Author/illustrator to speak at Asheville School’s Founder’s Day convocation tonight

Press release

From the Asheville School

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (April 23, 2013) Author and illustrator Maira Kalman will speak at Asheville School’s Founders’ Day convocation on Thursday, April 25 at 7:15 p.m. in the Walker Arts Center’s Graham Theater. The event is free and open to the public with limited seating available.

“Maira Kalman is enthralled with American history. She has an ongoing love affair with American Presidents — especially Lincoln. In part, we want students to be inspired by people who are inspired by the great figures of America’s past, who look to these figures as exemplars for how we should live our own lives and as models for the principles by which we might operate as a country today,” said Associate Head of School Jay Bonner. “In addition, Ms. Kalman approaches her subjects from the visual world. The arts have a central role and place in the Asheville School curriculum — and in the lives we wish for our students. We hope that Ms. Kalman might both strengthen the conviction of those Asheville School students immersed in the arts as well as inspire additional students to be more attentive to the creative arts.”

A frequent contributor to The New Yorker Magazine, Kalman is well known for her collaboration with Rick Meyerowitz on the “New Yorkistan” cover in 2001. She is currently creating an illustrated column for The New Yorker based on travels to museums and libraries.

Her wise and witty illustrations illuminate contemporary life. As an illustrator, author, and designer she has created thirteen children’s books, including Ooh-la-la-Max in Love, What Pete Ate, and Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John Jay Harvey. Her most recent children’s book, 13 WORDS (Harper’s) was a collaboration with Lemony Snicket. She recently worked on the 2012 Printz Honor Award winning young adult novel, Why We Broke Up with Daniel Handler.

Recent projects include illustrating Strunk and White’s classic The Elements of Style. Kalman has created two monthly online columns for the New York Times. The first, The Principles of Uncertainty (2006-07), was a narrative journal of her life. The second, And The Pursuit of Happiness (2009) was a yearlong exploration of American History and democracy beginning with a story on the inauguration of Barack Obama. Both columns are now collected in book form, published by the Penguin Press.

As a designer, Kalman has worked with Isaac Mizrahi, Kate Spade, Michael Maharam, and Target creating fabrics and accessories. She has designed ballet sets and costumes for the Mark Morris Dance Company and mannequins for Ralph Pucci. Under the M&Co label she has designed watches, clocks, umbrellas for the Museum of Modern Art.

Kalman has twice been a finalist for the National Design Awards and has won numerous honors from other societies including the Art Directors Club, The Society of Publication Designers, The American Institute for Graphic Arts. A retrospective of her work originated at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and traveled to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and finally to New York’s Jewish Museum. A catalog, MAIRA KALMAN (various illuminations of a crazy world), was created for that show.

She lives in New York City where she teaches graduate design at the School of Visual Arts.

Click here to watch Kalman’s TED talk about her illustrations.

A nationally acclaimed co-ed college preparatory boarding and day school, Asheville School enrolls approximately 275 students from across the country and overseas. Recent graduates are attending Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Caltech, UCLA, UNC-Chapel Hill, Davidson, NC State, University of Virginia, Emory, Duke, and Wake Forest, among others.


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