Sameer Rao Sameer Rao is a Philadelphia-based freelance journalist and former City Paper intern whose works predominantly focus on music, art, theatre, comedy, education, activism, arts communities, gender, race, society, and where all of those things intersect. His writing so far has appeared in City Paper, the Philadelphia Public School Notebook, APIARY Online, and the Good Men Project. Look for upcoming pieces in CRED Magazine and WXPN's The Key.
You might not know his name, but you’ve probably seen his work. Jerry Pinkney, who grew up in Germantown and lives in New York City, parlayed a childhood talent for drawing into a half-century-long career as an illustrator of children’s books and stories. His explorations of international folk tales and African-American history have earned him five Coretta Scott King Awards, a Caldecott Medal and a trophy case full of other lofty accolades. Chances are, his illustrations for such classics as Gulliver’s Travels and The Ugly Duckling — or maybe even 2009’s celebrated The Lion and the Mouse — could very well be sitting on your child’s bookshelf right now. Pinkney’s watercolors and drawings are currently the focus of a retrospective exhibition shared by the Free Library and the Philadelphia Museum of Art; “Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney” runs through Sept. 22. The show is heralded by his Monday appearance at the Central Branch, wherein the not-so-secret literary legend will paint a picture of his life.
Mon., July 15, 7:30 p.m., free, Free Library, Central Branch, 1901 Vine St., 215-567-4341, freelibrary.org. “Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney” runs through Sept. 22, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 215-569-8080, pcmsconcerts.org.