Princesses, Porcupines and Toads in the Road

Moonlight Ride, by Kevan Atteberry

Moonlight Ride, by Kevan Atteberry

Since my office tower is connected to the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle, I have the luck to regularly experience the great art housed within its walls.  The Center has an impressive permanent collection of renowned artists, with more than 100 works on display. But the Center also hosts a series of rotating art exhibits, so there’s always something new to discover.  The show on view right now is one of my favorites of all time.

Why? Well, I dare you to stop and see some of these works without breaking out into a smile. Turns out Western Washington is a hotbed for members of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  The current exhibition features the work of 67 member illustrators from the Western Washington chapter, pieces that showcase the breadth of talent,  as well as the varied media and technique in an art form that seems to me to be close to universal. Who doesn’t enjoy a beautifully illustrated children’s book?  And these characters are terrific. I’ve fallen in love with the petulant princess, the toad in the road, the swinging hedgehog, the lonely king, the moonlight rider monster, the bike riding businessman badger, the rain-dodging spider, the operatic rat……and each time I pass by I find a new favorite.

Royal Pain, by Liz Wong

Royal Pain, by Liz Wong

To enhance your experience, I recommend you download the free STQRY app. It includes a built in QR code reader, and next to each artwork you’ll find a code you can scan to learn more about the artist and his or her work.

I know, it’s a busy time of year. But take time to come visit these charming pieces, I know you’ll be glad you did.

The Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators of Western Washington show is on view through January 8.  Also on view in the adjacent second floor galleries is Palimpsests II, curated by Shift Collaborative Gallery.

Also useful is this helpful map and guide to the permanent collection.

For more information about the center, including maps and parking information, visit their website.



Tracey Wickersham
By Tracey Wickersham
Tracey Wickersham is the Director of Cultural Tourism at Visit Seattle. In her off hours she’s the host of a weekly music program on KBCS 91.3 FM and a board member at 4Culture, supporting arts, heritage, public art and historic preservation in King County. She lives in West Seattle with her husband, one headstrong elderly Australian Cattle Dog, heaps of books and music, and an unwieldy garden.
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