The Merwin & Wakeley Galleries
Illinois Wesleyan University
February 9 - March 31, 2015

(Galleries closed for spring break 3/7-3/15)


Anita Lobel

Tuesday, February 24 . . . 
Ames School of Art 7 pm: Gallery Talk in the Merwin & Wakeley Galleries
8 pm: Book Signing/Reception in the School of Art Lobby

Wednesday, February 25 . . . 
Westbrook Auditorium 11 am: Founders’ Day Convocation Presser Hall



All the World's A Stage
Anita Lobel

“I usually plan a book as a play. The pictures become 'scenes' with 'principals' and 'chorus' grouped and regrouped according to what is then happening in the story. Writing and illustrating books for children is a form of drama for me. I approach the construction of a picture book as if it were a theatre piece to be performed, assigning dialogue, dressing the characters, and putting them into an appropriate setting.”

Born in Cracow, Poland, award-winning picture book author-illustrator Anita Lobel is best known for her distinctive theatrical approach with all of the intensity and richness of an opera. As an artist, she is well known for creating evocative, detailed paintings in line-and-wash or watercolor and gouache that reflect her signature style of opulent costumes and tapestries, richly patterned landscapes, and colorful flowers.

One Lighthouse, One Moon; gouache; ©2000 by Anita Lobel.


Lobel’s world was turned upside down when she was only 5 years old. World War II began.  The Nazis burst into her home and stole many of the family’s possessions.  Anita and her brother spent years in hiding with their nanny, a loving Polish woman, first in the relatively safe countryside, then in the ghetto, and eventually in a convent, where the Nazis captured Anita and her brother. The two children were imprisoned in a succession of concentration camps, including Plaszow and Auschwitz.  Miraculously, Anita and her brother lived to witness the allied takeover of Ravensbruck. Red Cross workers transported the pair to Sweden, where they were later reunited with their parents.  In 1952, the family immigrated to the United States. "I had a wonderful nanny and when ... I was five years old ... the nanny took me and my younger brother into the Polish countryside—which was primitive, nasty, raw, and Catholic. That was on one side and the Nazis on the other. Aside from the fact that there was an outside force that hated us and chased us, I always felt my brother and I were protected by this person who chose to protect us. I loved her and she loved us, and I think that this was very important. I really feel Nanny's affection colors my work, because I don't feel I have to portray the awful bleakness of the time."

After graduating from high school, Lobel entered Pratt Institute to study for her B.F A. in fine arts. There, she became interested in the theater, where she met her future husband, Arnold, when she was cast in a play he was directing. The couple was married in 1955.

For several years after graduation Lobel worked as a textile designer. Susan Hirschman, who had discovered Arnold, asked Anita to do a book. Although hesitant herself, encouragement from them resulted with Sven's Bridge, published in 1965.  Potatoes, Potatoes by Lobel, the story for which was partly inspired from her childhood memories in Poland, has been considered one of her most affecting works.

Unlike many husband-and-wife teams, the Lobels did not initially collaborate on their books. They first combined their talents on How the Rooster Saved the Day, a book written by Arnold. 

They later collaborated on three more books, before Arnold’s death in 1987. Their third collaboration On Market Street, received several prizes, including the Boston Globe/Horn Book award for illustration and a Caldecott Medal honor in 1982.

Since then, Lobel has won much recognition. Her memoir of her childhood No Pretty Pictures was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1998. Lobel lives and works in New York City. 

This exhibition was organized by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, Texas


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February 9 - March 31, 2015

(Galleries closed for spring break 3/7-3/15)

Reception: 4-5PM
Paulson gallery talk: 4:15PM


Katherine Paulson

Globe de Mariee 3; 9"x 6"; flameworked glass, furnace glass, copper wire, mirror; 2014

"I work with glass as a sculptural medium because it allows me to make detailed, precious fragile objects. I value glass both for its inherent aesthetic properties (it can be transparent, translucent, shiny, hard, easily broken, etc.) and for the way it has historically been used (to make containers, vessels, lenses, mirrors, etc.). I find constant inspiration in both of the attributes of the material.

Much of the process of making my work involves using hot, liquid glass as a sculptural material. For me the manipulation of hot glass is a joyous exercise of muscle memory, material understanding and instantaneous reaction to the peculiarities of the substance.

In my current body of work I explore the line between highly decorative and downright bizarre. These pieces are heavily influenced by the Victorian aesthetic of using natural elements to construct quasi-scientific, wholly unnatural scenes that could not exist in the natural world. I want my viewer to look closer and be visually rewarded for that closer look. I want to communicate my own fascination with the incredible detail of the natural world and with the incredible detail that can be produced by the human hand."

Kit Paulson was born and raised in Illinois. She received her BFA with a concentration in glass from Alfred University in 2004 and spent the next few years honing her skills by working for and with other glass artists in various locations around the country. She has served as a teaching assistant at Penland School of Craft, Pilchuck Glass School and The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass. She has taught glassblowing at Making Glass (Highland Park, IL), Chaos Glass Studio (Evanston, IL) and Chicago Hot Glass (Chicago, IL). At the present time she is pursuing ideas in glass and video while teaching glassblowing at Chicago Hot Glass.

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Monday-Friday: 12-4 p.m.
Tuesday evening: 7-9 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 1-4 p.m.


Ames School of Art

Illinois Wesleyan University
6 Ames Plaza West
Bloomington, Illinois  61701
Gallery Information:309.556.3822