This Wednesday I will head to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, to speak at the 23rd Annual Art Conference on Children’s Literature and the 2010 Ashley Bryan Art Series. My library talk is titled, “Through the Storm: Framing Social Issues in Books for Children”. I will discuss the visual devices used in my upcoming picturebook, A PLACE WHERE HURRICANES HAPPEN along with BIRD, and how artists use symbolism and visual metaphor to communicate to children about the tough issues in their world and help them negotiate trauma. I will go in depth on my research process for my books, and the choices I made in adding to the allegory of Hurricane Katrina. If you are in Florida please stop by to join the conversation.
At that time I will unveil a piece of original art that will be permanently housed in the Ashley Bryan Art Collection as a part of the library system’s research archive.
From the web site: The “Ashley Bryan Project” is the vision of Mr. Bryan with a two-fold mission: 1) to have a home where original works of art, including drafts, manuscripts, books, sketches, illustrations and other materials by children’s authors and artists are deposited and 2) to encourage research by authors, artists and others who are interested in promoting children’s literature and learning. With the intent of increasing children’s interest in and appreciation of literature and art, Ashley Bryan has challenged the Broward County African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) to create programs that make his vision a reality.
The AARLCC answers that challenge with two programs: “The Ashley Bryan Art Collection”
(ABAC) and the “Ashley Bryan Art Series Conference” (ABASC).
The ABAC is a collection of artwork of illustrators of African descent. The ABAC has as its core: eight original pieces by Ashley Bryan that were donated to the AARLCC by Dr. Henrietta M. Smith at the first ABASC in 2003. The AARLCC seeks to acquire and preserve papers and other materials from children’s authors, artists and illustrators and will seek donated works appropriate for addition to the collection. The artists’ works are deposited in the archives of the AARLCC and are available to researchers, as well as for exhibitions. These materials will eventually be digitized and made accessible online for study by researchers globally. Other materials will be used for continuing education and program purposes.
The Ashley Bryan Art Series Conference (ABASC) is a continuing education series for librarians, teachers and literacy professionals, and others engaged in the use of children’s literature to improve reading appreciation and skills. The ABASC provides resources for teachers, scholars, writers and artists who want to study the lives and works of authors and illustrators and their creative philosophies. Books written and/or illustrated by persons of African descent are promoted during this conference. Attendees are also introduced to African-centered art forms, including but not limited to, storytelling, music, song, dance and crafts.