February 1, 2007 - Estrella Mountain, a Maricopa Community College, has partnered with Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, MO to bring the Shades of Greatness visual art exhibition to the college beginning February 1- April 1, as part of its commitment to honoring the contributions of Black Americans during Black History Month 2007. The exhibition, which has traveled to numerous locations across the country including the Louisville Slugger Museum, chronicles the experience of players, fans, and owners during a unique period of sports history, and celebrates the greatness of renowned players such as Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson. Estrella Mountain will be the exhibition's first visit to the state of Arizona.The collection, made of up 35 unique pieces of a variety of media and styles, commemorates the history and stories of the Negro Leagues, which had its start in 1920, when Jim Crow laws and segregation forced black players from the primarily white teams on which they first played. The League continued to play through the early part of the 20th century, even after baseball legend Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier when signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945, but the League eventually came to an end in the early 1960s. The collection is the result of the collaboration of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and a group of local and nationally renowned artists who received intensive education in the history of the Leagues, before commencing with a creative expression that captures the spirit, history, and emotion of the time.The exhibition will be featured in gallery cases all over the campus as part of EMCC Visual Exhibition Program's continuing commitment to making art accessible to all, and the community is invited to attend an opening reception on February 15, 2007, at 6:00 in the evening, followed by an informational art walk, to learn more about the history of specific pieces. For more information, contact Nicole DeLeon, (623) 935-8056.Estrella Mountain Community College is located on Thomas and Dysart Roads in Avondale and offers transfer-ready academic courses and job-specific occupational training to more than 13,000 students annually. Estrella Mountain is part of the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. For more information visit www.estrellamountain.edu or www.maricopa.edu .