E. B. Lewis (illustrator)

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E. B. Lewis (born 1956) is an illustrator, whose watercolors have included such works as Little Cliff and the Porch People. Lewis has been a resident of Folsom, New Jersey.[1]

Lewis won the 2006 Charlotte Zolotow Award for his illustrations of 'My Best Friend by Mary Ann Rodman.[2]

He illustrated many different picture books, among them The Other Side written by Jacqueline Woodson and Circle Unbroken written by Margot Theis Raven. Circle Unbroken was later set to music of William Grant Still and performed by members of Chamber Music Charleston for educational performances and the award winning film of the same name.

He currently sits on the board of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Biography[edit]

Earl Bradley Lewis was born on December 16, 1956, in Philadelphia.

E.B. Lewis has illustrated more than fifty books for children, including Nikki Grimes' Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman, the 2003 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner; Alice Schertle's Down the Road, an ALA Notable Book; Tolowa M. Mollel's My Rows and Piles of Coins, an ALA Notable Book and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; Bat Boy and His Violin by Garvin Curtis, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and Jacqueline Woodson's The Other Side, a 2002 Notable Book for the Language Arts.

Inspired by two artist uncles, as early as the third grade, Lewis displayed artistic promise. Beginning in the sixth grade, he attended the Saturday morning Temple University School of Art League and studied with Clarence Wood. Lewis attended the Temple University Tyler School of Art. There, he discovered his medium of preference was watercolor.

During his four years at Temple, Lewis majored in Graphic Design and Illustration and art education. After graduating, he taught art in public schools for twelve years. Presently, Lewis teaches at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, continues to paint and illustrate and is a member of The Society of Illustrators in New York City.

In 1992, Elizabeth O’Grady read a story about Lewis and saw examples of his wonderful watercolors in Artist Magazine. Previously, at a Society of Illustrators Annual Children’s Art Show, an art director from Simon & Schuster had asked Elizabeth to contact her if Elizabeth found any talented Afro-American artists who might want to illustrate children’s books. Elizabeth handed the magazine article about Lewis to her partner, Jeff Dwyer. He telephoned and explained the business of children’s book illustration to a quiet Earl B. Lewis. Lewis asked Jeff the names of other African-American children’s book illustrators, and after Jeff gave him the names of the “usual suspects,” Lewis told Jeff that he’d get back in touch with him if he was interested in pursuing children’s book illustration. About a week later, Lewis called and said, “Hey, I can paint better than those guys!” Within a year, Lewis had delivered his illustrations for Fire On The Mountain (S&S), quit his teaching job and began a career as a full-time children’s book illustrator.

In 2003, The Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota purchased a collection of original watercolors from Lewis’ first twenty-five children’s books. His work is owned by numerous private collectors and sold by art galleries throughout the United States.[3]

Awards[edit]

2003-Coretta Scott King Award Winner; 2005-Caldecott Honor for Coming on Home Soon; 2002-The Other Side, Notable Books for the Language Arts by Jacqueline Woodson; 1996 - Down the Road ALA Notable by Alice Schertle [3]

Recent Works[edit]

2011 “Lotto Icons – The Art of Compassion” “ I took a hiatus from my work, my fine art work, because I felt that it wasn’t relevant. I wanted it to say something. I wanted it to speak to what’s happening in our society, and as a result I took about two and a half years off to do this work.” - E.B. Lewis [4]

The result is the “Lotto Icons”, a series of small paintings on the face of lottery tickets, which have been covered with a layer of gold leaf, and then scratched off to reveal the faces of impoverished children, whose expressions belie the solemnity of their condition.

E.B. Lewis stated that "...the first series of [Lotto Icons] is an African American series. And then there are going to be series’ all over the world - so I’m doing children all over the world. The next series’ will be Asian, Latino, and so on, dealing with these issues of our children and how we need to really look at them and appreciate them." - E.B. Lewis [4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Adelson, Fred B. "ART; Children's Page Turners to Linger Over", The New York Times, January 9, 2000. Accessed December 9, 2007.
  2. ^ "My Best Friend". Cooperative Children's Book Center. UW-Madison. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Referenced, with permission, from http://www.eblewis.com
  4. ^ a b Verbal quote referenced, with permission, from http://www.eblewis.com

External links[edit]