R. Michelson Galleries 33rd Annual Children’s Illustration Celebration

On November 13, I went to the opening reception of the 33rd Annual Children’s Illustration Celebration at the R. Michelson Galleries, the first in-person reception since pre-COVID. Located in Northampton, Massachusetts, the gallery — per Rich Michelson's opening remarks — has "seen our artists garner eighteen Caldecott Medals and forty-three Caldecott Honor Awards; the totals are up one each from last year now that Jason ChinCaldecott Medal — and Micha Archer — Caldecott Honor — have been honored this year."

Among the magnificent, compelling, eye-catching, and thought-provoking pieces were two that were recent Horn Book Magazine covers: Jason Chin's original art (with sketch!) from the July/August 2022 issue commemorating his aforementioned Caldecott win for Watercress by Andrea Wang, which was also a 2021 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award honoree (watch and read their BGHB speeches); and the November/December 2022 Magazine's cover art by Micha Archer from Snow Horses: A First Night Story written by the late Patricia MacLachlan.

The exhibit also features work by Bryan Collier (amazingly dimensional), Raul Colón, Matthew Cordell, Ekua Holmes, Philip and Erin Stead, Rosemary Wells, and so many other greats...click through. In addition, there's the Mo Willems and Mark Brown bank vault, the Sendak and Seuss sculptures, Grace Lin's covers, Jerry Pinkney's lion (sans mouse), and on and on. 

The show is up through January 15, 2023. If you're not yet convinced, the gallery provides thirty-three reasons to go. "On six occasions when the Medal was announced, the winning work was already on view in our gallery, so look around carefully," said Rich. "There is a good chance this year’s Caldecott-winning artwork is on the wall in front of you."

Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons University and a BA from Oberlin College.

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