Thursday, May 31, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Leo Dillon 1933- 2012

Awarding winning and groundbreaking illustrator Leo Dillon died on May 26th.  The first I heard of Dillon's passing was when I stopped by illustrator Shadra Strickland's blog yesterday.  Today a friend sent me the link to Dillon's obituary in Publishers Weekly.

The first picture book that I read that was  illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon was Honey I Love by Eloise Greenfield and I was hooked ever since.

Leo along with his wife/ artistic partner have given so much to children's literature.  Together they opened doors, along with a few others and  made publishing industry pay attention to the beauty of diversity.   Looking at their work always puts a smile on my face. So when I think of Leo Dillon I will visualize myself reading The People Who Could Fly (a gorgeous classic) or  Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples Ears or any of the numerous picture books the Dillon's have illustrated with their signature style that is so easy to love

I am going to continue on for bit but only because  I think Leo Dillon would approve (or at least I hope so).  

Award winning illustrator R. Gregory Christie is opening Gas Art Gifts an art studio/children's bookstore in Atlanta, GA's North Dekalb Mall. 

Through The Youth Innovators Program, GAS-ART GIFTS will to expand its reach into the community by providing an opportunity for youth to explore the art fashion design, illustration and entrepreneurship. Each group of youth will be engaged in 12 hours of learning.

Since I live in Atlanta I have had the opportunity to see Christie's space and I like it a lot.  See for yourself    Christie has a funding campaign at Indiegogo until Saturday June 23rd, to raise money to help give back the gift of art.

I am very excited about Christie's new endeavour.  Even more so after getting to meet Christie, who is very nice and hearing him talk about how much wants to give back the community through Gas Art Gifts. 

I thought long and hard about whether or not it would be appropriate to include information about R Gregory Christie's new project   in a post about Leo Dillon passing. In the end I decided that yes it was;Leo Dillon was an artist gave simply by doing what he did best and Christie is an artist is looking to give back.   Plus I'd must rather end on a note of possibility then one of loss. 


tess said...

Thanks for posting. Honey I Love is such a great book! Timeless.

Wilhelmina said...

There are so many beautiful books illustrated by Leo Dillon and his wife Diane. I read them to my children and now my grandchildren have their own collection. As someone who, as a young mother, made books for my firstborn with pictures from magazines so that he could see positive images of black folks, I am so grateful to the Dillons and other groundbreaking illustrators who creates beauty with diverse faces. RIP, Leo Dillon, and thank you.