In the U.S., the Original Art show at the Society of Illustrators is an annual exhibition of the best children’s book illustrations. This spectacular exhibition showcases original art from children’s books that were published within the year and celebrates the wide range of talent that is published each year. The opening night was last week and was a high energy night filled with fantastic art and tons of illustrators, editors, art directors and agents who gather to celebrate the best at the Society of Illustrators in NY.
Our US agents, James and Anne connected with a variety of publishing colleagues that night including art directors and editors from Penguin, HMH, Abrams, HarperCollins, and Candlewick to name a few.
This year’s Gold Medal winner is Benjamin Chaud for The Bear’s Song (Chronicle Books). Silver Medal winners are Carson Ellis for Wildwood Imperium (HarperCollins Publishers / Balzer + Bray) and Gary Kelley for Harlem Hellfighters (The Creative Company / Creative Editions).
Bright is very proud to report that two of our illustrators were chosen to exhibit in this prestigious show. US illustrator, Becca Stadtlander was chosen for her first children’s book published in Sept 2014, On the Wing (Candlewick Press), and UK illustrator, Yasmeen Ismailwho was chosen for her illustrations in Time for Bed, Fred (Bloomsbury). Both were exquisitely framed and proudly hanging in the New York gallery.
It was a magical night, and Bright artists, You Byun and Doreen Marts made their way there to celebrate the books and illustrators who make stories come alive. Although Becca and Yasmeen could not attend the opening celebration, Anne and James ‘represented’ them well and lifted a toast to all Bright artists who will be invited in the future to exhibit at the show!
The exhibit was founded by Dilys Evans, a painter, art director, and artists’ representative, who saw that illustrators needed a forum to be recognized, celebrated and awarded for their amazing work. In 1989, the show was moved from Master Eagle Gallery to the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators in New York and 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. As a result, this exhibit has become a prized achievement for both children’s book illustrators and publishers.
There is also a Lifetime Achievement Award given each year with recipients such as Eric Carle, Alice and Martin Provenson, Tomie dePaola, Richard Scarry, Tomi Ungerer, Maurice Sendak and Barbara Cooney, to name a few from the past.
Becca’s “Cranes” piece hanging at The Society of Illustrators, New York
This year Lane Smith and the late Arnold Lobel were honoured with this distinguished award. And, there is a Founder’s Award highlighting new illustrators who have published their first picture book.