A National Traveling Exhibit Opens in Batesville Jan 25

“Draw Me a Story: A Century of Children’s Book Illustration” will be on view from January 25 through March 15 at Old Independence Regional Museum. The exhibit explores one hundred years of bold adventures, classic fairy tales, amazing animals, and imaginative ABCs, all seen through the eyes of forty-one artists who have created works especially for children.

The exhibit’s opening program at the museum will be presented by Barbara Satterfield, Director of the Baum Gallery of Fine Art at the University of Central Arkansas, on Sunday, January 30, at 2 p.m. As a child, a mother of two, and a grandmother of three, Satterfield has loved and continues to be an advocate for children’s books and children’s book illustration. Before pursuing post-graduate work 15 years ago, she attended children’s book writing workshops at Vassar College and Rhodes College, Martha’s Vineyard, and a writing/illustration workshop with Robert Quackenbush in New York City. Then an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, she sold a manuscript to Fairview Press titled The Story Dance, that was published in 1996.

“A highlight of my adult life was to walk in bunny slippers through Beatrix Potter’s farmhouse during a literary tour of England. Her stories and illustrations preserve the social and cultural milieu of her time, just like Neil Gaman’s children’s books do today,” Satterfield said. “That’s the enduring power of writers and illustrators who take a moment in time, and make it timeless for those of us who will always be children at heart.”

Satterfield has curated and coordinated over 100 exhibitions, a variety of seminars and educational activities, and numerous resource speakers. She has positioned the gallery as an informal learning lab to encourage interactivity and dialogue about all components of visual art: the creators, studio processes, history, criticism, curation, and cultural contexts. Prior to her association with the Baum Gallery, she was an assistant in the Office of Exhibitions, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
“We invite the public to attend this opening program, to view the exhibit, and to let their memories carry them back to happy moments in their childhood. This new exhibit has the power to draw us into story again,” Twyla Wright, museum curator said.  “A good children’s picture book still has the power to whisk young minds off to another time and place—even in today’s world of computer games and high-definition TV.,” quoted Amanda Nikkel, museum educator.

Originating from the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, Draw Me a Story features 40 original works of art and 13 books in a 130-year thematic and nostalgic journey through the history of children’s book illustrators and illustration techniques.  Including such well-known artists as Ralph Caldecott, Kate Greenaway, W.W. Denslow, William Steig, Edward Ardizzone, Lois Lenski, Tomie DePaola, Maurice Sendak, Rosemary Wells, Patrick McDonnell, and Chris Van Allsburg, this exhibition explores the process of illustration and its evolution over time, from simple, traditional media to more experimental combinations of pen, pencil, paint, and ink.  Not only do these images reveal the artist’s hand and mind at work, but also they offer glimpses into the social and aesthetic trends of different periods from the 1870s to 2006.

The exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. ExhibitsUSA sends more than 20 exhibitions on tour to more than 100 small- and mid-sized communities every year. Mid-America is the oldest nonprofit regional arts organization in the United States.