Through picture books, readers embark on visual journeys that engage all of the senses and encourage curious, imaginative, and thoughtful interactions with the world around them. Since 1938, the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, has recognized the significant impact of art on early reading experiences, awarding the Caldecott Medal for excellence in this area. Named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, the prestigious and highly coveted medal is awarded annually to the illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
The exhibition Young at Art: A Selection of Caldecott Book Illustrations includes original illustrations from Caldecott Medal recipients and from “runner-up” Honor books, as well as other illustrations by award-winning artists. It opens at the Hays Public Library on December 14, 2019 and will be on display through January 19, 2020.
This exhibition of works from Wichita Falls Museum of Art’s permanent collection celebrates the vision and talent of twenty-eight award-winning artists, including the first Caldecott Award recipient Dorothy P. Lathrop (1938), two-time winner Chris Van Allsburg (1982, 1986), and Maurice Sendak (1964), whose work Where the Wild Things Are, like Van Allsburg’s Jumanji and The Polar Express, was adapted for the big screen. Curated by Danny Bills, curator of collections and exhibitions at Wichita Falls Museum of Art and organized by Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University, Young at Art is part of ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance.
In connection with the exhibit, the Hays Public Library will sponsor a Young Illustrator Contest for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in Hays area schools. Chosen entries will be displayed in the Youth Services Department during the Winter Art Walk on December 6, and winners will receive prizes for their classrooms.