Last week, the Society of Illustrators in New York City officially launched its Original Art Exhibition of the best of children's book illustration with an awards ceremony. Winning the 2023 Original Art Lifetime Achievement Awards were William Joyce and Dahlove Ipcar.
William Joyce is a wonderful artist and writer who has written and illustrated dozens of children's books like Dinosaur Bob, George Shrinks, and Rolie Polie Olie, the latter of which was made into a Disney animated TV show. His A Day with William Robinson was made into the Disney animated movie Meet the Robinsons. Dahlov Ipcar was an artist and writer who created such books as I Like Animals and The Cat at Night.
The Original Art Exhibition is an amazing annual show that the Society of Illustrators puts on, displaying on its walls the best of children's book illustration for the year.
This year, the Gold Medal Award went to Felicita Sala for her book As Night Falls: Creatures That Go Wild After Dark.
The Silver Medals went to Victoria Tentler-Krylov for I'm Gonna Paint and Marla Frazee for The Great Zapfino. I'll always love Marla Frazee for illustrating one of my and my kids' favorite books, Seven Silly Eaters.
And the Dilys Evans Founder's Award went to X. Fang for Dim Sum Palace.
If you're in, or can be in, New York City this fall, this annual show is always fantastic. And it's great to go with kids; the art is made for them, and it's great fun for them to find the art on the walls in the corresponding books in bookshelves in the rooms. It's a way of connecting for them art that they can see was made by real hands with art that's in the books they love. And I'd make a list of their favorites, order them from the library, and in a couple of weeks we'd have a stack of new books that they chose.
The show is truly a hidden gem of New York.
All images, photo credit: Ruben Bolling