Emerging Artist Award

In conjunction with New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, R. Michelson Galleries reviews attending Illustrator portfolios and bestows the Emerging Artist Award for illustrators who have not yet published a children’s book. Most of our previous winners include have gone on to obtain book contracts and greater publishing success.

2019: Kari Percival

“Thank You Very Much” Said the Scarecrow
10×15.25 in

Kari’s illustration style is rooted in the woodcuts she’d been carving and printing for more than two decades. At the 2019 New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (NESCBWI) spring conference, her illustration portfolio earned a Peter Davis Emerging Artist Scholarship. Kari earned a BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

2018: Amanda Putnam

So Engulfed with Joy
10×16.25 in

Amanda Putnam is an aspiring Children’s Book/Middle Grade/YA Illustrator who loves everything to do with Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and Horses. Born and raised in Springfield, MA, she is currently a Middle School Art Teacher. She has obtained an MFA in Illustration from the Academy of Art in San Francisco, and plans to use such an education to further her skills and teaching. She now resides in Agawam, MA with her wonderful husband.




2017: Anne P. Wert

Can I Keep It?
11×14.5 in

Anne P. Wert is an artist, illustrator, writer, reader, runner volunteer, and mother.
She is the 2017 R. Michelson Galleries Emerging Artist Award recipient. Her Work has been shown at the Danforth Art Museum, the Milford Art Council, the Rhode Island Watercolor Society, and the Providence Art Club.  After a career as an elementary school teacher, Anne spent many years living and painting overseas in Europe and Asia. Her paintings are in private collections around the world, including Paris, Toronto, Dallas, Washington D.C. and New York.

She Attended Parsons School of Design in Paris and is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design Children’s Book Illustration Certificate program. She lives with her family in Providence, RI where she continues painting, reading, and writing everyday. Anne is an active member of the Providence Art Club and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

2016: Milanka Reardon

Beary Special Friends 14x11 in
Beary Special Friends
14×11 in

Milanka Reardon is co-Illustrator Coordinator for the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

She is a graduate of the Children’s Book Illustration and the Natural Science Illustration Certificate programs at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her illustration of “A Beary Special Friend” won the Rich Michelson Emerging Artist Award at the NESCBWI 2016 conference. Her illustration of a dragon bridge won first place in the unpublished division in the NESCBWI poster showcase in 2012. Milanka’s artwork has been displayed in the Warwick Museum of Art’s “Tell Me a Story” exhibit and at the Spring Bull Gallery in Newport, RI. She lives with her family in Uxbridge, Massachusetts.

2015: Marcela Staudenmaier

Good Morning
11×16.25 in
Cut Paper

Marcela is a graduate of the Children’s Book Illustration Certificate Program at the Rhode Island School of Design and an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

She has been the recipient of the Tassy Walden Award: New Voices in Children’s Literature (Shoreline Arts Alliance CT), the Ann Barrow Illustrator’s Scholarship (New England SCBWI), the R. Michelson Galleries Emerging Artist Award (New England SCBWI and R. Michelson Galleries), the James Jafferis Prize (New Haven Paint & Clay Club). Her work has also received accolades from the Danforth Museum of Art, 3×3 Magazine of Contemporary Illustration, the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles and the New England SCBWI. She was selected by Connecticut Humanities and the CT Center for the Book as one of 24 illustrators/writers to create the Great CT Caper.

2014: Kevin Barry

Come Away With Me! 24x18 in
Come Away With Me!
24×18 in
Pigment Print

As a child, Kevin Barry would spend his time cutting out and copying the comic strips from his dad’s Sunday newspaper. His love of drawing only grew with the years, leading Kevin to a pursue a BFA in illustration at UMass Dartmouth. Kevin has worked as a graphic designer, special education teaching assistant, and third grade teacher. Teaching helped to foster Kevin’s love of children’s literature, and has given him insight into the inner lives of children and how they connect to stories. Kevin is an active member of the SCBWI and won the R. Michelson Emerging Artist Award. He lives with his wonderful wife and curious cat, Murphy, in the suburbs of Boston.

2013: David Bird

A Life Well Lived
24×18 in
Pigment Print

David Bird is a toy designer by day. He’s developed products for My Little Pony, Trolls, Marvel, LEGO Technic, and Bionicle. By night, he is an author and illustrator, currently seeking publication for his first picture book, represented by Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

2012: Russ Cox

A Whole New World
20×16 in
Pigment Print

After high school, Russ Cox received a degree at a local art school. With a portfolio in his hand, he ventured into the world of design and illustration where he worked for various design and advertising agencies until coming to his senses. With his wife giving me a swift kick-start in the rump, Cox opened his own studio, Smiling Otis Studio, where he presently specializes in illustration for the children’s market and children’s books. He also found time to teach various classes at Pennyslvania College of Art & Design for several years. Recently the Cox family packed up the wagon and headed to the wilderness of Maine where they have setup a homestead in Pittsfield. When not drawing, running amok in the snow, or training their four cats to yodel Slim Whitman’s greatest hits, He enjoys some quiet time with his banjo while taking in the beauty of Maine. His poor wife would prefer me to play the triangle or build a sound proof room.

2011: Katia Wish – Co-Recipient

10.75×7.75 in

Katia Wish is a children’s book author-illustrator based in Boston, MA. She has illustrated “Sophie’s Animal Parade,” written by Amy Dixon (Sky Pony Press, Spring 2015). Katia is currently working on her own stories as an author-illustrator and also looking forward to illustrating manuscripts of other authors.
She is the winner of the 2011 Tomie DePaola Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
In addition to working on children’s books and magazines, Katia teaches illustration at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design. Katia’s work has been exhibited in galleries throughout New England.
Katia is originally from Belarus, where she grew up. The influences and sensibilities of both her home country and her experiences in the United States contribute to Katia’s work.

2011: Jeanette Bradley – Co-Recipient

The Secret Garden
5×7 in
Pigment Print

Jeanette Bradley studied painting at Indiana University and Children’s Book Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. Along the way she also acquired a degree in urban planning and spent a summer as the artist-in-residence for a traveling art museum on a train. She currently lives in Rhode Island, where she loves to explore the shoreline of Narragansett Bay. Jeanette is represented by Emily Mitchell of Wernick & Pratt. Her picture book LOVE, MAMA is forthcoming from Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan) in Winter 2018.