloring and drawing. It grew from there. I knew that I was going to have to do something with this when I got older because it was what fueled me. I tried other things because I didn't believe that there was an actual way that I could make a living making art. It just didn't seem possible for a small town girl from Nowhereville. I couldn't stay in any one place for very long without becoming absolutely bored with what I was doing and I had and still have a terrible habit of daydreaming.
An artist dreams. And, I do dream. Ever since I was little I can remember drifting off into a land of my own making. One in which my fingers became an elegant ice skater that glided across my desk as the shavings of ice sparkled in the winter sun. It's funny because I still do that. I never grew out of daydreaming. I wonder if that is something that others do or is it something that is odd to an adult. I remember using it as an escape from the mundane and a consumer of time. I know that some of the best pieces I've done have come from my daydreaming.
I dream of being happy. And, as much as it may make others laugh...
Immortality lies in the making of those dreams and I work hard and will continue to work hard to make those dreams come true. No one told me that I had to stop dreaming as an adult.
So, fast forward a few years and I didn't have a choice. Voice recognition took away the "job" that I had and in the midst of illustrating my first book, I thought it would be a very good idea to go back to school for graphic design. What a wonderful thing to do in the middle of a caffeine-no sleep craze of art! Looking back, it was one of the best things I did. Branching out is not a bad thing.”
Gwendolyn is a Mom, Grandma, artist, illustrator, author, and full-time super hero. She lives in Florence, SC and owns and operates GreenWitch Designs which she uses to house the art, illustrations, children's books that I have written and illustrated, as well as book cover art.
Gwendolyn is an established illustrator in the OZ universe, having done art for authors such as Ron Baxley, Jr., James Wallace II, Amanda Wallace, and even taken a couple of turns doing her own books.
She also is a participating artists in the "Play Me, I'm Yours" International Art Installation. This installation has been all over the world and in 2015, it came to Florence, South Carolina.
Gwendolyn has been involved in homeschool groups, comic book appearances, book store and festival appearances.
Her OZ work includes Illustrations for “Of Cabbages, Kings, and Even Odd Queens”, “The Slippers of Oz”, “The Talking City of Oz”, as well as author and illustrator duties for the books “Scraps New Shoes” and “Tik Tok & the Timekeeper’s Clock”. She also has written non-Oz novels, such as “In the Dark”.
Gwendolyn donated her original art pieces to the All Things Oz Museum in 2015, and we are delighted to have her art as a part of our permanent collection in the birthplace of OZ, L. Frank Baum’s hometown, Chittenango, NY.