Wednesday 3.11 at 6pm: International launch of On Growin’ Up by Ryan Kerr

Dear Friend of Arkadia, You are warmly invited to attend the first international launch of On Growin’ Up by Ryan Kerr on Wednesday 3.11 at 6pm. Ryan Kerr will give a reading of his book and open a discussion with Kenneth Liukkonen. It will be quite an evening and you are most welcome to attend! Warm regards, Ian www.arkadiabookshop.fiEntrance is free and green tea will be served. A donation of €2 (or more!) is suggested and would be very welcome. On Growin’ Up / For immediate releaseHelsinki, Finland – Ryan Kerr, 27, Canadian gay author and artist, is thrilled be attending the first international launch of his book On Growin’ Up at Arkadia Oy International Bookshop on Wednesday November 3, 2010 at 6pm. In On Growin’ Up, Kerr’s first published work, he marries the complex themes that marked his coming out experience with the directness of a children’s story, using handwritten text and bright bold collage. Kerr will give a reading and is thrilled to be joined by Kenneth Liukkonen, the winner of the first Mr. Gay Finland competition, to add to the discussion. Other special guests are also expected. On November 12, Kerr heads to Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore in Paris to celebrate his contribution to the upcoming issue of Her Royal Majesty Magazine, and read from On Growin’ Up there as well. Media contact: Ryan Kerr   About the book: On Growin’ Up is the result of an assignment for the Department of Fine Art at the University of Toronto, several years ago. Kerr was surprised with the positive response from his peers. “It most fulfilling to have created something that everyone could relate to, that triggered a dialogue,” explains Kerr. And especially to do it, somewhat by accident. “The assignment wasn’t at all specific – I just worked to create something which was representative of myself, but equally accessible,” he said. Despite being Kerr’s own story, many participants had a hand in the realization of the final published version. His parents and friends contributed their handwriting to the graphic text, and his brother wrote content for his website (, which Kerr designed himself. Through the website On Growing Up, word of mouth, Facebook and Twitter, Kerr has sold more than five hundred copies in just five months. On Growin’ Up is in bookshops in Toronto, Vancouver; Paris, France and now, with the much appreciated support of Arkadia International, in Helsinki. It is currently being translated into Spanish and German, soon French as well. About the author: Ryan Kerr is a Toronto artist, graphic designer and video producer. As anachronistic as it sounds, Kerr spent his youth on a hippy communal farm north of Toronto. When his mother moved to Toronto in 1993, Kerr started to split his time between his father’s home on the farm in Aurora ON and his mother’s swanky condo in the heart of downtown Toronto. For high school, Kerr attended Etobicoke School of the Arts for Musical Theatre. In 2008, Kerr graduated from the University of Toronto with an undergraduate degree in Fine Art and Fine Art History. On Growin’ Up has pushed Kerr in new directions and prompted workshops which share his diversity-positive message with students and educators across the Greater Toronto Area. Since early May, Kerr has presented On Growin’ Up for the Toronto/York Region and Peel District School Boards, on behalf of Mount Saint Vincent and York Universities, and following Helsinki has been invited to present at American University in Washington D.C. in February of 2011. In light of the recent tragic suicides in the U.S. over recent months, On Growin’ Up has become a powerful anti-bullying teachable with the demand for Kerr’s positive representation of the LGBT community increasing dramatically.