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Sept. 1: Young at Art new exhibit opens at Chelsea District Library

(Chelsea Update would like to thank the Chelsea District Library staff for the information in this story.)

Beginning Sept. 1, the Chelsea District Library (CDL) will host Young at Art: A Selection of Caldecott Book Illustrations, an exhibit featuring beautiful artwork from children’s picture books.

Through picture books, readers embark on visual journeys that engage all of the senses and encourage curious, imaginative, and thoughtful interactions with the world around them. Since 1938, the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, has recognized the significant impact of art on early reading experiences, awarding the Caldecott Medal for excellence in this area. Named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, the prestigious and highly coveted medal is awarded annually to the illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

The exhibition Young at Art: A Selection of Caldecott Book Illustrations includes original illustrations from Caldecott Medal recipients and from “runner-up” honor books, as well as other illustrations by award-winning artists. 

This exhibition of works from Wichita Falls Museum of Art’s permanent collection features 35 illustrations from a variety of art mediums including paintings, drawings, and prints. It celebrates the vision and talent of twenty-eight award-winning artists, including the first Caldecott Award recipient Dorothy P. Lathrop (1938), two-time winner Chris Van Allsburg (1982, 1986), and Maurice Sendak (1964), whose work Where the Wild Things Are, like Van Allsburg’s Jumanji and The Polar Express, was adapted for the big screen.

These illustrations are widely recognized not only as artistic classics in children’s literature but also as the source of countless beloved memories for the young and young at heart. 

More than mere relics of the carefree days of youth, picture books occupy a unique place in our cultural landscape. For generations, images have worked alongside text, not in any subordinate manner, but as crucial components in the construction and exploration of story worlds. The transformative power of picture books is undeniable for the many ways young readers are invited to and enthusiastically participate in reading.

Although CDL is not open for appointments in the main section of the library, we are thrilled to offer this museum-quality experience to Chelsea and the surrounding community. While book browsing is not yet available at the library, we invite you to make an appointment to see this beautiful collection of award-winning art on display in the historic McKune building.

This exhibit is wonderful for all ages and will include featured books and take-home activities. Please call 734-475-8732 x.219 to schedule your viewing. Appointments are available to individuals or members of the same household. In compliance with current State of Michigan health regulations, masks will be required and visitors will be asked to complete a simple health screening prior to entering the building. Additional safety and health protocols will be followed.  

Curated by Danny Bills, curator of collections and exhibitions at Wichita Falls Museum of Art, and organized by Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University, Young at Art is part of ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance.

About ExhibitsUSA

This exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. ExhibitsUSA sends more than twenty-five exhibitions on tour to over 100 small- and mid-sized communities every year. These exhibitions create access to an array of arts and humanities experiences, nurture the understanding of diverse cultures and art forms, and encourage the expanding depth and breadth of cultural life in local communities. For more about ExhibitsUSA, email [email protected] or visit

About Mid-America Arts Alliance

Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout our region and beyond. We achieve this primarily through our national traveling exhibition programs, innovative leadership development, and strategic grant making. We are especially committed to enriching the cultural life of historically underserved communities by providing high quality, meaningful, and accessible arts and culture programs and services. We believe in more art for more people. Additional information about M-AAA is available at   

About Us: Chelsea District Library is a not for profit organization whose mission is engage, inspire, and equip through evolving services and resources. The Library currently serves 15,010 residents in the Chelsea area including the City of Chelsea plus Dexter, Lima, Lyndon and Sylvan townships. More than 16,000 individuals visit the Library each month.  For more information visit

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