Silhouette artist Clay Rice returns to Cleveland Heights

Artist Clay Rice creates a paper silhouette.

Artist Clay Rice travels every year to Cleveland Heights from Isle of Palms, S.C., bringing with him a truck full of picture frames, black paper, a bright lamp, a pair of scissors and toys to amuse toddlers.

On May 31, Rice will spend a day at Pinwheel Kids, the children's store in the Fairmount Taylor shopping district, creating cut-paper portraits of children of all ages. 

This year's visit will mark his first to Pinwheel Kids, the children's store that replaced the Sunbeam shop at 3469 Fairmount Blvd. Rice will also be signing copies of his latest book, Mama, Let's Make a Moon, a poetic tale about a humble mountain family that decides to make a moon.

Author Pat Conroy described Rice as a “great talent who combines soul and passion.” Silhouette artistry and storytelling have been part of Rice's family tradition for more than 80 years.

Each silhouette takes Rice about one minute, and he estimates he has cut more than 900,000 silhouettes in his 32-year career. Rice’s nationwide following has families flocking to have him create a keepsake silhouette and sign copies of his award-winning children’s books. His work has been featured in Country Living, the Washington Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cookie magazine, and has appeared in the CBS series, “Army Wives.”

Rice received the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award and the IPPY Award for Children’s Book of the Year. Collectors seek out Rice’s landscape scenes and children’s illustrations, and his work is on permanent display at the South Carolina State Museum.

Rice will be at Pinwheel Kids from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 31. Call 216-397-3930 to make an appointment for a silhouette. The cost is $42 for two profiles cut simultaneously. Matting and framing is available for an additional fee; prices vary depending on the frame.

Janet Nelson

Janet Nelson opened Pinwheel Kids in the spot where she managed Sunbeam-a Shop for Children for more than 30 years. She loves being a "main street retailer" in the vibrant Cleveland Heights community.

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 11:10 AM, 05.28.2013