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Drawing on History: Jeni Reeves’ Illustrations for "Voice of Freedom: A Story about Frederick Douglass"

January 17 - May 3, 2015

Jeni Reeves, cover illustration from Voice of Freedom: A Story about Frederick Douglass, 2001, pen and ink and pastel on illustration board, courtesy of the artist.
Accompanying The ABCs of Children’s Book Illustration and Drawn to Illustration is a solo exhibition of the art of Cedar Rapids painter and children’s book illustrator Jeni Reeves. Born in Geneva, New York, Jeni Reeves first worked at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, before taking positions as a graphic designer for Infovision and SPS Design Studio, in London, England. After a period of painting in Kenya, Reeves moved to the United States where she has been working as a painter and illustrator since 1986.

Reeves’ children’s book titles include Booker T. Washington (1998), The Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth (2000), Voice of Freedom: A Story about Frederick Douglass (2001) Pocahontas (2002), Willie McLean and the Civil War Surrender (2005), Enrique Esperanza and the Battle of the Alamo (2011), and George Washington and the Story of the U.S. Constitution (2011). The exhibition focuses on one of these titles, Voice of Freedom: A Story about Frederick Douglass, and traces its evolution from concept to reality, highlighting the many stages in between. It serves as a perfect complement to the other illustration exhibitions on view as well as highlighting the multitude of steps necessary for the production of a children’s illustrated book.

This exhibition is made possible by Rockwell Collins, the Program Grant Fund of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, members of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, and contributors to the Museum’s Annual Fund.


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