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Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) shines spotlight on exciting illustration talent



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A showcase of work from children’s book illustrators is on display at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in Cambridge.

Anglia Ruskin University, East Road Campus, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
Anglia Ruskin University, East Road Campus, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

The annual MA Children's Book Illustration Graduate Show (cambridgemashow.com) opened in the Ruskin Gallery on Wednesday, February 23, and runs until tomorrow (Thursday, March 3).

The exhibition includes work from all 54 MA children’s book illustration students who will graduate in 2022, which marks 20 years of the renowned course that continues to attract some of the most talented illustrators from around the world.

This year’s graduate show exhibition includes work by Italian illustrator Jessica Ciccolone, who has been named as the winner of the annual Sebastian Walker Award for Illustration, which is presented by publishers Walker Books to the most promising ARU children’s book illustration student of the year.

To mark the 20th anniversary, the private view of the exhibition last Thursday (February 24) included a special celebration of the course, which was established by Martin Salisbury, professor of illustration at ARU.

Artwork by Italian illustrator Jessica Ciccolone, who has been named as the winner of the annual Sebastian Walker Award for Illustration, which is presented by publishers Walker Books to the most promising ARU children’s book illustration student of the year
Artwork by Italian illustrator Jessica Ciccolone, who has been named as the winner of the annual Sebastian Walker Award for Illustration, which is presented by publishers Walker Books to the most promising ARU children’s book illustration student of the year

Professor Salisbury said: “Along with esteemed and much treasured visiting tutor, John Lawrence, I looked forward to running this little course alongside my primary duties with the undergraduate course.

“Within a decade it had taken over my life as we became overrun with applications from all corners of the globe, thanks to the amazing achievements of our graduates, whose published works were becoming increasingly evident in bookshops. At one stage I counted students from 29 different countries.

“In celebrating this anniversary, I would like pay thanks to our wonderful teaching staff, permanent and visiting. But most especially to my successor as course leader, Shelley Jackson, who has taken up the reins with such skill and grace and led the course to new heights.”

The MA Children's Book Illustration Graduate Show exhibition, which is open to the public and free to attend, runs until tomorrow (March 3) in the Ruskin Gallery on ARU’s Cambridge campus.

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