Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery

Sandra Neil Wallace, illus. by Bryan Collier. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4814-4387-6
This rich portrait of an innovative and determined artist begins with Ernie Barnes as a child in the segregated South. Despite a desire to pursue art, football was Barnes’s ticket to college, where he visited museums for the first time and was dismayed to find no black artists represented (“Your people don’t express themselves in that way,” a docent told him). But Barnes refused to abandon his artwork, even after being drafted as a professional footballer. Collier’s multidimensional collages are a dynamic mix of gridiron action and quiet moments of Barnes with his brushes and canvases. It’s a well-sourced, stirringly told account of an artist drawing inspiration from and finding beauty in the immediate surroundings of his world. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Liza Voges, Eden Street Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/20/2017
Release date: 01/23/2018
Genre: Children's
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