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Christian Robinson, Last Stop on Market Street, © 2015, colored pencil and acrylic paint on paper

Woodson Art Museum Winter Exhibition Features Children's Book Illustrations

Radiating joy, artist Christian Robinson’s playful children’s book illustrations, featured in an exhibition opening at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, candidly address social issues while encouraging kindness to all.

What Might You Do? The Art of Christian Robinson, on view at the Woodson Art Museum December 4, 2021 through February 27, 2022 comprises his vibrantly exuberant work in acrylic paint, colored pencil, and collage illustrating 17 books.
Whether depicting a boy’s daydream doodles during a subway ride or the triumphs and travails of a Harlem Renaissance performer’s life, Robinson’s artwork openly addresses social ills – from making flawed assumptions about others to discrimination based on differences – all while conveying delight and hope.
Robinson, a Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Illustrator honoree, also is an author, designer, and animator whose joyfully inclusive artworks encourage empathy for others and valuing all.
Raised by his aunt and grandmother with a brother and two cousins in a one-bedroom California apartment, drawing was the way Robinson created space for himself and the kind of world he wanted to see. After studying animation at the California Institute of the Arts, he later worked with the Sesame Workshop and Pixar Animation Studios before becoming an illustrator of children’s books.
His picture book Another asks “what if you encountered another perspective, discovered another world, met another you? What might you do?” Robinson’s motivational spark for this story was a desire for children to see themselves reflected on the page. “As a child, I loved stories in which the main character goes on some magical adventure to a world where anything is possible. Oftentimes, those characters didn’t look like me or come from a community that reflected my own,” Robinson said. “I want kids today to have a different experience.”
Continuing its commitment to presenting biennial exhibitions of children’s illustrated literature, the Woodson Art Museum scheduled What Might You Do? The Art of Christian Robinson before the summer 2020 protests nationwide highlighted racial justice issues. Robinson’s recent high-profile projects include illustrating The Bench, a children’s book written by Meghan the Duchess of Sussex, partnering with Target for a collection of children’s clothing, books, and home accessories, and illustrating a children’s book about Nina Simone, the prolific composer and singer behind “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” among many other songs.
“What Might You Do? The Art of Christian Robinson,” features artwork from 17 books including Milo Imagines the World, Robinson’s most recent collaboration with author Matt de la Peña, and Robinson’s solo projects Another, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2019, and You Matter, a New York Times bestseller. This exhibition was organized by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, Texas.

Snow Sculpture, Saturday, January 29, Noon – 5 pm

Team USA Snow Sculptors – Mike Martino, Tom Queoff, and Mike Sponholtz – inspired by Christian Robinson’s illustrations – work their winter wonders during their 32nd year creating snow sculptures at the Woodson Art Museum.

For more information, visit www.lywam.org, e-mail the Museum at info@lywam.org, call 715-845-7010, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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