The Dixon Gallery and Gardens will host a free family day event next Saturday, November 12th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in honor of its current exhibition of works from renowned children's book author and illustrator, Brian Selznick. From Houdini to Hugo: The Art of Brian Selznick, features over 100 pencil illustrations, pen and ink drawings, acrylics, and models displaying the artist's proficiency with the world of imagination. The exhibition, organized by the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas, also contains The Room of Wonders in the Dixon's Children's Interactive Discovery Room. The gallery will engage kids through Hat Stories, an activity in which a character is drawn at random out of a hat for the child to then illustrate in its own narrative, as well as the Illusions Stage, complete with props and costumes. Family day will feature art activities, games, and demonstrations by local artists. Brian Selznick will also be on hand for a virtual Q&A session via Skype. Refreshments will be provided along with live music from The Wuvbirds.
Selznick received a 2002 Caldecott Honor for illustrating The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley, and took the 2008 Caldecott Medal for his groundbreaking work, The Invention of Hugo Cabret - which has since been adapted for the screen by director, Martin Scorsese, to be released at the end of this month. The massive novel blends words and pictures in such a way that Selznick's drawings don't simply illustrate his story, they help to tell it, in an endeavor that goes beyond both picture book and graphic novel. Inspired by Gaby Wood's Edison's Eve and the story of French filmmaker, Georges Méliès' lost collection of automata, Hugo's tale threads cinematic technique into the magically complex world of a Paris orphan with a knack for mechanical clockworks; exposing a new generation to the world of silent film, science-fiction, and all the possibility that lies beyond.
Selznick began his career after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design as a humble bookstore attendant at Eeyore's Books for Children in Manhattan. While developing an understanding and supreme fondness for the world of children's literature, he would paint the stores' windows for holiday displays and big events, and also published his first book, The Houdini Box in 1991 - two years before the beloved store was forced to close forever. He has since illustrated 19 books written by others, and five books of his own - including the exciting recent release, Wonderstruck.