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the Visual Communication division, Faculty of Arts, University of Wolverhampton.
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Thursday, 15 December 2011
Anna Sims - graduate success
Illustrating Children’s Books’
Illustration graduate Anna Sims curates the exhibition
Gallery Oldham from 26 November until 11 March 2012.
The show includes work by picture book household names like Shirley Hughes and Anthony Browne as well as emerging artists like the winners of the Booktrust Best New Illustrators award 2011. It was important to me to include illustrators with different styles and those featured in the exhibition include Jez Alborough, Kazuno Kohara and Helen Stephens.
As well as the completed artworks there are a number of examples of the preparatory work by the different artists including sketchbooks, thumbnail layouts, character development and printer proofs. It’s been interesting finding out about the different ways the artists work and I hope that it comes across in the exhibition and gives the visitor a better idea about the work behind the finished product.
After graduating from Wolverhampton University in 2001 I soon realised that my strength lay in working creatively with groups rather than on my own in my studio. After three years of voluntary work and freelance jobs with various youth projects, community groups, art galleries and heritage sites I moved to Manchester where I completed a Masters in Art Gallery & Museum Studies.
I have been working in gallery and museum education for the last 7 years and am currently responsible for the formal education programme at Gallery Oldham. As well as delivering workshops and projects I also develop educational resources and 'gallery interactives'.
This exhibition obviously was a subject that held a lot of interest for me and also fitted into the Gallery’s strategic programming for family friendly exhibitions. It was challenging at times as it is the first exhibition of this scale that I have curated and I have borrowed the work directly from the artists.
In 2008, I took a career break for 12 months to work on an art project in Ecuador and Mexico with a charity for street-working children and their families. I spent last summer running an art project with a different charity in Guatemala and hope to eventually return to Latin America.