‘Worlds Imagined’ Opens at Tall Grass

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Young and old(er) packed the gallery Friday night at Tall Grass for the opening of Worlds Imagined: The Art of Children’s Books. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— A new exhibit, Worlds Imagined: The Art of Children’s Books opened at Tall Grass Arts Association Friday night. The exhibit will run through May 31, 2008.

Worlds Imagined features 74 original works of art by nationally-renown illustrators, including Ashley Bryan and Jan Spivey Gilchrist (seventeen drawings from My America), Jules Feiffer (three drawings from The House Across the Street), Wendy Halperin (seventeen drawings from Thank You, World), Elisa Kleven (ten drawings from Apple Doll), Barbara Lavallee (one drawing from Mama, Do You Love Me? one from Papa, Do You Love Me? and one from Grandma Calls Me Beautiful), Kevin Luthardt (12 drawings from The Vowel Family), Jon J Muth (three from Zen Shorts), Don Nedobeck (three from The Twelve Days of Christmas), Claire Nivola (three from The Friday Nights of Nana) and Susan Sturgill (three from I’m Just a Cat Mattress).

Illustrator Jan Spivey Gilchrist believes that children’s books are a marriage between pictures and words. “The pictures come alive because of the words and vice-versa.” Thus, to enrich the experience of visiting the show and to emphasize both the art and literacy components of it, the illustrations will be mounted next to sections of the text that the illustrations accompany. In addition to the featured artworks, books by these illustrators will be on display in the gallery for students and parents to read.

Many of the illustrators have won honors for their works. Ashley Bryan’s numerous awards and honors include the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration, six Coretta Scott King Honors, the Arbuthnot Prize, and a Fulbright Scholarship. He also won a Silver Medallion, for contributions to children’s literature from the University of Southern Mississippi. The Man in the Ceiling was Jules Feiffer’s first book for children. Highly praised in The New York Times and elsewhere, it was selected by Publishers Weekly and The New York Public Library as one of the best children’s books of 1993. Jan Spivey Gilchrist has won numerous awards and commissions throughout her career, including the Coretta Scott King Award. Barbara Lavallee’s books have been selected as California Children’s Books award winners and by Parent’s Magazine as one of the best books of the year. One of Jon J Muth’s books, Zen Shorts, was a Caldecott award winner. His most recent book, Zen Ties, is on the New York Times bestseller list. Jon also illustrated both of Carolyn Kennedy’s anthologies of poetry.

The illustrations presented in the gallery represent a wide spectrum of styles and media. Several of the artists work with watercolors. Elisa Kleven utilizes the art of collage. Wendy Halperin utilizes crayons. Several utilize pen and ink and colored pencils.

Teachers are invited to call the gallery to schedule group tours. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Special hours can be arranged for group tours. The gallery is located next to Village Hall in DownTown Park Forest. It is open to the public free of charge.