MassMu to Exhibit Illustrations by Sean Qualls

News Release:  MassMu to Exhibit Illustrations by Sean Qualls 

The Published and Unpublished Illustrations of Sean Qualls will be exhibited in the second floor of the Massillon Museum from January 24 through March 15, 2015. The opening reception on Saturday, January 24, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., will be free and open to the public. No reservations are necessary.

Qualls is an award-winning children’s book illustrator, artist, and author. He has illustrated celebrated books for children, including Giant Steps to Change the World by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis-Lee; Little Cloud and Lady Wind by Toni Morrison and her son, Slade; and Before John Was a Jazz Giant, for which he received a Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor. Qualls also created the art for Dizzy by Jonah Winter and most recently Freedom Song by Sally Walker. 

When his work was awarded two Blue Ribbon citations from the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, he was commended for “serious craftsmanship” and “original style.” The American Library Association (ALA) credited him with a “Notable Children’s Book,” School Library Journal awarded him “Best Book of the Year,” and Young Adult Library Service Association (YALSA) honored his work among “Best Books for Young Adults.”  He has been honored by the Society of Illustrators in New York and Los Angeles.

Qualls has created illustrations for magazines, newspapers, and advertisements. Among his clients are Simon & Schuster, Starbuck’s, Pepsi-Cola, Scholastic, Random House, Houghton-Mifflin/Harcourt, Candlewick Press, Henry Holt, Little Brown, Harper Collins, Harvard Business Review, and READ Magazine.

The artist’s work, which has been shown in galleries in New York and across the United States, draws inspiration from diverse influences: movies, television, childhood memories, aging and decaying surfaces, architecture, nature, folk art, fairy tales, Americana, black memorabilia, outsider art, cave paintings, collectibles, African art, Golden Books, vintage advertisements, mythology, science fiction, music, and literature. 

Qualls lives in lives in Brooklyn with his wife, illustrator/author Selina Alko and their two children. Learn more about the artist at

Also during the evening of January 24, the Ninth Annual Ohio Collage Society Exhibition will open in the main gallery. A Studio M exhibition of artwork by the MassMu staff will open in the Fred F. Silk Community Room in the lower level. The Immel Circus; the century-old Jewel automobile; It’s Been Awhile; Paul Brown: The Professional Years; Orange and Black Cinema: Film Noir and Massillon, Ohio; and Massillon and the War of the Rebellion: Women and the War can also be seen.  

The Published and Unpublished Illustrations of Sean Qualls can be seen through Sunday, March 15, during regular Museum hours—Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.  A visit to the Massillon Museum is always free.

The Massillon Museum receives operating support from the Ohio Arts Council and ArtsinStark.

The Massillon Museum is located at 121 Lincoln Way East in downtown Massillon.  Free parking is available on adjacent streets and in nearby city lots.  For more information, call 330.833.4061 or visit   

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