Mentor Public Library’s Main Branch is hosting a special exhibition this summer that highlights the art found within African-American children’s picture books.
Telling A People’s Story: African-American Children’s Illustrated Literature includes 130 pieces of art from 33 artists from 95 books and spans 50 years of creativity. The featured artists include Caldecott medalists and honorees like John Steptoe, Leo and Diane Dillon, Javaka Steptoe, Jerry Pinkney and E.B. Lewis.
The exhibit is organized by the Miami University Art Museum through a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation. It’s the first major museum exhibition devoted to the art within the pages of African-American children’s picture books.
Across 12 panels, the exhibit follows the history of a people from African origins to slavery and segregation through the Harlem Renaissance, Great Migration, Civil Rights Era and to modern times.
Telling A People’s Story uses paintings, pastels, drawings and mixed-media illustrations to celebrate the complex and diverse African-American experience through a lens intended for children and younger readers.
The exhibition is free to enjoy from June 3 to Aug. 29 in the lobby of MPL’s Main Branch. All are invited to see it. Kids, ages 12 and younger, can win a small prize by reading the books highlighted in the exhibit.