Enjoying Ezra

Mood, Magnetism and Keats

Visiting the Ezra Jacks Keats exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center on a curious overcast day was like stepping into a life-size picture book. Full of tone, depth, and personality, the exhibition lulled the senses into comfort and ease. Over the past year, I’ve come to admire the fearlessness and honesty of Mr. Keats. Having managed a children’s bookstore years ago, I was familiar with his work, but I had never taken the time to read about him as a pioneer. It’s not just that he was primarily self-taught as an artist that pulls me in, but the fact that he believed all children should be represented in literature without the subject matter being tied into their ethnicity; which during the 60’s was radical thinking. Beyond that, he gave great significance to capturing the mood of his stories and placing his characters in a setting that was familiar to him as a writer. Thus creating an authentic relationship between illustrations and text.

Spending time with members of my writer’s group, gushing over details that captivated the child in all of us was like a mini-retreat. Magnetized by the twists and turns of the gallery, delighted every time we thought we’d come to the end, we were elated to find more footprints in the show. I won’t give the culmination of the exhibition away, but I will say, there is a hint in this post:).

The exhibit closes Septemeber 7th 2014.

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