NCCU Art Museum presents a virtual exhibit of the work of Bryan Collier, author and children’s book illustrator.
Bryan Collier grew up in Pocomoke, Maryland. His interest in art started at an early age, as he and his siblings were always encouraged to read and create art. As a teenager, he began to paint the world around him. Drawing inspiration from quilts his grandmother made during his childhood, he developed a unique style of painting that incorporated both watercolors and collage. In 1985, Collier won first place in a Congressional Competition, which resulted in his art being displayed in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Later that year, he received a scholarship to Pratt Institute in New York City through their national talent competition. With honors, he graduated from Pratt Institute in 1989 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
During his studies in New York, Collier volunteered at the Harlem Horizon Studio and Harlem Hospital Center. He later became the program director, a position he served in for 12 years. Collier then decided to focus his time and attention on illustrating children’s books full time. The genesis of his book-illustrating career was with the publication of his book "Uptown." Collier is a four-time Caldecott Honor recipient for "Trombone Shorty," "Dave the Potter," "Rosa," and "Martin's Big Words." His books have won many other awards as well, including six Coretta Scott King Awards and three CSK honors. His recent books include "Thurgood," "Hey Black Child," and "Between the Lines." Today, Collier continues to spend his time on book illustrations. He invests a significant amount of his time in K-12 outreach, going into classrooms and interacting with teachers, librarians and students.