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The Original Art is an annual exhibit created to showcase illustrations from the year’s best children’s books published in the U.S. For editors and art directors, it’s an inspiration and a treasure trove of talent to draw upon. For art students, it’s a marvelous opportunity to examine—up close—the work of the best in the field. And for the public, it’s a chance to appreciate the enormous range of creativity in children’s books and to see the printed pages alongside the original paintings, drawings, prints, and collages they represent.

Founded by painter, art director, and artists’ representative Dilys Evans, The Original Art was first exhibited in 1980 at the Master Eagle Gallery in New York City. On display was the work of a wide variety of artists, some well-known and well-loved, some newcomers to the field. The show was an instant success, even receiving a proclamation of appreciation from the mayor’s office, and it has been popular ever since.

In 1990, The Original Art found a permanent home at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators in New York City. It also became a juried event, with a committee of children’s book artists, art directors, editors, and publishers selecting the best books from among hundreds of submissions and awarding Gold and Silver medals to the top pieces and the Dilys Evans Founders Award to the most promising newcomer to the field.

2023 Award Winners

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Previous Original Art Winners

2022 OA Awards Winner: Leo Espinosa (Gold Medal), Zoë Tilley Poster (Silver Medal), Briana Mukodiri Uchendu (Silver Medal), Zahra Marwan (Dilys Evans Founder’s Award)

2021 OA Awards Winners: Decur (Gold Medal), Floyd Cooper (Silver Medal), Evan Turk (Silver Medal), Anna Pirolli (Dilys Evans Founder’s Award)

2020 OA Awards Winners: Cátia Chien (Gold Medal), Frank Morrison (Silver Medal), Jillian Tamaki (Silver Medal), Peter Van den Ende (Dilys Evans Founder’s Award)

2019 OA Award Winners: Melissa Castrillon (Gold Medal), Frank Morrison (Silver Medal), Sydney Smith (Silver Medal), Chris Sasaki (The Dilys Evans Founder’s Award)

2018 OA Award Winners: José Ramirez (Gold Medal), Blexbolex (Silver Medal), Jessica Love (Silver Medal), Luisa Uribe (Dilys Evans Founder’s Award)

2017 OA Award Winners: Beatrice Alemagna (Gold Medal), Gilbert Ford (Silver Medal), Rafael López (Silver Medal), Victo Ngai (Dilys Evans Founder’s Award)

2016 OA Award Winners: B. B. Cronin (Gold Medal), Beth Krommes (Silver Medal), Daniel Miyares (Silver Medal), The Fan Brothers (Dilys Evans Founder’s Award)

2015 OA Award Winners: JiHyeon Lee (Gold Medal), Ekua Holmes (Silver Medal), Anton Van Hertbruggen (Silver Medal), Leo Espinosa (Dilys Evans Founder’s Award)

2014 OA Award Winners: Carson Ellis (Silver Medal), Gary Kelley (Silver Medal), Mike Curato (Founder’s Award)

2013 OA Award Winners: Jennifer Yerkes (Gold Medal), Jon Klassen (Silver Medal), Simona Mulazzani (Silver Medal), Yuk Shimizu (Founder’s Award)

2012 OA Award Winners: Laëtitia Devernay (Gold Medal), Steve Jenkins (Silver Medal), Jon Klassen (Silver Medal), The Brothers Hilts (Founders Award)

2011 OA Award Winners: Rosalyn Schanzer (Gold Medal), Kadir Nelson (Silver Medal), Lane Smith (Silver Medal), Zachariah Ohora (Founders Award)

2010 OA Award Winners: Renata Liwska (Gold Medal), Carson Ellis (Silver Medal), Dan Santat (Silver Medal), Hyewon Yum (Founders Award)

2009 OA Award Winners: Kadir Nelson (Gold Medal), Brian Floca (Silver Medal), Kevin Hawkes (Silver Medal), Lincoln Agnew (Founders Award)

2008 OA Award Winners: Suzy Lee (Gold Medal), Kadir Nelson (Silver Medal), Bill Mayer (Silver Medal)

2007 OA Award Winners: Mark Newgarden and Megan Montague Cash (Gold Medal), Guy Billout (Silver Medal), Christopher Myers (Silver Medal)

2006 OA Award Winners: Elisha Cooper (Gold Medal), Craig Frazier (Silver Medal)Jeanette Winter (Silver Medal)

2005 OA Award Winners: Kadir Nelson (Gold Medal), Quentin Blake (Silver Medal)Nick Maland (Silver Medal)

2004 OA Award Winners: Gennadi Spirin (Gold Medal), Holly Berry (Silver Medal)Kevin Hawkes (Silver Medal)

2003 OA Award Winners: Peter Sís (Gold Medal), Greg Couch (Silver Medal), Andrea U’Ren (Silver Medal), Sandy Turner (Silver Medal)

2002 OA Award Winners: Peter McCarty (Gold Medal), Stephen Huneck (Silver Medal)Kadir Nelson (Silver Medal)

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