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“Spotted In The Park“, an illustration created for The New Yorker magazine’s “Blown Covers” blog, was accepted into the “Society of Illustrators” annual juried show. It was on display in the Society’s gallery in March, and will appear in the upcoming 55th Illustration Annual.
This piece, in the 2013 Communication Arts Illustration Annual, was created for the National Labor Federation’s 2013 Calendar, which features one illustration per month each by a different illustrator. Each illustrator gets a theme, and mine was the hidden epidemic of famine in America. Creating an illustration for the calendar has been an annual project for me for several years. The collaboration with art director, Mike Petteys, has been great, garnering a number of awards over the years.
This piece, in Creative Quarterly 30, was, like Spotted In The Park, created for The New Yorker magazine’s “Blown Covers” blog. The week’s contest was titled, “Man It’s Hot!” and the subject was global warming. I opted to show a heat wave striking even the polar cap and managed to sneak in a cause, air conditioning, along with an effect. This piece was selected as the best overall for that week.
“Digital Moat” is one of six pieces selected for the “Illustrators Club of Washington’s” annual juried show. I make an effort to include work commissioned by local art directors when I enter pieces in this show. One such art director is Roy Comiskey, whose enthusiasm for illustration is unmatched. This illustration, about the complexities faced by industry in keeping digital information secure, was for Security Management magazine.
Also included in “The Illustrators Club of Washington’s” exhibition is “So Hot You Could Fry an Egg.” It’s one of three illustrations I did for “Blown Covers” that is included in the “Illustrator Club” show, along with “Spotted In The Park” and “Igloo“. This was another entry in the “Man It’s Hot!” contest that dealt with global warming.
About “Blown Covers”: For some time, “Blown Covers”, a New Yorker magazine blog, had a weekly contest in which artists were given a New Yorker style “cover” theme and had a week to complete it. The results were then judged by New Yorker art director Françoise Mouly, and “Blown Covers”‘ Nadja Spiegelman. I only wish I had found the blog sooner than I did; the contest (sadly) came to an end only a couple of months after I stumbled upon it. But in those two months, I did some of my favorite pieces and made some new friends.
I was among eight artists invited to participate in a curated show at the Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum in Bethesda, MD. The other participants were Sally Wern Comport, Greg Harlin, Sterling Hundley, Warren Linn, Robert Meganck, Whitney Sherman, and Rob Wood. The idea: to show work by illustrators done not as assignments, but for other purposes. My artwork included personal pieces, work done for various handmade books, and several of the “Blown Covers” pieces, pieces that were given so much free rein that they became, in effect, personal pieces.
Many of the pieces in the show were works I’ve previously exhibited and discussed, but others were more recent. “Back to School” is another “Blown Covers” illustration and was, according to the museum’s director, among the most commented-upon works in the show. It shows that first day back to school from a parent’s perspective and is a piece I had to explain to my two children using carefully chosen words that must have worked, as the original artwork is now hanging in my son’s room.
“Last Waltz” is a personal piece, an exploration of positive and negative space. The inspiration for the artwork, a rumination on existence and nonexistence and on the fleeting nature of vitality and mortality, was the approaching death of a loved one as the date of Ratner show neared.
“Poster For Tomorrow” is the main project of “4tomorrow”, an independent, nonprofit organization based in Paris. Its goal is to “encourage the design community to make posters to stimulate debate on issues that affect us all.” The theme of the most recent competition was “Gender Equality.” A jury of international designers selected 300 finalists out of thousands of posters submitted by artists from more than eighty countries. One of those was my entry, a piece that relies on the use of color to convey its message. I take pride and find deep fulfillment in creating artwork that can create awareness or have an impact on issues that resonate with me; it is, to me, the most worthwhile use of one’s artistic gifts. (See Famine In America above, also a pro bono piece.)
© Michael Glenwood