Take a Look: Poetry, Art and Books

The de Grummond Collection Hosts Exhibit for the Artwork of Rosemary Wells

The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi will feature 60-plus original watercolor and mixed media art pieces of Rosemary Wells, award-winning children’s book author and illustrator at an exhibit during the month of February.

Wells’ illustrations, featuring some of her most famous characters, such as Max and Ruby, Yoko and Mother Goose, will be on display from February 4 through February 28 at Oddfellows Gallery in downtown Hattiesburg. The public will also be invited to attend a reception to celebrate the opening of the Wells exhibit on February 7 from 4 to 6 p.m. Wells will be in attendance at the reception for a book signing, and selected pieces of her artwork will be available for purchase.

“Having Rosemary Wells here in Hattiesburg provides us with the opportunity to have a high caliber exhibition. Wells’ work has been read and loved by children all over the world.  We are also fortunate to have a gallery like Oddfellows in which to present the work of this noted artist. People attending this event will see a first-class exhibit,” said Ellen Ruffin, curator of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection. During a recent visit to Hattiesburg, Wells donated illustrations from her personal collection to the de Grummond Collection.

Wells has won many awards for her work, including the Golden Kite Award for Forest of Dreams, an International Reading Association Children’s Choices citation for Max’s Chocolate Chicken; Edgar Allan Poe Special Award, Mystery Writers of America, 1981, for When No One Was Looking; many of her books have been named among the best books of the year by School Library Journal or received American Library Association Notable Book citations or American Bookseller “Pick of the Lists” citations.

In 2002, Wells received The University of Southern Mississippi Medallion, an award for distinguished service in the field of children's literature. Unique among literary prizes, the medallion is awarded for an individual's total body of work, rather than for one particular work. Since the first award at the Second Annual Children's Book Festival, the Southern Miss Medallion has been presented to an outstanding array of children's authors and illustrators.

Wells’ career as an author and illustrator spans more than 40 years and 120 books. She has given readers such unforgettable characters as Max and Ruby, Noisy Nora and Yoko. She also gave Mother Goose new life in two definitive editions, and created an unforgettable world for grown-ups and kids alike in Voyage to the Bunny Planet.

The community will be treated to more literary and arts culture the weekend of February 6 and 7 during the Take a Look: Poetry, Art and Books event in downtown Hattiesburg. The weekend begins with the national event, Poetry Out Loud, on Friday and continues on Saturday with the Little Free Library and Rosemary Wells’ Exhibit. The Hattiesburg Tourism Commission will provide trolley service from the Cultural Center to Oddfellows Gallery for those interested in attending both events on Saturday.

Schedule of Events:
Poetry Out Loud – noon to 2 p.m. – Cultural Arts Center
Little Free Library – 3 to 5 p.m. – Cultural Arts Center
Rosemary Wells Exhibit and Book Signing – 4 to 6 p.m. – Oddfellows Gallery

For more information on the Rosemary Wells exhibit, contact the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at 601.266.4349.