Within the framework of the exhibition "Artists and Masterpieces of Illustration" hosted at the prestigious New York headquarters of the Society of Illustrators – the oldest US nonprofit organization to champion the art of illustration since 1901 – a special panel was held on December 13rd featuring Paola Vassalli, curator of the exhibition, an expert in illustration and art education; Leonard S. Marcus, one of the greatest experts in children's literature, Elena Pasoli, Exhibition Manager of the Bologna Children's Book Fair; award-winning illustrators Beatrice Alemagna, Chris Rashka and Etienne Delessert (author of one of the introductory essays of the exhibition catalogue), and Maria Russo, Children’s Books Editor at The New York Times.
The exhibition opened on October 30th and will be on view until December 29th, 2018.
During the panel discussion, Paola Vassalli spoke about the work of curating the exhibition, mentioning some of the great artists who were included; Leonard S. Marcus focused his speech on the founding of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and how it played a vital role in the international growth of children’s books publishing; Etienne Delessert told about the experience of being a juror and participant in many activities of the Fair for several years; Beatrice Alemagna and Chris Rashka spoke about their work and about finding new exposure and support through the Exhibition, with a special tribute by Chris Rashka to his friend and fellow artist Vladimir Radunsky.
After opening in Italy, the exhibition - created in 2016 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Illustrators Exhibition - traveled to Poland, China and Brazil. It displays fifty original illustrations by fifty among the world most important illustrators who took part - and sometimes debuted - at the Bologna Illustrators Exhibition. Fifty great artists who influenced young generations of illustrators and readers and whose works compose a history of the art of illustration for children and young adults.
The event further strengthens the already close ties between the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and New York, following the success last May of the first New York Rights Fair co-organized by BolognaFiere.
“As the winner of the 2017 Original Art Gold Medal, I am truly honoured to be invited to speak about my work at the New York headquarters of the Society of Illustrators that’s also hosting the ‘Artists And Masterpieces Of Illustration’ exhibition”, commented Beatrice Alemagna, adding: “I’m all the more proud when I think that I’m self-taught, never having officially learned illustration as a trade but simply see it as the best way to express myself. I firmly believe that illustration is first and foremost this: getting across emotions through images, over and above technique or perfect execution”.