Local author and illustrator Susan Ertel is one of several artists whose work will be displayed at Ohio University Lancaster in an exhibit focusing on the evolution of the circle in children’s illustrations.
Two children’s books in which Ertel completed artwork for will be displayed: “Belle, The Hound That Was Found,” which she also authored, and “The Forgotten Pumpkin,” authored by Hugh Earnhart.
The title in the exhibit is Children’s Book Illustrations: The Circle of Creativity. The exhibit will be open Jan. 22 to March 21 in the Raymond S. Wilkes Gallery for the Visual Arts at Ohio University’s Lancaster campus.
The first art featured in the exhibit is a fun perspective of storytelling with art drawn by preschoolers, and elementary students, Ertel said. Then, the middle and high school students and their more technical art, then more advanced college artists and professional artists wanting to be published.
Ertel’s art will be featured in the final section, which completes the circle around the gallery with some original illustrations from actual children’s books that have been published. The books will also be available for purchase at the gallery.
“Belle, The Hound That Was Found,” is a book about Ertel’s late pet therapy dog. Belle was rescued and found underweight, with torn ears and a broken jaw, leaving her with permanent injuries. This humble hound, known for flopping over upside-down in hope of a belly rub, inspired Ertel to pursue a long-time desire to enter the pet therapy field.
“I believe illustrating books is difficult because the art you create has to fit the story, please the author and also fit on the page,” Ertel said. “My colorful whimsical line drawings showcase the lighter side of life. My drawings are a jigsaw puzzle of color to form the image. The biggest thing to capture is the emotion of each story.”
The gallery’s opening will take place Jan. 22, 5 to 7 p.m. in the gallery.
To learn more about the exhibition, visit www.ohio.edu/lancaster.