Bruce Museum ready to ‘Let It Snow’

A celebration of winter is coming to the Bruce Museum in the exhibition Let It Snow! Children’s Book Art, which is set to open Dec. 1.

This family-friendly exhibition of winter scenes from children’s books features more than thirty original artworks from favorite illustrators, including many living in the Connecticut region such as Lizzy Rockwell, Jennifer Thermes and Wendell Minor.

According to the museum, “The excitement of the snowy season is depicted in vivid winter landscapes, frolicking animals, and popular sports and games such as sledding, ice skating and snowball fights.” Displayed works present the range of media available to illustrators, including pen and ink, colored pencil, oil, watercolor, gouache, papercut, collage and digital media.

“Children’s books can be a playground for an illustrator’s creativity,” explained Helen Davie, whose work is on view in the exhibit.

In addition to viewing illustrations of the winter season, visitors will be encouraged to read from the many books represented in the exhibition in a designated reading corner, from classics like Andrea Wisnewski’s Little Red Riding Hood and Norman Bridewell’s The Clifford Series to new favorites like Lauren Castillo’s The Reader.

The exhibition will also explore the artistic process behind many of the works.

“There is a very detailed, three-dimensional anthropomorphic world, up there in my head,” illustrator Cyndy Szekeres said. “It has been there since I could read. Characters rattle around in my brain, tumble out and run around my desk.”

Some final illustrations in the gallery will be displayed alongside earlier versions, showing the progression towards a finished product. Additionally, the exhibition includes quotes from many of the artists discussing their artistic approaches and their development as illustrators.

Ms. Rockwell, for example, wants “to communicate to children that there is order in the universe… I try to create worlds in my books that explain nature, and show its order and beauty, that inspire creativity and self expression, and that model human beings who are reliable and kind.”

While Barbara Cooney recalls, “My favorite days were when I had a cold and could stay home from school and draw all day long.”

The Bruce Museum will offer public programs for families and children that complement the Let It Snow! exhibition, including a “Look and See” hour for young visitors on Dec. 5, Family Day on Dec. 9 and school vacation workshops in February. The Let It Snow! exhibit will run through Feb. 24, 2013. For additional information, call 203-869-0376 or visit Brucemuseum.org.

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