Original Children's Book Illustrations on Display in Special Exhibit at AHC Library

The exhibit is open to the public during regular library hours.

KingBidgoodBattleInTheTubMAY 15, 2014 -- A birthday gift for their book-loving daughter launched a decades-long passion for collecting original children’s book art for local residents Cheryl and Ted Maddux.  Just a portion of that extensive collection is now on display at the Allan Hancock College library on the Santa Maria campus.

A reception was held May 9 to open the display, and to honor the Madduxes for their decision to share the art with the public, and Lola Dority, a community member who has funded a permanent children’s book section at the Hancock library.  The collection is open to the public during regular library hours.  It is not necessary to be a student to enjoy the show.

“Lola saw our tiny, aging children’s book collection several years ago, and has generously added to it every year since – literally hundreds of books.  It turns out that all of the Madduxes’ original art pieces from classics like ‘Stuart Little’ are represented in Lola’s collection,” explained Leslie Mosson, Hancock librarian.  “For this show, we have been able to pull out the books in our collection and match them with the original art now on display.  What a beautiful opportunity to share art and literature together!”

In all, there are 17 original paintings hung on a specially-prepared wall on the south side of the library.  The illustrations are created in a variety of mediums, from airbrush to oil on board, acrylics and ink on paper.

Cheryl Maddux says they choose the art for their collection not to simply add more pieces or because some expert recommends it, but because, as she puts it, “It’s a first glance reflex.  If I like it, I like it.  If you love it, you love it.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  You buy it because you love it.”  She said her favorites are the acrylic pieces: “I just love the bright colors!”

MaxiTheHeroThe first piece of art they purchased in 1990, titled “Detective Valentine” by author/illustrator Audrey Woods, remains a favorite.  In fact, Woods and her artist husband Don remain two of the Madduxes favorite artists “because their work is fanciful and the kids absolutely love them,” she explained.  “They have a “lightness” about them that makes people happy, especially children.  Children recognize the illustrations instantly and love them.” 

Maddux said part of her motivation in sharing the art is the hope that those who come to see the illustrations will find that they bring back memories of their childhood – of being home with books they loved.  “There’s always a soft spot when you see a book and you remember that mom read this to me, like ‘Goodnight Moon’ and other traditional bedtime stories.  I hope it brings back happy memories of being a kid.”

The display has been coordinated as part of the public art on campus effort at Allan Hancock College.  The college has made a commitment to enrich the cultural and intellectual life of its students, staff and the community by curating a unique collection of public art at its campus and centers.  Through the guidance of the Art on Campus committee, the college manages its existing art holdings and seeks new opportunities to incorporate art at Allan Hancock College.  The Maddux collection joins a host of other art installations, including a recently installed hanging bird sculpture series created by Sandra K. Johnson, outdoor murals, original metal sculptures, paintings and more.

“We believe public art creates memorable images and experiences that enhance our institutional pride and help define our college to the outside world,” said committee chair Roanna Bennie, who is also an academic dean at the college.  “The experience of public art makes a space more welcoming; it creates a deeper interaction with the places where we study, work and live; and it creates a dialogue between the artist and the community.  We firmly believe public art makes our college more engaging and visually stimulating,” she added.

“That’s why we are so grateful to the Madduxes and Lola Dority for realizing the importance of art and literature in our lives and sharing it with the community,” Bennie said.

The library is located on the Santa Maria campus in bldg. L south.  For library hours and more information about the show, call (805) 922-6966 ext 3322.

- AHC -

“Spaghetti in the Taxi,” by Mark Buehner; Oil on board; 1991
Maxi, the Hero, by Debra and Sal Barracca

“Tonight We Battle in the Tub,” by Don Wood; Oil on board; 1984
King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub, by Audrey Wood

Other original art and books on display include:
“Teaching Fish at the Blackboard,” by Alexander Sagan; Mixed media, airbrush; 1992
The Big Fish: An Alaskan Fairy Tale, by Marcia Wakeland

“Tonight We Dance in the Tub,” by Don Wood; Oil on board; 1984
King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub, by Audrey Wood

“All the People of Katsui Rejoiced,” by David Galchutt; Watercolor on paper; 1993
There Was Magic Inside, by David Galchutt

“Stuart Little in the Ink,” by Garth Wood; Ink on paper; 1944
Stuart Little, by E.B. White

“Nose Shadow,” Kevin Hawkes; Acrylic; 1995
Nikolai Gogol’s The Nose, Retold for children by Catherine Cowan

“Rip Squeak and Friends Come Upon the Treasure,” by Leonard Filgate; Acrylic on canvas; 2000
The Treasure (Rip Squeak and Friends) (cover art: Pirate Tales and More), by Susan Yost-Filgate

“Close up of Ela, the Storyteller,” by Alexander Sagan; Mixed media – airbrush, watercolor, collage; 1993
Puffin A Journey Home, by Jim Tilly

“Boys, Flags and Bears,” by Ronald Himler; Watercolor on paper; 1990
The Wall, by Eve Bunting

“Crow and Weasel,” by Tom Pohrt; Watercolor on paper; 1989
Crow and Weasel, by Barry Lopez

“Tea Cup Bath,” Richard Jesse Watson; Egg tempura; 1989
Tom Thumb, Retold by Richard Jesse Watson

“Ogre and Puss,” by Elizabeth Miles; Watercolor on paper
Puss in Boots, Retold by Susan Saunders

“Away They Flew,” by Robin Spowart; Acrylic on paper; 1990
Night Call, by Jeanne Modesitt

“Al Contemplates Lunch / Think of it as a Cheeseburger,” by Lane Smith; Oil; 1988
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, as told to Jon Scieszka

“Your Little Pup Grew Up!” by Vladimir Radunsky; Acrylic; 1988
The Pup Grew Up!, by Samuel Marshak
Translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear

“Mother Waiting,” by Alexander Sagan; Acrylic; 1993
Puffin: A Journey Home, by Jim Tilly

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Last Modified Jun 30, 2017