Bull-Bransom Award Winner 2018June 26, 2018
Monday, June 25, 2018
Jackson, Wyo. — The winner of the 2018 National Museum of Wildlife Art Bull-Bransom Award is Matthew Forsythe for illustrations in The Gold Leaf, written by Kirsten Hall and published by Enchanted Lion Books. The Bull-Bransom Award is given annually to recognize excellence in the field of children’s book illustration with a focus on nature and wildlife.
Each year, after the award is given, the Museum also invites the Bull-Bransom award winner to visit Jackson. While here, the winner will be a visiting artist in our local elementary schools. More than 300 students will learn about book illustration from Forsythe in the spring of 2019.
The Wall Street Journal says, “In Matthew Forsythe’s breathtaking illustrations, we see creatures respond with wonder and cupidity as autumn’s arrival reveals a single, gleaming gold leaf. ‘Each wanted it more than anything in the world,’ we read of a fox, deer, mouse and others. ‘But who would get it first?’ Though competition tears the leaf to fragments, this is not a fable of greed but of gratitude, with rich, mystical illustrations that will stir the young reader’s heart.”
As an illustrator, Forsythe first developed his organic style by working with natural media like gouache, pencil and watercolors. He then moved to Los Angeles to work in digital animation, and was constantly under deadlines for TV production schedules. After two years, he was excited to return to his roots of paint and paper. “Working on this book was a very liberating experience. Painting with a brush and ink – has a sort of relaxing and tactile soothing quality that one hopes for when illustrating,” Forsythe says.
The five other finalists for the 2018 award were: Pup and Bear by Kate Banks, Where, Oh Where, Is Baby Bear? by Ashley Wolff, Life by Cynthia Rylant, Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell, and Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner.
The Bull-Bransom Award is named for Charles Livingston Bull and Paul Bransom, two renowned American artist-illustrators who specialized in wildlife subjects. The winner receives a $5,000 cash award, a custom-made bronze medal, and a five-year dual/family-level membership to the National Museum of Wildlife Art, which provides complimentary access to 12 museums across the United States.