"The Original Art", an exhibit celebrating the fine art of children's book illustration, is on display at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators from October 22 through November 25, 2009.
With the growing demand in children's book production came the strengthened interest in the art behind the book. Founded in 1980 by Illustrator and Art Director Dilys Evans, this annual exhibit showcases the original art from the year's best children's books. Selected by a jury of outstanding illustrators, art directors and editors, this year's show features 125 books chosen from 548 entries submitted nationwide.Celebrating it's twenty-ninth year, the Original Art exhibit is not only an opportunity for artists to display their work, but also has become an important event in the New York publishing calendar as a place for art directors and editors seeking new talent and is a favorite destination for school visits.Gold and silver medals are awarded to three chosen books representing a wide variety of medium and technique. This year's gold medal winner Kadir Nelson was recognized for his distinguished illustrations in Coretta Scott, published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Silver medals were awarded to Kevin Hawkes for his book Chicken Cheeks and Brian Floca for Moonshot. Both books were published by Simon &Schuster. This year's Contemporary Lifetime Achievement Award honors Chris Van Allsburg and the Posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Dr.Seuss (Theodor Geisel).Created in 2005, the Founder's Award celebrates the most current promising new talent. This year's recipient Lincoln Agnew will be awarded for his book Harry and Horsie along with the other medal winners during the Opening Reception on Thursday, October 22, 2009. "To have been juried into this exhibition is alone a major achievement and should be celebrated," says Dilys Evans. "To be selected by the award jury as the most promising new talent is a tremendous vote of confidence in an artist's ability and future in the field of children's book illustration."Along with the Original Art exhibit, the Society will host a workshop on Wednesday, October 28, 2009. Illustrator couple Sean Qualls and Selina Alko will run a hands-on workshop that will focus on how to come up with good stories for children's books, building a consistent character throughout a story, working with various illustration styles for different markets and engaging a challenging audience.