What Might You Do? The Art of Christian Robinson

December 4, 2021 – February 27, 2022
The playful, yet thoughtfully poignant artwork of children’s book illustrator Christian Robinson, celebrates his “art of fun” mantra while deftly and empathetically exploring the value of different perspectives and being kind to all. Robinson, a Caldecott Honoree and recipient of two Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honors from the American Library Association, favors acrylic and collage to create joyful art conveying a range of stories, including historical events and biographies. Robinson, based in California, is also an animator who has worked with The Sesame Workshop and Pixar Animation Studios.

Robinson, who was born in Hollywood, California, grew up in a one-bedroom apartment with his brother, two cousins, aunt, and grandmother. Drawing was the way he made space for himself and thought about how to create the kind of world he wanted to see. Robinson’s books include Gaston and Antoinette, written by Kelly DiPucchio, and the #1 New York Times bestseller Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña, which was awarded a Caldecott Honor, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, and the Newbery Medal. Among the many enthusiastic reviews of Robinson’s artwork, one from Booklist acknowledges his expansive and colorful illustrations: “Robinson assures readers that no matter what difficulties they may encounter or how a person might feel, everyone matters . . . nonjudgmental and reassuring, a great choice for anyone experiencing a bad day.”

This exhibition of Robinson’s luminous illustrations was organized by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, Texas.

Exhibition Highlights

Christian Robinson, Carmela Full of Wishes, © 2018, acrylic paint and collage on paper
Christian Robinson, Last Stop on Market Street, © 2015, colored pencil and acrylic paint on paper
Christian Robinson, The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade, © 2014, colored pencil on paper
Christian Robinson, The Dead Bird, © 2016, acrylic paint on paper
Christian Robinson, Antoinette, © 2017, acrylic paint on paper
Christian Robinson, Another, © 2019, acrylic paint and collage on paper
Christian Robinson, Another, © 2019, acrylic paint and collage on paper
Christian Robinson, Rain, © 2013, acrylic paint and collage on paper
Christian Robinson, You Matter, © 2020, acrylic and collage on paper

Thanks to the members, donors, grantors, and sponsors who support exhibitions and programs. Exhibitions and programs are supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Marketing is supported in part by City of Wausau Room Tax funds. Support for hands-on art-making supplies comes from Wilmington Trust and the M&T Charitable Foundation.

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