Happy 2012!

Happy New Year to everyone from Murray and Carol!

Illustration, left, by José Cruz, one of the many wonderful speakers that Murray has lined up for the program's upcoming Fort Worth, Texas contact period.


Vote Early, Vote Often!

Friends and colleagues unite to vote Magge Gagliardi (Class of 2012) 2011's Best Set Designer in the BroadwayWorld Connecticut Awards for her work on the Hartford Children's Theatre production of Pinkalicious.

In fact, three of Magge's set designs were nominated: Pinkalicious, 13, and Annie. But—Chicago-style political slogans aside—you only have one vote, so cast your votes for Pinkalicious which is in the top three and steadily heading for a win.

It's quick and easy, so do it now! (All votes must be in by end of year—that's in 2 days!)


Ohio Kids Choose Faculty Bill Thomson's Book CHALK for Award

above: an illustration from the book CHALK by faculty Bill Thomson

The children's book CHALK by faculty Bill Thomson has won a number of awards and honors, including the 2011 Connecticut Book Award in the Children's Illustrator category in November. But the book's most recent award is especially meaningful, because the "judges" were children. Earlier this month, CHALK won the 2011 Buckeye Children's Book Award for the state of Ohio for grades 3-5. The Buckeye Children's Book Award winners are selected entirely by children.

In related news, the publisher of CHALK and Thomson's other books, Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, was acquired by Amazon. Many of the articles about the acquisition, including an article in Publisher's Weekly, mention CHALK as one of Marshall Cavandish's well-known children's books.


Chava Light's (Class of 2010) Cartoon Controversy

Posted on the Algemeiner, Chava Light's (Class of 2010) contemporary events cartoons on why Chassidic Reggae singer Matisyahu shaved his beard—an important element of Chassidic observance—earlier this week, has been generating a lot of buzz, with strong words and opinions being exchanged. 

Picked up by the debate has continued to evolve, with some people being offended that the cartoons seem to make light of what they consider to be a very serious topic, some attacking the artist, some finding the illustrations funny, and some condemning the singer. 

Controversy or not, however, Chava appreciates the feedback and hearing the public's take on her work. She says, "I've already got more ideas waiting to be painted! Keep your eyes open for more cartoons!"


Linda Tajirian's (Class of 2010) Work at Noah Webster Library

The West Hartford News recently published an announcement of the Noah Webster Library's showcase of local illustrators, most recently the work of Linda Tajirian (Class of 2010).

"In a clean, crisp style, Tajirian's art captures life's moments with a journalistic approach of storytelling. A sheep caught grazing, a basket of yarn waiting to be created into next year's winter hat and scarf. These detailed illustrations draw the viewer in for a closer look with the promise of a story to unfold in this narrative art."

Linda's work will be on display in the children's department of the library at 20 South Main Street in West Hartford, CT, through December.


SOI 2012 Student Competition Deadline: Jan. 30, 2012

For you educators out there: the Society of Illustrators's Student Scholarship Competition is accepting entries now through January 30th. Over 100 works are chosen from more than 7,000 entries submitted by professors of college-level students nationwide. Scholarships and awards are granted to 25 students whose work is deemed best of the best. In the last 30 years, the Society has awarded over $1,500,000 to deserving students, which has opened the door for many of today's top professionals including Kadir Nelson, James Bennett, Gwenda Kaczor, Dan Dos Santos, James Jean and many more. The cost is only $6 per entry. Only school administrators can enter student work. Visit the competition site or download the call for entries.


C'est Magnifique!

The Squint blog has had the good fortune to receive a most stunning gift in the mail today: a beautifully illustrated and designed calendar by faculty Daniel Pelavin.

The calendar shares imagery with Pelavin's gorgeous package design for La Société Parisienne de Savons celebrating a bygone era, a project we blogged about this summer. Read more in this entry on Pelavin's blog.

Though dated for a year when the oeuvre was originally in vogue, the calendar's days and dates correspond identically with those of 2012. See the entire calendar in digital form here.