News & Events
Festival and Gallery Collection Now on Facebook
A Festival and Gallery Collection page on Facebook was created on December 19, 2013 at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Keene-State-College-Childrens-Literature-Festival-and-Gallery/567387413344406. As of January 14, 2014 there have been 170 likes. Please keep up with the photographs and news items and share with your friends and colleagues!
Ruth Sanderson Donates Illustration to Festival Gallery Collection
Ruth Sanderson, a presenter at the 2013 Festival, surprised Dr. David E. White during the Friday dinner with a donation for the Festival Gallery Collection. The contribution is from her book Mother Goose and Friends (2008). An image can be found on the Festival Facebook page. Ruth had previously donated a piece from her version of Goldilocks (2009).
Brian Lies Tribute to the Uniqueness of the Festival Gallery Collection
17 December 2013
I had the pleasure of being one of the speakers at the 2013 Children's Literature Festival, and though I had heard about the Festival Gallery Collection before, I really wasn't prepared to be as impressed by it as I was. It is a collection that grows on you. My first impression was a modest one – there's a hallway, with art in frames. As I started to look, I recognized illustrations from famous children's illustrators and authors. A lot of artwork, I thought. But as I continued down the hallway, my impression changed. It wasn't a single hallway, after all. It was a maze of halls, each revealing more work from some of the best illustrators in children's literature.
And then I started picking up on what sets this collection apart from other collections of children's illustration I have seen – its interest in process, along with displaying finished pieces. Galleries I've visited before might hang art thematically, to show how different illustrators render something like water, night skies, etc. Or they'll show a larger collection of a single illustrator's art. But here, there are multi-piece displays showing the thinking of the illustrators – how a single piece began with sketches and carried through to the finished art. All of the supporting materials for a finished piece, laid out in front of you. This is something other collections either can't or don't show.
Understanding process is more educational than just seeing finished artwork. It creates a link to the illustrator, whether you're a student, an educator or another professional illustrator. We come to understand why the finished piece is the best it can be, because of those choices spelled out in the array of images in front of us. Why did the illustrator select this particular perspective for the piece? How might it have looked had the illustrator made other choices? Seeing sketches with cross-outs and marginal notes creates a private dialogue with the illustrator, an intimate moment looking into his or her unguarded thoughts. It's like going backstage in a theater to see the stagecraft – the various props and devices that create the magic of a theatrical experience – and rather than stealing from that magic, it enhances it. You come away understanding that pictures in children's books aren't merely instinctive jottings on paper, but the result of many trials, dead ends and changes, decisions every bit as serious and important as those made by writers for adult literature. And when you know how much goes into these pieces, you have a greater appreciation for that process, which you can then carry into your own work – again, as an educator, a student, or an illustration professional.
Likewise, the Festival Owl Project might at first glance seem like a pleasant vanity. Look – we've gotten lots of people [105 owls currently] to create owls! Yet as you start down the hallway in which they are hung and look at each owl, you notice how remarkably varied they are in tone, style and medium. Some are humorous, some fine art. Some are loose and spontaneous, while others are scientific in their fine details. By the time I came to the end of the hallway full of owls, I couldn't help but feel an appreciation for the overall community of illustrators who make art for children's books. Whereas the Collection focuses on individual pieces, the Festival Owl Project creates a sense of the rich variety of artists and personalities working in the field.
Brian Lies Donation Emphasizing the Festival Collections Educational Mission
When Brian Lies toured the Festival Gallery Collection on October 25, 2013, he was so impressed by its educational mission that he wrote a tribute found above. He wanted to support us with this goal and donated five preliminary steps leading up to the finished illustration with a letter explaining the process from his book Bats at the Ballgame . Framed separately is the finished illustration. An image appears on the Festival Facebook page.
Brian Lies Donates Owl #105
Keene State College's mascot is the owl. The Festival Owl Project was started in 1997. The only requirement is that the artist be a published children's book illustrator and that the owl is created specifically for KSC. Brian Lies' contribution shows an owl reading a "Dear John" letter out of which is falling an engagement ring. Brian describes the scene this way: "Having realized his grievous error in accidentally consuming Adele Mouse's father, Custis Owl ponders his future without her." An image of this owl can be found on the Festival Facebook page.
Creating this owl has led Brian to a new and exciting project. To learn of this, go to http://brianlies.blogspot.com/
Higgins Bond Donates Illustration to Festival Gallery Collection
The Massachusetts Festival Advisory Board member is Melissa Stewart, the author of over 150 nonfiction books for young readers. There is much information about Melissa and her books at her web site at www.melissa-stewart.com. Her book A Place for Birds, published in 2009, is illustrated by Higgins Bond. After hearing from Mellissa about the Festival Gallery Collection and that Keene State College’s mascot is an owl, Higgins donated a watercolor illustration of an owl from this book to the Festival Gallery Collection.
Diane deGroat Makes Significant Donation
Diane deGroat, who will be a speaker at our 2014 Festival on October 25th, has donated an original illustration from CHARLIE AND THE CHRISTMAS KITTY (2012), written by Ree Drummond. Accompanying the original is a letter explaining the steps Diane uses in creating a finished illustration and those pieces. A special wall in the Gallery Collection has steps leading to finished illustrations by Brian Lies and Diane. Images can be found on the Festival Facebook page.
Marcia Sewall Donation
Marcia Sewall donated all of her illustrations from her book The Pilgrims of Plimoth to the Plimoth Plantation. A companion book is People of the Breaking Day about the Wampanoag tribe with whom the Pilgrims interacted. Marcia wanted a good home for the original illustrations from this book and donated all of the original art from this book to our Festival Gallery Collection. We thank Marcia for this very significant donation!
Kayser Family Fund Donation
On February 22, 2013 Festival Director David E. White gave a tour of the Festival Gallery Collection to participants in the Cheshire Academy for Lifelong Learning Institute. Afterwards, Marcia Kayser talked to him, saying she was very impressed by what we offer to children, actually all people, regarding the illustration of childrens books. As a result, she donated $2,000 from the Kayser Family Fund to support the Collection. Half of the money was used to purchase an illustration by Boris Kulikov from Lori Segal’s book Morris The Artist (2003). This illustration is being used for the 2013 Festival flyer and poster.
Bats at the Library Illustration
Using the remaining half of the donation by the Kayser Family Fund and contributions from KSC alumni, an illustration from Brian Lies’ book Bats at the Library (2008) was also purchased. The significance of this acquisition is noted in communication between Director David E. White and Brian in an email: “I do believe I wasn't speaking out of turn when I said this was the first piece of my illustration that I've sold. It's certainly true that it's the first one I've ever sold to be acquired for a collection, and the first of the bat book illustrations that I've released for anything. It's possible that I've sold one or two minor magazine or newspaper illustrations in the past, but nothing that I can recall. I've donated a couple of pieces of book art for charity benefits, though.” Keene State College is extremely fortunate to have this significant illustration as part of the Festival Gallery Collection.
Online Registration for Festival
Beginning with the 2012 Festival, registration will be done online. Once our flyer is mailed in mid-August, a link will be pasted on the home page for people to use to register. MasterCard, Visa, and e-checks are the accepted forms of payment. Your payment will appear on your bank or credit card statement as "USNH events/dues/gift." Registrants will receive a receipt and can click to receive a parking permit.
Owl #103 was contributed by Giles Laroche of Salem, Massachusetts. His three-dimensional owl is constructed of cut paper and paint. Willow Bascom of Plymouth, Vermont donated Owl #104. It is drawn with pen and markers on paper. Entitled "Mola Owl," it was influenced by the art of the Kuna in Panama.
E. B. Lewis Donates Illustration
When E. B. Lewis spoke at the 2011 Festival, he pulled Director Dr. David E. White aside and said, "I have something for you." His gift for the Festival Gallery Collection is an illustration done in watercolor from Little Cliff's First Day of School.
Susan Cooper Donates Two Pieces to Festival Gallery Collection
Susan Cooper, who spoke at our 2010 Festival, contacted Director Dr. David E. White to say that she had two illustrations that she wanted to donate to the Festival Gallery Collection. Cooper, well-known for her Dark Is Rising series, is also the author of several picture story books. She collaborated with English illustrator Warwick Hutton on The Silver Cow, The Selkie Girl, and Tam Lin. Warwick Hutton died in 1994 and Cooper was recently able to acquire two pieces from his estate that she donated to our Festival Gallery Collection. One is a working drawing for Beauty and the Beast and the other is a finished illustration from The Nose Tree.
Director Dr. David E. White's 2011 Spring Sabbatical
Another goal was to acquire art by illustrators not represented in the Collection. A database with contact information for 42 artists not represented was created and they were contacted about availability of art and pricing. Twenty-two pieces by 13 artists was the result. Their art now hangs in an expanded area for the Collection in Rhodes Hall. UV filters were installed in that area to protect the art.
A significant accomplishment was the training of three docents to help Dr. White give tours. A printed Collection Tour Guide was prepared and Dr. White provided the training with the hopes that teachers at all levels, as well as interested individuals, would contact us about providing tours.
26 Pieces by 15 New Artists Added to the Festival Gallery Collection
Gallery Tours Available
In late spring they gave tours to several classes from two Keene elementary schools. The teachers had worked with our tour guides ahead of time to make their visits more meaningful.
These tours are appropriate for very young children, high school and college students, as well as adults interested in learning more about the process in which children's book illustrations are created.
To schedule a tour, either call Dr. White at 603-358-2302 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Collection is housed on the first floor of Rhodes Hall. It is open to the public during the following hours:
In addition, we have received word from Willow Bascom of VT that her donation will soon be arriving. It will be owl #104. Illustrators wanting to be included in our owl collection can check the Owl Project on our home page.
Ruth Sanderson Donates To Festival Gallery Collection
Thank You, Alumni!!!
Thank you, alumni, for being so generous! We look forward to increasing the number of artists with your continued donations.
Festival Gallery Collection Purchases New Works
U.S. Secretary of Education Visits Keene State College
Among the reasons Keene State College was selected were its innovations in the preparation of teachers and collaborations with local schools. Festival Director Dr. David E. White was asked at the end of the event to present the College's gift.
What an honor for 2009 Festival speaker Lita Judge, of Peterborough, New Hampshire, as well as for the Festival, that the present was a framed poster for this year's Festival. The art is from Lita's book Pennies for Elephants, and the original hangs in our Festival Gallery Collection.
Jane Yolen Donates to Gallery Collection
Katherine and John Paterson Donate to Gallery Collection
Festival Director Acquires Art by Seven New Artists for Collection
Victoria Chess Continues to Support Festival Gallery Collection
Donna Diamond Now Represented in Festival Gallery Collection
Gallery Collection Adds Works by Andrew Glass, Steven Kellogg, and Tasha Tudor
The Children's Literature Festival Gallery has added five new pieces to its growing collection, and three of these works are by artists not formerly represented in our collection.
We purchased a double-page spread by Festival 2008 presenter Steven Kellogg from Clorinda by Robert Kinerk (2003). This colorful illustration, in mixed water-based mediums, of the bovine ballerina Clorinda dancing before her barnyard friends will be used for the 2009 Festival flyer and poster. Steven has two other pieces in our collection, including one of the Festival owls.
We've also added two pieces by Tasha Tudor from the book Brite and Fair by Henry A. Shute. The pencil illustration and are from an edition printed in Peterborough, N.H., in 1968. One is of an old man with a turtle and the other is of the father in a doorway. They will be matted and framed together.
2008 Festival presenter Andrew Glass of New York donated two illustrations, both from The Erie Canal Pirates by Eric A. Kimmel (2002) who also presented at our 2008 Festival. The illustrations were created using oil-base paint, colored pencil, and turpenoid on paper. In discussing these works, Glass said, "I tried to approach the illustrations ... reflecting the spirit of half-reality fun in which the story was written, mixing slow-moving canal boats and swash-buckling pirates. There were real canal pirates on the canal, of course, but they weren't very swashbuckling - just armed thugs, probably dozing on the bank, waiting for what must have been an incredibly slow moving boat that certainly wasn't full of gold doubloons. I decided to go with the high-seas version of Bill McGrew, even if he was just the Terror of Buffalo."
2009-2010 Festival Scholarship Recipients Named
Each year the Festival gives one or two scholarships to deserving students. For eligibility requirements, check our Scholarships page. The selected students serve as student assistants at the Fall Festival, introduce one of the featured speakers, and do a three-credit independent study under the direction of Festival Director Dr. David E. White.
This year's recipients have designed projects directly related to some of the 2009 Festival speakers.
Peter Best, of Bow, NH, is majoring in English and Secondary Education, with a minor in writing. After graduating in May 2010, he will pursue a secondary teaching position, hopefully in New Hampshire. His independent study will examine how 2009 Festival speaker Jane Yolen has envisioned aspects of the Arthurian legend in five of her works.
Kade Hill, of Turner, ME, is also majoring in English and Secondary Education, with a minor in Film Studies. After graduating in May 2010, he will pursue teaching English, Film, and Theater in a secondary school in New England. His independent study will merge his interest in children's literature and film. He will be interviewing three of the 2009 speakers regarding the film adaptations of their novels.
Leonard Weisgard Donations to Festival Gallery Collection
Leonard Weisgard and Others: an Illustrator's Journey, an exhibit showcasing the work of Caldecott Award winner Leonard Weisgard (1916-2000) and other artists, was on display at the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery at Keene State College from June 7 to July 27, 2008. His three children, Ethan, Christina, and Abigail Weisgard, who live in Denmark, attended the opening reception on June 13th and presented Festival Director Dr. David E. White with two works for the Festival Gallery Collection.
The first was the cover of The Golden Egg Book when it was republished in 1971. "We were living in Denmark by then, and I think Leonard's choice of flowers is inspired by the Danish summers - lots of poppies and cornflowers!" Abby Weisgard explained. "He used a combination of gouache and collage, often dipping sponges in paint and using stencils. The other illustration is from The Macmillan Science-Life Series."
This second piece was framed with the tissue paper overlay on which Leonard Weisgard had written notes. The Festival is delighted to have these very significant pieces now hanging as part of our collection. We extend deep appreciation to the Weisgard family for their donation.
Three New Artists Represented in the Festival Collection
Three new artists have been added to the Festival Gallery Collection, and all three are from New Hampshire!
"These illustrations represent a true story based on the efforts my grandparents made to help people suffering after WWII. I used a realistic style to convey the historical nature of the story and to tie in with actual historical artifacts and photos used elsewhere in the book. 'Dropped From the Heavens' [one of our two illustrations] appears early in the book. The somber, blue and grey color depicts the fact that this is shortly after the war and the mother and daughter have learned how much they need to help people who are suffering in Europe. 'Father is Home' [the second illustration in our collection] appears near the end of the book. The bright, warm colors illustrate that it is a much happier time. Here, the family has succeeded in helping those who were suffering, and life is returning to normal. I spent every summer of my childhood living with my grandparents in their rustic farmhouse. My memory of this place was a great influence to the artwork."
Marty also said that the illustrations for Twelve Terrible Things (2008) "were the most difficult and the most rewarding ones I have done yet. The concept of the book is simple - a child's eye view of all the terrible things in life: dropped ice cream cones, the dentist, monsters under the bed, and granny coming to pinch your cheeks. The illustrations themselves were not simple at all ... The humor in this book is much darker than anything else I have done, and I had to be very careful with the ideas and artwork, as it was all too easy for things to go from subtly dark to simply frightening."
Beth Krommes (this year's recipient of the Caldecott Award)
Festival Display Cabinet Dedicated
In February 2004, as part of his sabbatical project, Dr. David E. White, Festival Director, initiated a fund-raising project to have a special Festival Collection display case built in Rhodes Hall, site of the Gallery Collection. Rhodes Hall is the most popular building on campus according to institutional research. Prospective students and their families tour the building when they visit our campus. In the middle of the Gallery is a large, curved cherry wall.
After two years, Dr. White was successful in raising enough money to have designed and constructed a lockable display case for this wall. The back of the cabinet is the cherry wall; the wood molding of the cabinets is cherry, as well. This cabinet will be used for rotating shows of various illustrations, displays of books by speakers at our annual October Festival, and additional educational presentations. The cabinet was designed by Maynard & Maynard Furnituremakers who also submitted the winning bid for its construction.
There were 70 donors who met the requirements for three different classifications of giving. Seven were in the highest donor category and they are Great Gray Owl Donors. Three of these donors are Mrs. Polly L. Croteau, former professor of Children's Literature at Keene State College, and her daughter and son-in-law. One donor was in the Snowy Owl category and 62 were in the Elf Owl classification. The display case was dedicated on Saturday, October 28, 2006 prior to the 30th Festival. It contained works by some of the 2007 Festival speakers.
Great Gray Owl Donors
Snowy Owl Donors
Elf Owl Donors