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Service Friday for artist Jack Pentes, who designed Land Of Oz on Beech Mountain

A service will be held 2 p.m. Friday at Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, 234 North Sharon Amity Road, for Jack Pentes, a Charlotte artist and designer whose creations included The Land Of Oz atop Beech Mountain.

Pentes, 83, died Saturday after a period of declining health.

He was founder of Carolina Clowns and played Bobo the Clown, both in Korean orphanages when he was in the Army during the Korean War and on WBTV’s old “Big Bill Ward” children’s program.

Pentes designed “Wind Sculpture,” whose fabric circles still whirl in front of the federal courthouse on Charlotte’s Trade Street. He also developed the concept of soft playgrounds for fast-food restaurants.

“No one can become an artist, in my opinion,” Pentes said in a 1960 interview with the Charlotte Observer.

“You are not an artist because you want to be be, but because you have to be. Art is made to shock, to attract, to impress people,” Pentes told the newspaper.

“Michelangelo’s painting in the Sistine Chapel was used to get a message across. He was as commercial as they come and probably had to fight about his price with the Pope.”

Pentes is survived by his wife, Ruth Emerson Jones Pentes of Charlotte; daughter, Danna Pentes and her partner, Charlene Owen, of Decatur, Ga.; son, Dorne Michael Pentes and his spouse, Wendy Fishman; and grandchildren, Elias Michael and Eden Blue Pentes, all of Charlotte; and his dog, Nellie.

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