Sun Gallery: Childrens Book Illustrators Art Show

Original illustration by Elisa Kleven: Wish: Wishing Traditions Around the World
Original illustration by Elisa Kleven: Wish: Wishing Traditions Around the World | Source

The Sun Gallery in Hayward, California hosts a very special show every year inside it's creative walls: it's called The Childrens Book Illustrator Show and it features original artwork by well known children's illustrators and artists. Along with the art, there are also copies of the children's books alongside the art that visitors can pick up, read and compare to the originals on the wall.

As a guide for the Sun Gallery giving classroom field trip tours, it never ceases to amaze me just how fascinated children and adults are by seeing an original piece of art that ultimately winds up in a book.

It's like magic!

Author Susan Pace-Koch on left, myself in the middle and Illustrator Jeremy Kwan on the right. The book they collaborated on is "Get Out Of My Head, I Should Go To Bed", a wonderful childrens book about dreams.
Author Susan Pace-Koch on left, myself in the middle and Illustrator Jeremy Kwan on the right. The book they collaborated on is "Get Out Of My Head, I Should Go To Bed", a wonderful childrens book about dreams. | Source

A little history on the Childrens Book Illustrator Exhibit

This year the children's book illustrator art exhibit runs from Feb. 6, 2013 to April 6, 2013. This is the 24th year for the show and it's an annual favorite. Besides the classroom field trip tours, the gallery is also open free to the public on Wednesday through Saturday, 11-5 pm. Visitors can come in, view the artwork, read the books, browse the gallery boutique and also purchase the children's books that are featured in the show.

Every year there is also an artists reception for the illustrators, and artists and authors are there to sign books, talk with their fans and chat about their books. The 2013 artists reception was held on March 9 and many of the children's book illustrators were there, including Jeremy Kwan (illustrator of Get Out of My Head, I Should Go To Bed) and also the author for the book, Susan Pace-Koch, among other illustrators and authors that attended the reception.

Original artwork and prints by Audrey Colman, Sun Gallery Childrens Book Illustrator show
Original artwork and prints by Audrey Colman, Sun Gallery Childrens Book Illustrator show | Source
Walter The Farting Dog, Banned From The Beach. Illustrator Audrey Colman.
Walter The Farting Dog, Banned From The Beach. Illustrator Audrey Colman. | Source

2013 featured illustrators

This year at the gallery there are 11 illustrators featured and 16 books. Some books are collaborations between an illustrator and an author, some are both illustrated and also written by the same person.

Featured books and illustrators in 2013 are:

  • Audrey Colman: Walter The Farting Dog, Trouble At The Yard Sale
  • Susan Gal: Into the Outdoors; Please Take Me for a Walk; Day by Day
  • Jeremy Kwan: Get Out of My Head, I Should Go to Bed
  • Patrick Lugo: Little Monk and the Mantis: A Bug, A Boy, and the Birth of a Kung Fu Legend
  • Dona Turner: You Are a Gift to the World, The World is a Gift to You
  • Johnson Yazzie: Stone Cutter and the Navajo Maiden
  • Sara Palacios: Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match
  • Karen Hanke: Jazz Fly 2: The Jungle Pachanga
  • Elisa Kleven: Wish: Wishing Traditions Around the World
  • Baje Whitethorne, Sr.: Beauty Beside Me, Stories of My Grandmother's Skirts
  • Demi: The Great Voyages of Zheng He


Also included in the exhibit are students artwork from from Chabot College's Children's Book Illustrator Class taught by Janice Golojuch.


Baje Whitethorne, Sr.: Beauty Beside Me, Stories of My Grandmother's Skirts
Baje Whitethorne, Sr.: Beauty Beside Me, Stories of My Grandmother's Skirts | Source
Johnson Yazzie: Stone Cutter and the Navajo Maiden (2008) Used with permission from childrens mother.
Johnson Yazzie: Stone Cutter and the Navajo Maiden (2008) Used with permission from childrens mother. | Source

How does Sun Gallery find it's illustrators for the show?

In an interview with Valerie Caveglia, member of the Board of Directors for the Sun Gallery and Director Emeritus, I was interested to know more about how the show finds its illustrators to be featured each year. I asked Valerie a few questions about the show:

(me) How do you get the illustrators involved that you have for the show?


(Valerie) We send out a call for art to our general mailing list, and sometimes that gets forwarded to a friend, as in the case of Patrick Lugo finding us this year. Because the show is so established, we do have contacts with the SCBWI and the word gets around that way too. Every year I call publishers to ask what book illustrators they have in the SF Bay Area, and then review the books to see if it's something I want to work with. It's not just about the art for this show. The story in the book has to be worthwhile as well.

(me) What is a memorable moment for you during the years you have been involved in the show?

(Valerie) My husband and I have collected Southwest art over the years. In 2005 Baje Whitethorn, Sr. was in the Book show. My husband and I loved his regular art work, and were so excited to meet him. In fact, we took him to dinner at the Hayward Fishery after the artist reception! This year, Johnson Yazzie called me about being in the show because Baje, his cousin, had told him about it. After speaking with Johnson, I contacted Baje and invited him to be in this show too. So, in February, the two of them drove all the way from Arizona with their art. They are both Navajo, and bring many insights into their culture with their paintings.

Dona Turner and I at the artists reception at the Sun Gallery. I bought Donas book and had it signed for my grandson Zachary.
Dona Turner and I at the artists reception at the Sun Gallery. I bought Donas book and had it signed for my grandson Zachary. | Source

Dona's book - beautiful!

Sun Gallery is a non-profit organization

As a non-profit gallery, the children's book illustrator show is brought to the community at no cost and depends solely on donations to fund shows, staffing, material and outreach into the community.

To read more about the Gallery, to donate or become a volunteer, please visit their website:

Sun Gallery Hayward California website

(As an art educator and freelance writer, Dorsi Diaz wrote this hub (article) strictly as an freelance independent author. An advocate for the arts, Dorsi encourages active participation in the arts for both families and communities alike)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Dona Turner: You Are a Gift to the World, The World is a Gift to You (2011)Audrey Colman: Walter The Farting DogBaje Whitethorne, Sr.: Beauty Beside Me, Stories of My Grandmother's Skirts (2011)Karen Hanke: Jazz FlyStudents original book illustrations from Chabot Colleges childrens book illustrating class.Childrens book illustrator Susan Gal: Into the Outdoors; Please Take Me for a Walk; Day by Day (2012)Sara Palacios: Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match (2011)Childrens book illustrator Susan Gal: Into the Outdoors; Please Take Me for a Walk; Day by Day (2012)Jeremy Kwan: Get Out of My Head, I Should Go to Bed (2011)
Dona Turner: You Are a Gift to the World, The World is a Gift to You (2011)
Dona Turner: You Are a Gift to the World, The World is a Gift to You (2011) | Source
Audrey Colman: Walter The Farting Dog
Audrey Colman: Walter The Farting Dog | Source
Baje Whitethorne, Sr.: Beauty Beside Me, Stories of My Grandmother's Skirts (2011)
Baje Whitethorne, Sr.: Beauty Beside Me, Stories of My Grandmother's Skirts (2011) | Source
Karen Hanke: Jazz Fly
Karen Hanke: Jazz Fly | Source
Students original book illustrations from Chabot Colleges childrens book illustrating class.
Students original book illustrations from Chabot Colleges childrens book illustrating class. | Source
Childrens book illustrator Susan Gal: Into the Outdoors; Please Take Me for a Walk; Day by Day (2012)
Childrens book illustrator Susan Gal: Into the Outdoors; Please Take Me for a Walk; Day by Day (2012) | Source
Sara Palacios: Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match (2011)
Sara Palacios: Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match (2011) | Source
Childrens book illustrator Susan Gal: Into the Outdoors; Please Take Me for a Walk; Day by Day (2012)
Childrens book illustrator Susan Gal: Into the Outdoors; Please Take Me for a Walk; Day by Day (2012) | Source
Jeremy Kwan: Get Out of My Head, I Should Go to Bed (2011)
Jeremy Kwan: Get Out of My Head, I Should Go to Bed (2011) | Source

Directions to the Sun Gallery in Hayward, Ca.

A markerSun Gallery Hayward California -
1015 E Street
[get directions]

Located in Hayward, Ca., the Sun Gallery offers free Art Saturdays to children and their families & stunning art exhibits

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Comments 8 comments

torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 3 years ago

nice art show i assume from the photos

thanks for the article Dorsi

i do appreciate it and I did enjoy reading

Voted up


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 3 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@torrilynn) Yes torri it's a fantastic show. Such talented artists and writers. Thanks for coming by my friend.


Gail Meyers profile image

Gail Meyers 3 years ago from United States

Dorsi, what a fascinating hub. If I was anywhere near California I would love to go and take my grandchildren. Voted up, awesome and shared.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 3 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@Gail) Thanks, I wish you were closer too!


Vector design profile image

Vector design 3 years ago from California

This show is wonderful and full of entertaining for children. Informative hub. Vote for useful.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 3 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@vector) Thanks. It is such a fun show!!


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 3 years ago

Dorsi, What an interesting informative event! The illustrations are quite creative! Thank You for sharing, Peace & Blessings!


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 3 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@DeBorrah K. Ogans) Thanks and glad you enjoyed it.

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