Blogger Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla

The Original Art Show

2014’s Gold Award winner, Benjamin Chaud for The Bear’s Song (Chronicle Books)

Each year, the New York Society of Illustrators hosts The Original Art, which showcases the exquisite work of children’s book illustrators in the previous year. If you live in the Northeast, the show, which is in its 34th year, is an absolute must-see.

“In 1989, The Original Art found a permanent home at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators in New York City. It also became a juried event, with a committee of art directors, editors, publishers and illustrators selecting the best books from among hundreds of submissions and awarding Gold and Silver medals to the top pieces.” NY Society of Illustrators 

Monday, December 8th was the Society’s fourth annual Reading Pictures event, a sold-out afternoon and evening seminar for librarians and children’s book lovers alike. Three amazing illustrators (Melissa Sweet, Barbara McClintock, and E.B. Lewis), all with pieces in the show, spoke at length about their backgrounds and creative processes. Melissa Sweet and E.B. Lewis even gave demonstrations of their techniques! Then art directors led groups on tours of the show, which fills two galleries with 166 works, to speak at length about the creation and successes of the art. Check out this year’s amazing artists!

Gary Kelley won the Silver Award for Harlem Hellfighters. This book was also a NYT Best Illustrated Book!

The show began on October 22nd and runs through December 20th. If you happen to be in New York in the next few weeks, I cannot recommend this experience enough! For anyone who loves picture books or art, the chance to see such exquisite work up close- to examine the minute pieces of paper in a Steve Jenkins picture or be overwhelmed by the size of a painting from Neighborhood Sharks- is a rare and wonderful thing. It’s also an excellent reminder that among the many attributes of the picture book, when you give one to a child, you are letting them hold a piece of art in their hands.

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