A tradition begun in 2015…
In 2015, Morristown Festival of Books was thrilled to announce the commission of its first collectible poster. Harding Township-based Tine Kirkland Graham was the inaugural artist selected to capture the spirit of the festival.
“We were so lucky to have Tine donate her time and talent to enhance the festival in our second year. We plan to commission a piece of art annually going forward. Readers can become art collectors, retaining a visual keepsake from the literary weekend,” explains Linda Hellstrom, founder of the MFOB.
MFOB’s 2016 artist was Morristown-based Susan Donnell. The reveal of her commissioned artwork was held in July at 70 South Gallery, a world class gallery and photography center in the heart of downtown Morristown, where Susan’s original watercolor was offered for sale by silent auction.
Posters from both 2015 and 2016 are now on sale at Just Jersey, at South and Elm Streets, 163 South Street, for $25 each. 70 South Gallery offers a generous discount on framing commemorative posters.
2016 Festival poster
“We are delighted to have Susan Donnell creating this year’s poster,” says Hellstrom. Donnell majored in Art History and Japanese at The College of Wooster. She has lived over 30 years in Morristown and is a founding member of Studio 7, an artists’ studio/gallery cooperative in Bernardsville. Her art has been accepted in prestigious exhibitions including the Audubon Annual Exhibition and The Hudson Valley Art Annual Exhibition.
Donnell’s work was part of the 100th Anniversary of the Masters of Fox Hounds Exhibition which traveled to 17 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Two of her paintings were in the Morris Museum’s exhibition Horseplay: A History of Equestrian Sports in America.
Donnell paints in a variety of media: pastel, watercolor and oil. She has participated in juried and non-juried shows regionally and nationally. Her involvement in the local art community has been a constant throughout her successful career. Currently, Donnell is a VP of the Board of Morris Arts, a former President of the Board of Somerset Art Association (now known as the Center for Contemporary Art), a founding member of the Pastel Society of NJ as well as a member of the Board of the Morris Museum, among others.
Inaugural Festival poster
“My inspiration for this painting is the vibrant mood up and down South Street during the festival weekend,” says 2015 artist Tine Kirkland Graham. “Authors mingling with avid book readers in the heart of our community spoke to my creative muse. I am celebrating the joy that the Morristown Festival of Books brings to the area around the Vail Mansion.”
Graham’s art is noted for its bold colors and whimsy. Graham began her career in the early 1980s as a painter of children’s pastel portraits. In 1992, she discovered acrylics and expanded her scope to include seascapes and beach scenes. She has won numerous awards in shows ranging from Morris County Art Association to New Jersey Center of Visual Arts. She is a longtime resident of Harding Township, New Jersey.