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ST. CHARLES, Ill., Sept. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Precious Moments, Inc. ("PMI"), which owns the rights to license the art of Sam Butcher, has announced a new 3-year licensing agreement with Lightpost Publishing, a wholly owned subsidiary of San Jose-based Media Arts Group (Nasdaq: ARTS), to produce a line of two-dimensional lithographs of the world-famous teardrop-eyed children. The first series of products are scheduled to be introduced by Lightpost in January 1996.

Lightpost Publishing is best known for producing the award-winning lithographs of Thomas Kinkade, "Painter of Light(TM)," and other artists, including well-known sports artist Gary Patterson. The addition of the Precious Moments license is in keeping with the company's on-going expansion into high-profile, proven licenses that represent new dimensions of opportunity.

"We are very enthusiastic and honored to be selected by PMI for this exciting category," said Daniel P. Byrne, Lightpost president. "We will bring all of our expertise in art publishing to develop a line that will present Sam Butcher's artwork in an exciting new medium. There are few images in the world that are as recognizable -- or as esteemed -- as Precious Moments art, and we are committed to creating a collection of fine quality lithographs that will be enjoyed and prized by both current and new Precious Moments enthusiasts."

Although no specific details have been released, it is expected that Lightpost will develop the artwork in a variety of media, including canvas transfer, a method for which Lightpost Publishing is highly regarded. The lithographs will also be offered in a wide range of custom frames, currently being designed specifically for the Precious Moments artwork.

Sara Pilafas, vice president of PMI, welcomed the newest licensee to the Precious Moments family of licensed product. She noted that while Limited Graphics produces limited edition, signed lithographs through the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, MO, the Lightpost license will be the first time that the artwork has been produced in studio art format.

"Collectors and dealers often tell us that they would welcome a high quality reproduction of Precious Moments art, and Lightpost has established itself as the premier art publishing company in our industry," Pilafas said. "We will work hand-in-hand with Lightpost to introduce a showcase collection of Sam's art, as it has never before been available. The possibilities are very exciting, and we look forward to unveiling the first introductions."

Sam Butcher began drawing his famous teardrop-eyed children in the early 1970s for family and friends. With partner Bill Biel, Butcher started a small inspirational poster and greeting card company. The success of Sam Butcher's Precious Moments subjects is legend, and the artist expressed his own enthusiasm for the new agreement with Lightpost.

"From the beginning, I have wanted to touch as many people as possible with my art," noted Butcher. "I have been very fortunate to have so many different ways in which the Precious Moments message can be shared, and to know that my art will now be presented as I originally created it is very exciting. I join with Sara in welcoming Lightpost to the growing Precious Moments family."

Precious Moments Inc. manages the artwork and licensing activities for Sam Butcher, which now includes 45 major licensees. PMI is a full- service creative organization, offering a wide range of services to Precious Moments licensees, from product concept and design to complete marketing programs. Precious Moments images are now licensed to appear in several hundred individual products worldwide.

Lightpost Publishing, a division of Media Arts Group, is America's premier publisher of collectible wall art.

Based in San Jose, Media Arts Group, Inc., designs, manufactures, distributes and licenses gift, collectible and decorative accessories based on exclusive licenses and brand names, through its four subsidiaries: Lightpost Publishing, John Hine Ltd., Thomas Kinkade Galleries and MAGI Entertainment Products.
 -0- 9/19/95

/CONTACT: Shirley Thompson, President, or Sheila Whitman, Account Executive, of Carl Thompson Associates, 303-494-5472/


CO: Precious Moments Inc.; Media Arts Group.; Lightpost Publishing ST: Illinois, California IN: SU: LIC

SK-LD -- LA037 -- 0292 09/19/95 10:52 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 19, 1995

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