Eric Carle and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Eric Carle and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

By Martha Nodar

A desire to enrich children’s understanding of different art techniques, motivated two employees of the High Museum to come up with the idea of showing the work of a renowned children’s picture book writer and illustrator Eric Carle.

Virginia Shearer and Ginia Sweeney are co-managing curators of the High’s current exhibit: “I See a Story: The Art of Eric Carle,” running from April 2 to Jan 8, 2017.

“Art is empowering,” Shearer said. “Picture books are a great way to introduce children to art.”

Spanning decades, the exhibit consists of more than 80 original hand-painted illustrations made out of a collage of pieces of papers that Carle would prepare ahead of time to use as needed. These delicate and priceless illustrations have been specifically loaned to the High by Carle’s own museum – the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Massachusetts.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

“Each page is a work of art,” Shearer added.

Influenced by Picasso and Matisse while considered by many a collage connoisseur, Carle grasps what children want to read – simple stories with simple words told in colorful pictures.

Originating from a French expression, the word collage means to glue together. A collage is a form of creative process that may include utilizing and recycling different materials that may otherwise be discarded.

The museum will hold the “Eric Carle Family Funday” on April 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. This event is free with the price of museum admission and patrons will have the opportunity to meet Carle’s most famous creation, the “Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

Other upcoming “Eric Carle-themed activities” planned by the High for the summer, also include a collaboration between the High and the Alliance Theatre for the presentation of “Pancakes, Pancakes!” a musical adaptation of Carle’s book by the same title.

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Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.