OMG! It’s our 20th year celebrating Children’s Books and their charming, thought provoking, stimulating, moving, sophisticated, scary, wistful, historical, cute, lavish, old world, creative, just gotta have it ILLUSTRATIONS…
We have been so fortunate to touch so many hearts with the works of over 50 illustrators over the past 20 years. From our clients who buy the books (many for themselves) to the youthful recipients to our beneficiary organizations we are grateful. Some of the organizations we have benefited over the years include Ronald McDonald House, The Wooden Floor (formerly Saint Joseph Ballet), Orangewood, Big Brother Big Sisters, Marconi Foundation for Kids and currently Chapman University College of Educational Studies K-12 Literacy Programs.
To our volunteers helping us to prepare for the event and work the day of the show, we could not do it without you! That includes friends, family, clients, past employees and our beneficiary organization and our great Chapman intern, Ellen… we love you all!
To Jennifer, Robert & Corey (and James), Chemers Gallery stellar staff, you are the best. You made it all come together with our minimal crew. Thank you. We can almost breathe a sigh of relief.
What can I say about my mother, Rita Chemers, who had the original inspiration for this even and Chemers Gallery so many years ago. Thank you for instilling in me the love of art, books & giving back to the community and most of all the opportunity to carry on the traditions you started.
This year… ah, this year… our five returning artists continue to make us smile. And now I have the difficult task of picking my favorites from each, so here goes… in alpha order.
Bowing On Stage, watercolor & pencil by Raul Colon
Our handsome Raul Colon, who comes to visit us every year when he is in California, amazes me with his use of colored pencil. The artwork that leaves me breathless this year has very little color. The piece is from Alicia Alonso Prima Ballerina, written by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, where Alicia is taking a bow after her performance of Swan Lake at the Metropolitan Opera House. The book is all poetry about this Cuban born dancer and overcoming many forms of adversity. The piece I chose is done solely in shades of yellow and brown to create stunning inner beauty. Raul has very carefully calculated every fine detail. And by the way, our framing job on this work es muy bueno!
Sunday Art Show, pen & ink & watercolor by Robin Preiss Glasser
Robin Preiss Glasser you are an enigma with a huge spirit. I guess my favorite illustration would have to be the Sunday art show from Fancy Nancy Aspiring Artist written by Jane O’Connor. It is all about the ART, after all. This illustration shows Robin’s talent in narrating a story through pictures and the joy of Nancy’s character. For me, this sums up the experience we feel in putting together our illustration show and the fun everyone has who attends the event. I don’t think we could have said it any better!
Lucia in the Woods, pastel by Mary GrandPre
We are so lucky to have Mary Grandpre with us again. Mary has been working in a variety of media recently, but her pastels are still my favorite works. I gasped when I uncovered the protective matting of the cover image from Lucia and the Light, written by Phyllis Root. This piece is magical, from the glowing light in Lucia’s hand to the toes on the trees. The richness of Mary’s pastel is beyond compare. We used the fabulous storybook frame to complete the tale… it couldn’t be more perfect. Sorry, it’s already sold, and unfortunately… not to me.
Leaving the Tree, mixed media by Johnson & Fancher
The ever so clever Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson are so creative in their use of different media and techniques to stimulate imagination. There are so many I love from Bugtown Boogie, written by Warren Hanson, that you could open the book and point to any page and I would love it. But, I think I’ll pick the page toward the end of the book where the bugs are marching out of the tree. The little boy crouches watching them file out. This illustration is a little less colorful, but displays the wonder and curiosity of a little boy. The glow of light coming from the tree makes you want to stay and enjoy just a little while longer.
Over the World, mixed media by Elisa Kleven
Teeny tiny Elisa Kleven’s teeny tiny collage work is crazy. I can’t imagine taking the time to cut all the little tiny people to make the illustrations in her book The Weaver written by Thacher Hurd. I love how the girl in the red dress is flying over the ocean holding her weaving of the world’s wonders. I’m a sucker for anything that has to do with peace for humankind and protection of our environment. This illustration just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Our friend Matthew Cruz was in today and said “This is your favorite show isn’t it?” I had to reply, “Yes, it is.” I guess he could see the glitter in my eyes when I talk about the show. I hope you all come and experience the wonderland created by our extraordinary illustrators on December 3rd, 2011 from 1-5 pm. If not, you have 2 weeks to view the work in its entirety… We’ll be waiting for you!
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