Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 3, 2011

Art Show Teeming with Talent

Art Show Teeming with Talent

By Leeza Hernandez, Illustrator Coordinator, NJ SCBWI

At the New Jersey SCBWI 2011 Annual Conference, more than 40 illustrators exhibited work in the Juried Art Show.

This is the second year that NJ SCBWI has offered the show to illustrators—in addition to the regular portfolio display—to help show off the variety of member talent to industry professionals during the conference. The show ran Saturday and Sunday and was accessible to all attending members for viewing.

The jury included editors, art directors and agents from this year’s faculty. They selected the winners based upon the following factors: Craft, Consistency, Concept, Impact, Marketability and Appropriateness.

First place went to Lisa Falkenstern ( for her Steampunk-style Humpty Dumpty piece. She left the conference prior to the announcement of the winners, so a friend called live from the amphitheater to break the news.

Falkenstern’s reaction was regret for not staying until the end, but also shock. “I entered my piece because I wanted to see the reaction to Steampunk from children’s book people,” Falkenstern said. “I was sure I wasn’t going to win—I just wanted to see  what people would say. To me it wasn’t a typical children’s [book] illustration.”  She added that she never wins anything so the shock was two-fold!

For winning the show, Falkenstern will visit two publishing houses to meet with art directors and editors and show her portfolio of work.

The two runner-up winners were Kelly Light  and Katia Wish , who each received a $50-off gift certificate for a future NJ SCBWI event.

Here is Kelly Lights winning entry:

Here is Katia Wish’s entry for the art show.

Honorable mention went to Kim Wood, who received a $25-off gift certificate for a future NJ SCBWI event.

When thinking about showing an illustrator’s work one member of the jury had this piece of advice: “There were many strong pieces and I found this a hard decision. In the end it was marketability that broke the ties, because in the end—even if all the other qualities are there—if it can’t find a place in the bookstores, it has no chance of success!”

There was no theme for the juried art show. IIlustrators were invited to submit one print of a piece of work that showed off their style in the best possible way.  NJ SCBWI will be featuring the juried art show, portfolio display and a special bonus exhibit at next years’ conference, so stay tuned for more details.

Leeza Hernandez is an illustrator/author and serves as the Illustrator Coordinator for New Jersey SCBWI.

Thanks Leeza for sharing an inside view of the art show.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. All the artwork was amazing, I thought, and I wouldn’t have wanted to be on that jury! lol I really don’t think I could’ve narrowed it down, but they certainly did a great job. Congrats to the winners. I’m always in awe 🙂


    • Donna,

      Maybe next year you can exhibit something.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: