Artwork by National Endowment for the Arts Council Member Jerry Pinkney Selected for National Book Festival
August 22, 2005
"When I put a line down, the only thing I know is how it should feel, and I know when it doesn’t feel right," award-winning illustrator Jerry Pinkney has said. He must be getting it right, since he was recently commissioned to create the artwork for the 2005 National Book Festival by the Library of Congress. Mr. Pinkney is a member of the National Council on the Arts, the advisory group for the National Endowment for the Arts. In this position, he works with NEA Chairman Dana Gioia and other council members to review recommended grant applications, and advise the agency on budget issues and policy directions, among other responsibilities. Mr. Pinkney has also illustrated more than 90 books, won the Caldecott Honor Medal and Coretta Scott King Award on numerous occasions, and has had more than 30 one-man retrospective shows at major U.S. venues. He has designed five stamps for the U.S. Postal Service.
This year, more than 75,000 booklovers are expected to attend the festival, which will feature more than 80 authors in various genres. Posters will be widely distributed at metro Washington D.C. school library centers, public libraries, bookstores, and the English and History Departments of local universities; they will also be available in the author pavilions at the National Book Festival on September 24.
"I’m pleased that the Library of Congress has recognized the talents of Mr. Pinkney with this commission," Arts Endowment Chairman Dana Gioia said. "His artwork has graced many fine volumes, and now even more booklovers will see his exceptional artistry and vision."
Mr. Pinkney added, "It truly is an honor and a privilege to be chosen to illustrate this poster. In searching for an image, I first asked myself the question: just what is the National Book Festival about? The answer seemed to me to be the experience of reading a good book. The journey is what I sought to visualize. The book would stand in as a physical pavilion where the reader could find an array of topics and subjects."
The fifth annual National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by Mrs. Laura Bush, will be held Saturday, September 24th on the National Mall between 7th and 14th Streets. The festival is free and open to the public.
Please see the 2005 National Book Festival poster.
Jerry Pinkney is an artist who has illustrated more than 80 children's books and 14 novels since 1960. He has had more than 30 one-man retrospective exhibitions of his work at museums ranging from the Art Institute of Chicago to the Omaha Children's Museum to the public libraries of Dallas and San Francisco to the California African American Museum. He has created commemorative stamps for the U.S. Postal Service honoring Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., Jackie Robinson, Scott Joplin, and Sojourner Truth. Other commissions have come from National Geographic, RCA Records, General Electric, the Franklin Mint, and Reader's Digest. Recent illustrated children's books include Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, The Little Match Girl, Uncle Remus, The Ugly Duckling, and Aesop's Fables. Mr. Pinkney is the only artist to have won the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration five times, and five of his works have been named Caldecott Honor Books. Born in Philadelphia, he attended the University of the Arts (formerly Philadelphia College of Art) and has been an art professor at the University of Delaware and Pratt Institute.
For more information about the National Council on the Arts and its Members, visit http://www.arts.gov/about/NCA/About_NCA.html or contact the NEA Office of Communications at 202-682-5570.
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