McCarty's illustrations at Telluride Gallery of Fine Art in group show starting 7/28

McCarty's illustrations at Telluride Gallery of Fine Art in group show starting 7/28

[click “Play” to listen to Susan’s interview with Peter McCarty]

Cov_bunny When Will Thompson’s Telluride Gallery of Fine Art opens its blockbuster show, “From Beasts to Barbar,” featuring the work of 10 of the top children’s book illustrators in the world, the work of Peter McCarty is featured.

McCarty was originally to be in town for the opening July 28. As it turns, he plans an August trip to Telluride instead. However, had things worked out as scheduled, being spokesperson for the group would have forced McCarty out of his head, which is a good thing because McCarty has been living and working in his “attic” since the tender age of three. The place is now littered with ideas. The guy needs some fresh air. And maybe a cocktail.

Cov_hondo McCarty lived the 1950s in the 1960s: a white-picket-fence suburban life with a dad who worked long hours at IBM, four siblings and a stay-at-home mom. But his genetic soup provided an escape: McCarty is descended from a long line of artists, so he was able to retreat into his mind and then draw the imaginary worlds he visited there. All that came naturally. And he never stopped creating new characters and environments.

Well, almost never. For awhile, McCarty thought he was going to become some sort of scientist. He had an aptitude for nerdy subjects. But about the time he was meant to be graduating from the University of Colorado, he bolted to start over, attending art school at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He graduated in 1992 and teaches art there today. His friends still have not recovered from the shock.

Cov_terrible Henry Holt and Company published McCarty’s first book, “Little Bunny on the Move,” in 1999 and just like that, it won a Best Illustrated Book of the Year from The New York Times. “Little Bunny” put McCarty on the map, where he has stayed front and center ever since, winning more awards for his signature delicately detailed ink-and-watercolor or colored pencil illustrations of anthropomorphized animals, shapes so soft and velvety you want to reach out and touch them.

To learn more about Peter McCarty, click the “play” button and listen to his interview.

For interviews and stories about other artists in the show, follow these links:

Will Thompson, Gallery owner

Etienne Delessert

Henrick Drescher

Peter Sis

Jeanne de Sainte Marie

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