CALS Welcomes Renowned Children’s Author and Illustrator Yuyi Morales for Exhibition Opening 

CALS Welcomes Renowned Children’s Author and Illustrator Yuyi Morales for Exhibition Opening 

The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) is thrilled to announce that celebrated and award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales is coming to Little Rock for an exceptional program and exhibition of her work opening at the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center, 4800 W. 10th St. The exhibition, titled Yuyi Morales: Soñadora, will be open to the public from October 14 to November 15, showcasing over 50 pieces of her work. Admission to the exhibition is free during regular library hours.

Morales will make a special appearance at the exhibition on Saturday, October 14. Following the ribbon cutting, two Arkansas artists will host workshops, Briseida (Brioch) Ochoa, monotype on gelatin palate, and José Hernandez, mural making. Morales will speak about her work. An additional day of workshops will take place on Saturday, October 21, with Lourdes Valverde, painting; Andrea Carrillo, origami; and Vincente Yañez, building a pinata.

Morales was born in Xalapa, Mexico, the city of flowers and springs. After migrating to the US in 1994, she struggled with English and loneliness in a culture foreign to her but found solace in public libraries, where she read children’s books with her son and discovered a renewed interest in stories and art. She is now the author and illustrator of many books for children, including the New York Times bestseller Dreamers, her most recent book, Bright Star, and she is a seven-time winner of the Pura Belpre Medal for an outstanding work of literature for children that best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience. Other honors include the Americas Award, the Golden Kite Medal, the Christopher Award, the Jane Adams Award, and the Tomas Rivera Award. In 2015 she received the Caldecott Honor for her book Viva Frida.

Arkansas artists include Ochoa, from Bentonville, who specializes in photography, painting, and mixed media, creating intense personal moments through abstraction. Hernandez, a muralist, gained fame through pop-up art events across the US and Mexico, with notable projects in Little Rock. Valverde, a self-taught figurative artist in Arkansas, draws from her Mexican heritage, incorporating vibrant colors, cultural symbols, and traditional motifs. Carrillo, a recent graduate from the Kansas City Art Institute in Bentonville, specializes in colorful and lighthearted storytelling through illustrations. Yañez, based in Springdale, AR, explores design philosophy in his paintings and drawings.

“Today, Hispanic Americans are leaders in government, business, education, sports, science, and the arts,” said Maria Aguilar, CALS Community Liaison. “Many contributions made by Hispanic Americans to our society aren’t highly visible or widely celebrated, however, Hispanic Americans have enriched our nation beyond measure with the quiet strength of closely knit families and proud communities. The Latino population has become such a presence. We are part of the America tapestry in a very profound way, in every area you can think of and are very significant in popular culture.”

In addition to the in-person programs, and the exhibition, CALS will give away more than 300 books written and/or illustrated by Morales, including copies of DreamersBright StarFridaThunder BoyJr., Just in Case and Nino.

Morales’s visit to Little Rock extends beyond the Children’s Library, as she will also engage with students at Chicot Elementary School through the Six Bridges Book Festival’s Writers in the Schools (WITS) program.

This is a special project of the Six Bridges Book Festival, CALS Outreach & Development office, and the Children’s Library, in collaboration with the Latino Art Project Seis Puentes and the Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock. This exhibition was organized by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, Texas. The program is supported with funding from the Arkansas Arts Council, a division of Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. Full details can be found at of Morales found here.