Founded in 1980 by illustrators’ agent and art director Dilys Evans, this exhibit showcases original art from the year’s best children’s books as determined by a jury of outstanding illustrators, art directors, and editors. The jury also selects Gold and Silver Medal recipients for the year’s exhibit.
The 2021 Gold Medal is awarded to Decur for When You Look Up (Enchanted Lion Books). Silver medals are awarded to Floyd Cooper for Sprouting Wings: The True Story of James Herman Banning, the First African American Pilot to Fly Across the United States (Penguin Random House | Crown) and Evan Turk for The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art (ABRAMS | Abrams Books for Young Readers).
The Original Art honors exceptional children’s book artists in two other award categories each year.
The Dilys Evans Founder’s Award celebrates the year’s most promising new talent in the field. The 2021 jury has selected Anna Pirolli for Anonymouse (Tundra Books).
The Lifetime Achievement Awards recognize artists whose body of work documents an innovative and pioneering contribution to the field. Nominees in two categories, Contemporary and Posthumous, are put forward by past chairs of The Original Art. Then the winners are selected by artists whose work has been juried into the show in previous years. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winners are Melissa Sweet and Leonard Weisgard.