Bryan Collier, an award-winning illustrator and writer, brings his unique style of watercolor and collage to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore for a Black History Month exhibit.
Collier will be on hand for a meet-the-artist opening reception, Feb. 12, from 4-6 p.m. in the university’s Mosely Gallery. The exhibit, which isfree and open to the public, will remain on display through March 12.
“Bryan Collier is a wonderful artist who developed a unique style of combining collage with realistic illustration,” Susan Holt, the Mosely Gallery director, said. “His work is often compared to the innovative African-American artist Romare Bearden.” Collier, she said, depicts African-Americans in history and his life experiences in many of the children’s books he has illustrated.
Collier, who grew up in Pocomoke City, said, “Collage is more than just an art style…it’s all about bringing different elements together. Once you form a sensibility about connection, how different elements relate to each other, you deepen your understanding of yourself and others.”
A fortuitous moment for the emerging artist some 30 years ago was winning first place in an art contest placing his work in the nation’s capital and gaining him the attention to earn a scholarship to the Pratt Institute in New York. Collier graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in 1989.
While in school, Collier volunteered at the Harlem Horizon Art Studio in the Harlem Hospital Center discovering a passion for children’s books. He served as program director for 12 years before focusing his full attention to his art.
Collier’s work has earned Caldecott Honors, Coretta Scott King awards and the 2014 U.S. nomination for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award.
The Mosely Gallery is located in the Thomas Briggs Arts and Technology building on UMES’ campus. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 410-651-7770 or visit www.moselygallery.com for more information.