Exhibition Looks at 25 Years of Work by Nation’s Premier Historical Picture Book Illustrator
I had the privilege of of attending the opening reception, for Wendell Minor's exhibition, November 9, at NRM with JMS Literacy Specialist, Barbara Connery; Wamogo High School Art Teacher, Wendy Costa; and Wamgo Ag-Ed Teacher, Chris Brittain. The exhibit was extraordinary! As I, myself was an Illustration major at Moore College of Art, I have always been inspired by the great illustrators of America such as Norman Rockwell who illustrated over 320 Saturday Evening Post Covers, the likes of Andrew Wyeth who captured the world around him in Chadds Ford, Pa, and the legendary Howard Pyle, who depicted pirates and ships, Treasure Island. Not only was Mr. Minor present, but also David McCullough, an American author, narrator, and historian. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian award.
After both gentlemen spoke I made a mad dash for the gift shop and purchased two children's books: The Last Train by Gordan Titcomb and Wendell Minor and Buzz Aldrin: Look to the Stars by Wendell Minor. I managed to be tenth in line to get my books autographed by Wendell Minor. I even got a picture of me with Mr. Minor. Mrs. Connery introduced me to Gordan Titcomb who is not only an author but a musician. Mr. Titcomb signed The Last Train for me, too! I have included the song at the end of this blog post. The evening was a spectacular way to celebrate literacy, illustration and history.
On Tuesday, I was fortunate to chaperone and to facilitate discussion in a field trip for the Goshen Center 5th and 6th grade students. Later this month, James Morris students will take a field trip to see some of the greatest historical illustrators of our time. Students are applying 21st Century skills by "reading" paintings, describing and analyzing artwork, and writing their own stories in a collaborative manner. The enthusiasm and energy is a positive force among students. We are surrounded by picture books, but the pictures became alive at the museum.
"If you traveled the roads of colonial America, colorful hand-painted signs would greet you when you came across an inn or tavern, and inside, folks would be gathered to eagerly share the news of the day. Wendell Minor invites us on just such a journey through America in the days of its struggle for independence. Each striking illustration, painted on hand-carved replicas of these signs, introduces readers to the people, places and events that gave birth to our nation. Beginning with the Stamp Act that angered the patriots and inspired the "Sons of Liberty" to protest, readers meet George Washington (who gave his farewell speech to his soldiers at Fraunces Tavern), Thomas Jefferson (who penned the first draft of the Declaration of Independence at a Philadelphia tavern) and other historical figures, and learn about the documents and battles that keep the fight for freedom alive."--Yankee Doodle America: The Spirit of 1776 from A to Z.