Wednesday, July 27, 2011

'Fantasy Folklore and Fairy Tales'

     If you like fantasy art, a great source is the children's book section of your local brick-and-mortar bookstore or public library. Especially the picture books. Whether they're new stories or classic fairy tales, traditional or re-interpreted, artists are given free rein to express their imaginations. Some of these artists are designers as well, choosing the type and where to put the text, often integrated into the art itself. There's so much work that's gone into it that it's a shame you can't see the pictures in their original, often larger dimensions, like in an art gallery or museum.
     For a limited time you can, during the “Fantasy, Folklore & Fairy Tales” exhibit at at Edsel & Eleanor Ford House (1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, 313-884-4222). Even if you regularly check out the children's section at the better bookstores -- such as one of my favorites, The Book Beat (20610 Greenfield Road at Lincoln Street, Oak Park) -- some, maybe most of the artists will be unfamiliar to you. The biggest names to me were Kinuko Y. Craft and Barry Moser (look them up on the Web if you don't know them), but others were new to me. Subjects range from fairy tales to myths, folk tales and new, multicultural fables.
     The selection of artists may be determined by the sponsor -- Smith Kramer Fine Art Services -- but since only eight artists are represented, some winnowing process was necessary. In addition to the two already named, the list consists of DEMI, Jane Dyer, Marilee Heyer, Trina Schart Hyman, Jim LaMarche and Susan Paradis.
      (Other artists I would have liked to see represented include Leo & Diane Dillon and Gennady Spirin.)
     The exhibit continues through Sept. 18, in one of the outer buildings on the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House grounds. Admission is free with regular grounds admission of $5 per person. For more information, visit


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