DEPS - Department of Exhibitions, Performance & Student Spaces Columbia College Chicago

June 15-August 17, 2017

Opening Reception: June 15, 5-7 p.m.
Family Day: July 22, 12-3 p.m. (see details below)

Created by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 1967, The Bologna Illustrators Exhibition offers illustrators from all over the world a unique opportunity to display their talent to key players in the sector who come to Bologna every year for the most important trade show for the exchange of copyrights for children’s literature. An authoritative international jury consisting of publishers, artists and museum directors selects established artists and emerging talents. The second edition is organized by Columbia College Chicago, in partnership with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and the Italian Trade Agency.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair commitment to the U.S. market will manifest itself with NEW YORK RIGHTS FAIR: the new international adult and Children’s content and licensing marketplace, a meeting point for US publishers, agents, and their global counterparts. This new event will take place at the Metropolitan Pavilion, New York on May 30 – June 1, 2018.

The Bologna Illustrator Exhibition 2017 will be once again a pivotal experience for the Illustration students at Columbia College Chicago who study in a nationally renowned illustration program. The college offers a rigorous Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree, but is also one of the few colleges in the country to offer a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. This exhibition and competition is a result of a collaboration by almost all of the 150 undergraduate students and over a dozen teachers that constitute the Illustration Program.

The full-time faculty, who have steered this project, represent decades of professional experience. The program is led by author, cartoonist, and illustrator Ivan Brunetti (Associate Professor) and Chris Arnold (Assistant Professor), who works as a commercial illustrator and fine artist. Fred Nelson (Associate Professor), who brings decades of advertising experience and Chris Eliopoulos (Lecturer), who works in film/television and on children’s books, round out the award-winning team of educators.

This exhibition is sponsored by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and the Italian Trade Agency. The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the most important international event dedicated to the children’s publishing and multimedia industry. In Bologna authors, illustrators, literary agents, licensors and licensees, packagers, distributors, printers, booksellers, and librarians meet to sell and buy copyright, find the very best of children’s publishing and multimedia production, discover new business opportunities, and discuss and debate the latest sector trends. The Italian Trade Agency is the government organization that promotes the internationalization of the Italian companies, in line with the strategies of the Ministry of Economic Development, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Chicago Office is responsible, among others, for the publishing sector as well as maintaining and regularly updating its publishing website

Family Day schedule: July 22, 12-3 p.m. 
This event is free and open to the public. Bring the family, catch the exhibition, and join us as we celebrate your child’s creativity, curiosity, and of course, their love for children’s books. There will be drawing, storytelling, and children’s music amidst a showcase of great artwork.

12pm-1pm. “Columbia Student Picture Books” 
Enjoy a live reading by Columbia illustration students of picture books written and illustrated by Columbia illustration students. We’ll feature “Just Like You” by Diana Barron, “All Me” by Ginel Lumpkin and Amber People will be reading their own book “Lil Miss Cotton Puff”–each written and illustrated in our fall 2016 Children’s Book Illustration class. We’ll also read favorite books from recent years such as “The Voice of Innes” by Keara McGraw, “No More Pesto” by Zelda Vidal, “Melissa Meets A Monster” by Danielle Knight, “My Name Is Tippy” by Nikki Wicks, “Shelly’s Spots” by Nicolette Schwartz, “The Little Composer” by Renee Rolewicz, and “Tammy and Rufus in Chicago” by Camille Jenkins. 

1pm-2pm. “Word Play Drawings”
Columbia illustration and fine arts student, Copeland Smith, will read a children’s picture book called “Word Play”, written and illustrated by Columbia illustration teacher Ivan Brunetti. It’s all about compound words. She’ll explain a bit about what compound words are and then help kids think up new ones. Assisted by fellow Columbia illustration students, Copeland will help you create drawings that illustrate your compound words in pictures–a bit like the pictures Ivan has created in his book. 

2-3pm. “Create Your Own Picture Book”
Get inspired by art work in the gallery and create your own picture book! Illustration teacher Cheri Charlton will provide each participant a blank booklet and art materials. We’ll each find artwork in the exhibition which we find inspiring. Cheri and several Columbia students will work one-on-one with kids to help them create their own illustrated book.

Exhibition Contact: Meg Duguid, Director of Exhibitions,, 312.369.8686
Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri 9 a.m.- 5p.m.
For more information: