Learning to Juggle

April is going out with a bang! Last week I was the featured artist at the 23rd Annual Conference on Children’s Literature as a part of the Ashley Bryan Art Series. I was hosted by the wonderful librarians of the Broward County Library, specifically the African American Research Library and Cultural Center. If you are in Ft. Lauderdale please visit the Center. It is a beautiful library that houses many wonderful special collections. For example, there is the Alex Haley Collection (includes eight unfinished manuscripts by the author, scenes from Juffure in the Gambia, West Africa, where Kunta Kinte was born, cast photos from Roots, letters from prominent individuals and more), the Esther Rolle Collection (the collection consists of photographs, plaques, newspaper articles about her success as an actress. The collection also includes a painting of Esther Rolle, a dress worn by Rolle and awards, such as the NAACP Eight Image Award and Emmy Award- there’s an “actual” Emmy on display in the library! There the John & Vivian Hewitt Hatian Art and Book Collection (consists of books, artifacts, ephemera, sculptures, and paintings focusing on Haiti) and of course, there is the growing Ashley Bryan Art Collection (The ABAC is a collection of artwork of illustrators of African descent.)

View a photo album from AARLCC for May through July 2009. (.pdf – 2MB)

Thank you to Dr. Henrietta Smith, Elaina Norlin, Essie DeNoms, Eric Gomez, Joy Veasy, Marion Williams and the Friends of Broward County Libraries for making it such a memorable experience~

Next, I am off to NYC tomorrow to celebrate two friends, my cherished one, Taeeun Yoo as she accepts this year’s Ezra Jack Keats Illustrator Award, and Tonya Cherie Hegamin, this year’s EJK author! I’ll be in NY until Sunday.

The work still turns, so while I am in the big apple, I will be meeting one of my publishers to discuss an upcoming project (one that I can barely contain my excitement for, btw) and will be spending time in the NYPL working on revisions for another dummy. Then it’s back to NY to wrap up the last paintings for WHITE WATER and a school visit next week.

If anyone had told me two years ago that I would be challenged with balancing multiple projects and appearances, I don’t think I would have believed them.

Living the dream!