Horses, Horses, Horses: the art of Ruth Sanderson. Binding a Valley: Photographic Portraits by Judy B. Messer

Hosmer Gallery at Forbes Library, 20 West St., Northampton (20 West St, Northampton MA 01060)


Artists Reception: Tuesday September 12, 5-7:30 PM


Ruth Sanderson’s career as a professional illustrator spans over 45 years and 90-plus books for children. She is well known for her fairy tale picture books, including The Enchanted Wood, The Crystal Mountain, The Snow Princess, and The Golden Mare, the Firebird, and the Magic Ring, winner of the Texas Bluebonnet Award. Ruth has illustrated many horse-themed books during her career. This exhibit features illustrations from her 2022 picture book A Storm of Horses, covers from the Random House Horse Diaries series and the Black Stallion series, as well as paintings from Hush Little Horsie (written by Jane Yolen), horse illustrations from Ruth’s fairy tale picture books, and drawings from her most recent title, Drawing Horses.

Ruth will present a workshop on Drawing Horses for ages 8 to adult, September 25 at 4 pm. Registration required.

Binding a Valley: Pioneer Valley Book Makers in the ‘90s, a documentary portrait series by Photographer Judy B. Messer

Judy B. Messer kicks off her 40 year anniversary as an artist working with heart and camera by celebrating with a showing of a special collection of documentary still film portraits made in the mid 90’s, “Binding A Valley!” The series celebrates pioneer valley and hilltown creatives who worked in their own beautiful way in the art of book making – from the authors and illustrators to the printers and book binders.

“Binding A Valley” series sparked for me while I was walking to dinner during a snowy night storm in Northampton. I was just taken into a soft loving moment of a man in the window working in his bindery. It was a perfect moment that illustrated the kind of quiet, hard-working artists that were creating all around me in the valley. An essence of valley community living, that had so much heart, and that was interconnected in its own story and way.”

The “Binding A Valley” exhibit will include portrait perspectives of the book maker, as well as a piece of their work, such as completed books that they have printed or illustrated, or larger framed original illustrations. Examples provided are in large part work from Forbes Library collections, sure to be a special collaborative experience for the viewers. Some of the artists featured include Bill Streeter Book Binder, Eric Carle Author / Illustrator, Leonard Baskin Artist, Illustrator / Sculpturist, Alan Robinson, Artist, Jane Yolen Author, Harold McGrath Printer, Barry Moser Artist, and more.