Monday, February 14, 2011

Ashley Bryan

It was an honor to meet Ashley Bryan today at the Fairhope, AL library!

Bryan is known for retelling African folktales in a distinct, rhythmic prose that is heavily influenced by African-American poetry; he is an eclectic artist who uses painting, poetry, music, collage, and prose to tell stories.

 Bryan shared his favorite poetry including the works of Langston Hughes. He indicated poetry gives him ideas for writing stories and the words which should be expressively brought alive; he so dramatically demonstrated.
 Ashley Bryan shared many of his inspirational books including Beautiful Blackbird.

 Bryan told us to begin with a LOVE of who YOU are. "Love yourself and your people."
 "Feel the spirit of the voice, the spirit of the oral tradition." 
"Find the most expressive way to bring words alive."

My America is a beautiful (new to me) book Ashley Bryan shared with us today depicting 2 very different styles of art created by Bryan and his friend and artist Gilchrist. They each represented sky, water, land, animals, and people of America. Bryan explained that he and Gilchrist worked completely independently to represent the concepts in "My America." The book depicts the very different (but equally beautiful) visual representation styles of each artist.

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