Friday, February 27, 2009

Illustration Inspiration, part I

We're excited to welcome a new exhibit celebrating children's books to the Museum's atrium walkway, just in time for National Reading Month!

See a traveling display of Illustrator Quilts – created by Brooklyn-based author, educator and literacy consultant Muriel Feldshuh – that incorporate original art from more than 90 famous illustrators from around the country, including Eric Carle, Tomie dePaola and Marc Brown.
Also discover Illustration Inspiration, a "ramp box" exhibit created by 17 Museum staff and AmeriCorps members. Our ramp box exhibits follow a theme and change several times a year. It's a unique challenge, to create something visually engaging in such a small space. This time each person created a scene inspired by one of their favorite children’s book artists, like Maurice Sendak, Chris Van Allsburg and Beatrix Potter.
We are all so impressed with the result – it's an amazing collaboration, the work of 17 (!) individuals using a variety of materials, each with their own style and story to tell. The boxes are vibrant, detailed and just plain interesting to look at. Here are photos of a few of the boxes created by AmeriCorps members, with the artists' stories about their process and inspiration:

"I chose Maurice Sendak because I have always enjoyed the glorious creepiness of his drawings, and the wonderful quality of movement he can imply. The idea: playing in the city. "
-Miranda Elliott Rader

"Tomie DePaola's illustrations are realistic, yet there is a softness created by their textures and colors that appeal to my tactile senses - I want to touch the spaghetti and ruffle Big Anthony's hair in Strega Nona...I feel the humor of DePaola's illustrations appeals to a range of ages - it is accessible to children, yet sophisticated."
-Kate Jones

"I chose [Trina Schart Hyman] because I was fascinated by her work as a kid - she's someone who draws for a lot of different authors, and it was a long time before I learned who she was. The elements I emphasize in my ramp box are strong female characters, a wide age range, the outdoors, people reading and a sense of adventure."
-Melissa Kline

"David A. Carter creates pop-up books that jump and spring to life...my ramp box includes bright colors and imagery featuring several miniature visuals from exhibits within the Museum - a miniature crazy wavy mirror wall, the Iway spanning the box, and fountains bubbling up, down and sideways."
-Jennifer McIntosh

Coming soon: more inspiration stories, from our staff artists.

Come take a look! The quilts and ramp box exhibit will be on display through May. And in March & April, join our celebration of art and stories with a series of special programs, including Seussational! this Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 PM!

2 comments:

Nell O'Donnell said...

All of us at the Books for Kids Foundation would like to applaud Muriel Feldshuh for her beautiful and inspiring Illustrator Quilts. She has been a truly invaluable asset to the Books for Kids Advisory Council and we are incredibly proud to see her fine work displayed at the Providence Children's Museum.

Nell O'Donnell
Program Coordinator
The Books for Kids Foundation

Cara Falcetti said...

Muriel Feldshuh is a true New York treasure, and a mentor to many of us in the field. She has spent tireless hours sharing her love of children's literature, educating teachers, and creating priceless displays and quilts. I first learned of Muriel by catching one of her quilts on display at New York Public Library. Muriel is a real visionary, and a selfless advocate of all things literary. Enjoy the incredible quilts, Rhode Islanders!