Art museum illustrates childhood favorites

By Miranda Bader Juice Editor

The South Dakota Art Museum is expecting more foot traffic as a new exhibit The Original Art: Celebrating the Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration opens. 

“We’re really excited about this exhibit because it’s geared toward a younger audience. This is just a fun interactive exhibit for kids and family to see, and that’s unique,” said Marketing and Development Coordinator for the South Dakota Art Museum Stacey Buehner.

Sponsored by David, Patricia Meyer and First Bank and Trust, the exhibit is an annual showcase created to display the year’s best children’s book illustrations. The display can give an opportunity to local artists to become inspired and branch out of their comfort zone of common mediums. 

“It’s a unique display because we have the pillows and stuff, and the display is for kids so it’s different than the other ones,” said senior Apparel Merchandising major Chana Gottslesben who is doing work study at the South Dakota Art Museum. 

The exhibit is set up logically, with illustrations based on real stories, sea and ice, and then on to more of the robots, aliens and monsters. All of the books were recently published in either 2011 or 2012.

“It’s really fun and we have great spaces for kids to come and get creative,” said Art Museum’s Coordinator/Curator of Exhibitions Jodi Lundgren. “It’s fun and a little bit out of the usual. There is an incredible mix of technology and hand-drawn talent.”

The display is child-friendly, with colorful ottomans and seats for children to grab a good read or even create their own book. The museum has also supplied colored pencils, crayons, etc. for the children to create their own books. Ten books at a time are placed in the center of the exhibit for visitors to read. They are rotated out so that all 40 of the books displayed can be seen. Each of the illustrations is an original work, which were then scanned and sized into the books for publishing.

The Original Art was first displayed 34 years ago (1979) at the Master Eagle Gallery in New York City. Ever since gaining popularity from the first exhibit, and recognition from the mayor, The Original Art has been displayed all around the U.S. and never failed to be a success. 

Parents can bring their children to the Art Museum for book readings on Saturdays until Jan. 5, 2014. You can also find more information on this exhibit on the South Dakota Art Museum website.