Sylvia Long Wins 2012 Bull-Bransom Award May 6, 2012
Jackson Hole, Wyoming – May 11, 2012 – Children’s book illustrator Sylvia Long is the recipient of the 2012 Bull-Bransom Award, announced the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States at a reception at the museum last night in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Long was selected for the award, given annually for excellence in children’s book illustration with a wildlife and nature focus, for the 2011 picture book A Butterfly Is Patient (Chronicle Books), written by Dianna Hutts Aston. Long was in Jackson Hole at the National Museum of Wildlife Art to receive the award, which was presented as part of the museum’s Celebration of Young Artists event.
“Sylvia Long’s illustrations were lauded for their detail and striking compositions by this year’s Bull-Bransom judges, who used the adjectives ‘delightful,’ ‘engaging,’ and ‘absolutely gorgeous’ among others to compliment her stellar work,” said National Museum of Art Curator of Art Adam Harris, who serves annually as one of the judges for the award. “Long’s illustrations fly off the page and enhance the wonderfully written text.” Past Bull-Bransom Award winners Kevin Waldron and Jerry Pinkney were also on the judging panel.
Animals are a favorite subject for Sylvia Long, who admits to preferring drawing animals to people and does a great deal of advance research especially for non-fiction work like A Butterfly Is Patient – spending as much or sometimes more time on learning her subject than on the actual drawing. It was Long’s interest in all things natural – including an interest in birds that dates back to childhood – that originally led her editor to connect her with author Dianna Hutts Aston. Their first collaboration, An Egg Is Quiet, went on to win more than 20 awards including from the Association of Children’s Librarians and a Publishers Weekly “Off the Cuff” award for best non-fiction for treatment of a subject. A Butterfly Is Patient is the third in what has become a series of nature picture books by the duo.
Long, whose very first published title Ten Little Rabbits was named best picture book of the year by the International Reading Association back in 1991, hopes her passion for the natural world will inspire kids to get outside and really observe their surroundings. Still, asked what aspect of her work is most fulfilling, she responds, “The thought that somewhere ‘out there’ a child will go to their bookshelf and pull out one of ‘my’ books, crawl up in their parent’s or grandparent’s lap and settle in for that close, comforting time, sharing a story.”
Created in the tradition of such prestigious children’s book illustrator honors as the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King and Hans Christian Andersen awards, the Bull-Bransom Award is presented in the form of a medal and $5,000 cash award. The National Museum of Wildlife Art named the award for Charles Livingston Bull and Paul Bransom, among the first American artist-illustrators to specialize in wildlife subjects.
A member of the Museums West consortium and accredited by the American Association of Museums, the museum, officially designated the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States by an act of Congress in 2008, provides an exciting calendar of exhibitions from its permanent collection and changing exhibitions from around the globe. A complete schedule of exhibitions and events is available online at www.wildlifeart.org. The museum is also active on Facebook atwildlifeartjh and on Twitter at @wildlifeartjh.
Image Credits: Illustrations for A Butterfly is Patient, left, won 2012 Bull-Bransom Award for artist Sylvia Long, far right, shown accepting the award from National Museum of Wildlife Art Board of Trustees member Lynn Friess.