Tag Archives: tara mcpherson

Tara McPherson on judging panel for Art of Politics 2008

art of politics

Adjunct faculty member Tara McPherson will be judging artwork for the 2008 Art of Politics poster contest.  Winning posters will tour around the US!  Here’s a snippet from the organizers about the contest:

With buzz generating for the past several weeks, the national on-line political poster contest Art of Politics 2008 officially opened for submissions this week. “So far, the response has been incredibly promising- the idea really seems to resonate with people. We’re anxious to see what people submit and what issues are most commonly depicted.” Truly a grassroots effort, contest organizers Leslie Mestman and Summer Lewis have been developing an on-line network ranging from friends and colleagues to political groups and art schools in order to get the word out about the contest.

Art of Politics 2008 will be soliciting original graphic art political poster submissions through April 30, 2008. “We’re really hoping that people will express which issues they want heard this election season instead of just letting the candidates define it for them.” At the beginning of May, the contest will open up for People’s Choice on-line voting to select the thirty finalists. After the thirty are selected, the panel of judges will vote on the top three winners. In keeping with the spirit of the contest, the top three selected artists will each be given money to donate to the political, charitable, activist or political group of their choice.

Visit the official website or Art for Politics’s MySpace page for more information.  This is a great chance to create activist art and get involved!

Art of Politics 2008 Political Poster Contest

Theme: Political issues of local, national or global significance.  All artwork must be original. You must have permission to use any copyrighted images displayed in your artwork.  You can submit multiple pieces of art but only one prize per person will be awarded.

Submissions accepted: Jan 15, 2008 – April 30, 2008

Illustration in the Age of Anxiety Video

View Illustration in the Age of Anxiety on FORA.tv

If you weren’t able to attend the Illustration Department’s mini-symposium “Illustration in the Age of Anxiety” this past November, you are in luck! FORA.tv has an archive of the event which you can view at their website. The symposium focused on how illustration handles times of unease and anxiety in our culture, from the atomic anxiety of the 1950s to today’s wars and upheaval and featured three conversations lead by prominent and accomplished writers illustrators. For full descriptions of each session, check out our original write-up and make sure to head over to FORA.tv and watch the video.

[pictured above from left to right: Ruth Marten, Tara McPherson, and Nora Krug.]

The Illustration Holiday Shopping List: Part Three

Another installment of the Illustration-related list o’ goodies is headed your way…now! If you missed the first couple of installments, catch them here & here.


hayes funeral

Future Watch: Illustration Alumna Leah Hayes will publish her first, full-length graphic novel in 2008, titled Funeral of the Heart. The official description reads:

“Funeral of the Heart” is Leah Hayes’ stylistic tour-de-force and graphic novel debut, featuring a series of short stories by Hayes and illustrated entirely using the otherworldly medium of scratchboard. Hayes creates a world of unease and ambiguity populated by obsessive characters, forlorn animals, and mysterious, inanimate objects; odd occurrences, unnerving deaths and unconventional but genuine love bind these characters and their stories together. In “The Bathroom,” a middle-aged couple discover a mysterious tunnel in their poolhouse after a neighbor’s child accidentally drowns in their pool–leading to an immaculate bathroom and another drowning. In “The Needle,” two sisters suffer the death of their grandmother as well as her possible resurrection at the hands of the woman with the needle.

The stories are hand lettered and juxtaposed against stark, highly stylized, graphically powerful, black and white images. Stories with titles like “The Bathroom,” “The Needle,” and “The Hair” sound innocuous, but they aren’t fables that should be read to one’s children–unless your children enjoy being made uneasy by beautiful things.

We couldn’t say it much better than that. Check out Leah’s website for images of her other work and keep your eyes out for Funeral of the Heart early next year. In fact, you can already pre-order it on Amazon and Powells, or you can wait and purchase it directly from Fantagraphics, who also published Leah’s earlier work, Holy Moly.

century girl

Illustration Faculty member Lauren Redniss published her first book, Century Girl, this year. Here’s a synopsis, taken from Lauren’s website:

When Doris Eaton was born on March 14, 1904, the average American could expect to live 47 years. Today, at 102, the 5′ 2,” blue-eyed Virginia native has already lived more than two of these life spans.

In 1918, Doris kicked up the youngest pair of legs in the bedazzling, feathered chorus line of Florenz Ziegfeld’s annual Follies stage spectacular. For her 100th birthday in 2004, Doris was back on the same Broadway stage, in black taffeta skirt and silver heels, leading a conga line of a dozen dancers.

By the time she received her honorary doctorate at age 101, Doris had starred in silent and talking pictures, performed for presidents and princesses, bantered with Babe Ruth, offended Henry Ford, outlived six siblings, wrote a newspaper column, hosted a television show, earned a phi beta kappa degree in history (at 88), raised turkeys, and raced horses.

Century Girl is a visual biography of Doris’s first 100 years.

Praised by reviewers, Lauren’s work is a combination of hand-lettering, collage, archival materials, interviews, history, and general fantastic-ness. More information about how to buy can be found here.

cummings museum boy

Future watch: Illustration Faculty member Pat Cummings has a brand new children’s book available January, 2nd. 2008 called Harvey Moon, Museum Boy. Here’s a brief description:

To liven up his class trip, Harvey Moon brings his pet lizard, Zippy, along to the museum.


When Zippy escapes, Harvey’s adventures begin. You’ll be laughing and wondering what’s next as knights, dinosaurs, and even mummies get into the act.

Cut loose in a museum setting with a brave boy, a lively lizard, a funny plot—and award-winning author and artist Pat Cummings at her entertaining best.

Pre-order the book here and visit Pat’s website for artwork from a host of her other great books.

billout frog who went to sea

Illustration Faculty Guy Billout’s latest children’s book The Frog Who Wanted to See the Sea has garnered tons of critical praise for its storytelling and artwork. One review describes Guy’s book thusly:

Our heroine is Alice, a little green frog who is growing restless within the confines of her small pond: Alice knew every inch of the pond’s murky bottom and every hiding place amoung the reeds. She knew too, that she could swim from one side to the other with 28 kicks of her back legs. Spurred by a loquacious sea gull, Alice gets it into her head to leave home, taking only a rolled-up lily pad- great detail- to venture forth and see the ocen. A quest narrative, as they say.

The psychological hook for young children (or midlife parents) is obvious. Fortunately, Billout, whose writing is as disciplined as his artwork, doesn’t drive home the point with a nail gun in the manner of, say, Katzenberg-era Disney animation. Instead his story unfold simply, with grace, nuance and high style. I particularly loved his description of Alice’s first sighting of the ocean, which comes after a troubled sleep adrift on her pad: When Alice awoke the next morning, all she could see was blue. She looked in every direction for green riverbanks. In a moment of both joy and fright, she realized that she had reached the sea. Alice croaked softly. … The only reply was a gust of wind that blew across the surface of the water. The hook here- the lostness- is again compelling, and the illustration, of Alice riding a wave that honors Billout’s debt to traditional Japanese printmaking, is a thing of subtle beauty. But it’s that moment of both joy and fright that rally gets me. Beyond encouraging feelings, how many children’s books bother with that kind of emitional duality, let alone conflict?

Guy’s book is available now and you can always visit Guy’s website for more artwork and information.



bubble yuckyhug life mcpherson alien ion mcpherson


Illustration Faculty Tara McPherson has a wide variety of items on the market now. Her most recent work produced the Bubble Yucky Dunny, Hug Life Hellboy, and the Alien Ion Dunny (seen above, in order), as well as other items available through Kid Robot and Tara’s own website. In other news, Tara is currently working on art for her upcoming solo show at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York, which will take place February 23rd-March 22nd, 2008.


One final installment of the list coming up soon!

Illustration in the Age of Anxiety Symposium

symposium poster

Illustration in the Age of Anxiety
Saturday, November 10th
The New School
55 West 13 Street
3-7 p.m
Free and open to the public

Parsons The New School for Design Illustration Department presents a new mini-symposium focused on how the current cultural climate is affecting the field of illustration.

Illustration in the Age of Anxiety looks at how illustration handles times of unease and anxiety in our culture, from the atomic anxiety of the 1950s to today’s wars and upheaval. “Illustration in the Age of Anxiety” will feature three conversations lead by prominent and accomplished writers illustrators.

Shaky Line, Shaky Times: Ed Koren and Ed Sorel in Conversation with Dan Nadel” will feature master satirical illustrators Ed Koren and Ed Sorel who will discuss their famously anxious drawing styles and nearly half century’ worth of drawings for hundreds of books and publications.

Ben Katchor: Reading in Public” will feature MacArthur-award winning graphic novelist Ben Katchor, who joins Parsons as a full time faculty member this fall, as he discusses the difficulties of reading in an uncertain time.

Pop-gothic artist Tara McPherson and illustrator-tattoo artist Ruth Marten will talk to Guarnaccia about drawing on the dark side of life in the final session of the symposium, “A Light in the Dark: Ruth Marten and Tara McPherson in conversation with Steven Guarnaccia.”

Nora Krug, another new fulltime faculty member in the illustration department, will deliver the introductory remarks and introduce the panels.

The event will be held in the Theresa Lang Community and Student Center at The New School, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor, from 3-7 pm and is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.parsons.newschool.edu/events or 212-229-8919.

(Poster illustrated by Nora Krug.)