This is the 7th year that I've been involved with the Chemers Gallery Children's Book Illustration Show in Tustin, CA. I have to say, the enthusiasm of our community is amazing! Visitors came from all over LA and Orange County. It's always a popular event, in fact we have customers ask as early as July if we've chosen the illustrators for the December show yet. I look forward to this event too. The illustrations are new, exciting and inspiring every year. It's always such a pleasure to meet the artists and observe as they happily meet their peers & fans and how they admire one another's original artwork with awe. Art buyers eagerly anticipate this time of year too, and are tickled to find treasured illustrations that speak to them and become part of their collections.
Melissa Sweet signing for a delighted fan (photo by yours truly) Beth Krommes, Holly Meade, Elisa Kleven & Zachary Pullen were also present
At the opening Saturday, I couldn't help but notice, more than ever, what a grand celebration this event is for so many different kinds of people. It is a celebration of the craft of storytelling through illustration, a celebration of children's literature, a celebration of the love of reading, learning, and exploring our world. It is a celebration that is enjoyed by children and their parents and/or grandparents, together. Educators, librarians, children's book enthusiasts, art collectors, artists and writers all love viewing the original art, reading the stories, and listening to the artists as they share their insights. And, of course, giant piles of big, fat delicious cookies and Ronald McDonald magic tricks help add to the fun too!
The impression I come away with is that even with all the razzle-dazzle of modern media, a love and appreciation for a good old fashioned "hold in your hand" children's book, and hand drawn illustrations are alive and well!