Bryan Collier at the Central Library

Uptown by Bryan Collier

Uptown by Bryan Collier

Multnomah County Library puts on some great programs for kids, we feel very fortunate to have access to such dynamic library services.  This Thursday, chidren’s book illustrator Bryan Collier will speak at the Central Library followed by a book signing.  Bryan’s art is a lush combination of paint and collage which captures not just his subject, but the moods of moment.  His illustrations for Rosa, a biography of Rosa Parks, and Martin’s Big Words, about Dr. Martin Luther King, were both given a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award.

Bryan spends a great deal of his time working with children and young artists and was the director of the  Harlem Horizon Art Studio for twelve years.  In interviews he seems as encouraging for his audience as he is passionate about his subject matter. In an interview with Reading Rockets, Collier said,

“1992 and 1993, I would go to the bookstores in the children’s books section, and I never really saw books that looked like me. And this sort of set me on the quest of wanting to illustrate and tell stories and do stories that sort of sounded and felt like me, where I would paint people of color, mainly, and sort of tell our stories. And there’re so many wonderful and diverse ways to do that, and I just think that that’ll be wonderful as an artist, to sort of use your artwork to sort of do something like that.”

He has a new book which he’s illustrated, which is a biography of Barack Obama.  I’ll let the kids each pick out a book to get signed, the Obama book will be for me.  For more information about his Thursday talk and exhibit which runs through November 6th, check out the library’s website here…

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