Monday, September 18, 2017

Bosom Bodies Opens on October 7th at SIA Gallery in Peekskill

School of Fontainebleau, Portrait of Gabrielle d'Estrée and her Sister the Duchess de Villars (?)
Date, c. 1594, artist unknown, The Louvre, Paris

The New York Arts Exchange cordially invites you to: 

An Exhibition in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Dedicated to SISTAAH: Survivors Inspiring Sisters through Art and Advocacy for Health

Saturday, October 7 - Sunday, October 29
SIA Gallery
1 South Division Street
Peekskill, NY 10566


Roni Ben-Ari, Lynn H. Butler, Marcy B. Freedman, Kathleen Gilje, Nadine Gordon-Taylor, Wilhelmina Obatola Grant, Grace Graupe-Pillard, Clarity Haynes, Carla Rae Johnson, Barbara Lubliner, Sasha [Alexandru] Meret, Ioana Niculescu-Aron, Toni Quest, Ruby Silvious, and Christina Thomas. 

Curated by Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D., director and owner of the New York Arts Exchange

Opening on Saturday, October 7th - 3 - 6 PM
Closing with Performance and Panel on Sunday, October 29th, 3 - 5 PM

Slide Lecture: "The History of the Female Breast in Art" 
Sunday, October 22nd, 2 PM

Gallery Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, noon- 5 PM

All events are free and open to the public

Bosom Bodies is a New York Arts Exchange Production

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Remembering artist Michael Richards at Francis Naumann Fine Art on September 11th

Michael Richards, Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian, 1999
at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, through November 17th

A tribute to Michael Richards, the artist who perished in the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001, opened on Friday, September 8th at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, 24 West 57th Street, NYC.  The gallery will be open on Monday, September 11th from 11 am to 6 pm, in honor of Michael  Richards' and all the victims of the 9/11/2001 attacks.   

The New York Arts Exchange joins with Francis Naumann Fine Art in honoring Michael Richards and all the lives cut short because of those heinous acts of terrorism. Our hearts go out to the first responders and those who worked on Ground Zero, who still suffer from the health-hazards posed by this toxic environment.  We remember you. We salute you. We still mourn you who perished on that day or because you stayed to help in the aftermath.

Michael Richards, Are You Down?, 2000
2' 10" x 22' 6" x 22' 6" 

Fiberglass, Bronze Bonded Resin, Concrete & Black Beauty Sand
Michael Richards FSP/Jerome Grant Recipient 2000

Franconia Sculpture Park, St. Croix Trail, Shafer, MN

Michael Richards' biography and legacy are available here, on the Francis M. Naumann Fine Art website and also at the Franconia Sculpture Park website, where an installation of Michael's Are You Down? is on permanent display.

Uncannily prescient, this Tar Baby pierced with planes, like St. Sebastian's tortured body pierced with arrows, "... was about death," Michael's art dealer, Genaro Ambrosino explained in the press, and: “ . . . about liberation, freedom, being able to escape. It was a sad message because of what it meant historically … It was like redemption from all that.”  

The relevance of Michael Richards' work continues to resonate in ways beyond his experience of America's inability to deal honestly with racism. Take note that he felt optimistic and empowered to make a difference, to right a wrong, to enlighten where there was ignorance or denial.  We hope his work will eventually become known for its excellence above all else.
Michael, your light shines on.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Fall into Fall: September 2017 Newsletter

Clarity Haynes and Beth Gersh-Nesic in front of Robin, 2015

New York Arts Exchange Fall Exhibitions - 
September and October 2017 

NYAE is proud to present two curatorial projects that bring attention to "Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October)":

Clarity Haynes: Bearing Witness, The Breast Portrait Project, 1998 - Present
Payne Gallery, Moravian College, 346 Main Street,  Bethlehem, PA 18018
September 7-October 15, 2017


An Exhibition In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

A group show with over 15 artists
SIA Gallery, 1 South Division Street, Peekskill, NY 10566
October 7 - 29, 2017
Opening: Saturday, October 7th, 3 - 6 pm
Closing with Performance and Panel Discussion: Sunday, October 29, 3 - 5 pm
Gallery Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 12 - 5 pm
Dedicated to SISTAAH: Survivors Inspiring Sisters Through Art and Advocacy for Health

We know that Bethlehem, PA is far, so we hope you will join us in Peekskill on October 7th as we celebrate the female breast in all its beauty and power!
Please save the date and look for other announcements related to the exhibition.

Florine Stettheimer, Self-Portrait with Palette and Faun, c. 1915

September-Early October exhibitions closings:

Jewish Museum: Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry, through September 24th. 
(NB: Stettheimer's Cathedral Series is still at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, eight blocks down Fifth Avenue, and the Stettheimer Dollhouse is still at the Museum of the City of New York, ten blocks north on Fifth Avenue, on display.)

Hilary Knight, Eloise for the Plaza Menu, 1957-8

New York Historical Society: Eloise at the Museum, through October 9th.  Absolutely delicious!  A must-see.

Richard Gerstl, Semi-Nude Self-Portrait, 1902-4

Neue Galerie: Richard Gerstl, through September 25.   Excellent!

Robert Rauschenberg, Monogram, 1955-59

Museum of Modern Art: Robert Rauschenberg Among Friends, through September 17th.
Outstanding - I went a few times and will return before it's gone.  Loved the modern dance videos and E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology) installation.

Beth's courses at Purchase College this Fall: "Realism in Art" and "Modernism, Media and the Middle Class."  Wednesday evening, 7 - 10 pm; Thursday evening, 6:30-9:50 pm, respectively.
Consult the Purchase College, School of Liberal Studies, to audit:

Best wishes for Fall 2017!

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange, LLC

Friday, July 14, 2017

Summer Selections 2017 - Hand-Picked and Still Fresh

Bastille Day, le 14 juillet/July, Paris 
Bonne Fête

What a fabulous summer in New York!  I love this city and our surrounding areas. After much running around to see the museum shows, here is my carefully Selected Summer Exhibitions 2017 recommendations!   I am also touring New York landmarks: synagogues, churches, museums and mansions, etc.  (a list will be forthcoming).

NB: The New York Arts Exchange is preparing 2 exhibitions for the fall:  
  • Clarity Haynes at Payne Gallery, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA, September - mid October, 2017. (Opening: TBA)
  • Bosom Bodies: A Celebration of the Female Breast in Honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October),  October 7-29, 2017, at SIA Gallery, Peekskill, NY. 

(Please save the dates - a full program will be announced in August.)

Here is what's on now in NY/CT museums near you:

Metropolitan Museum of Art:  "Age of Empire: Chinese Art from the Qin and Han Dynasties, 1221 BC-220 AD," through July 16; " "Irving Penn Centennial," through July 30; "Comme Les Garçons: Rei Kawakubo [retrospective]," through September 4; "The Theater of Disappearance," through October 29; "Drawing and Prints Selected from the Permanent Collection," through August 7.

Met Breuer: "Lygia Pape," through July 23; "The Body Politic," through September 3.

The Cloisters: Permanent Collection

Guggenheim Museum: "Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim," through September 6; "Mystical Symbolism: Salon de la Rose + Croix in Paris, 1892-97," through October 4.

Jewish Museum: "The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin," through August 6; "Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry," through September 26; "Vivian Suter," through October 22.

Neue Galerie: "Richard Gerstl," through September 25; "Austrian Masterworks from the Neue Galerie New York," through September 25.

Museo del Barrio: "NKAME: A Retrospective of the Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayón," through November 5; "Uptown: Nasty Women/Bad Hombres," through November 5; "Video Art: Elena Wren," through November 5.

Museum of the City of New York "Muslim in New York," through August 13; "Rhythm and Power: Salsa in New York," through November 26; permanent collection.

Museum of Modern Art: "Projects 106: Martine Syms," through July 16; "Louise Lawler: Why Pictures Now," through July 30; "Making Space: Women Artists and Post-War Abstraction," through August 13; "Robert Rauschenberg Among Friends," through September 17.

MOMA, PS 1: Consult their website - most ending in September.

Whitney Museum: "Calder: Hypermobility," through October 23.

Morgan Library and Museum: "Henry James and American Painting," through September 10; "The Ever New Self: Thoreau and his Journal," through September 10; "Poussin, Claude and French Drawings in the Classical Age," through October 15. 

Scandinavia House: "Independent Visions: Helene Schjerfberck and her Contemporaries," through October 3. 

New York Historical Society: "John F. Kennedy," through January 7, 2018; "World War I," through September 3; "Eloise in the Museum," through October 9.

Museum of the Native American: "Native American Fashion," through September 4; "Infinity of Nations [from the Permanent Collection]," ongoing.

Hudson River Museum: "Robert Zakanitch: Garden of  Ornament," through September 17.

Neuberger Museum: "Fred Wilson," through July 30; "Leandro Erlich," through July 30.

Bruce Museum: "Spring into Summer with Andy Warhol and Friends," through September 3; "Nikon Small World," July 29-October 29;  "Highlights from the Permanent Collections, through September 3.

Katonah Museum: "Wall to Wall: Carpets by Artists," through October 1. 

Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art: "Between I and Thou," through December 2017.

Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum:  Exhibitions of work by Suzanne McClelland, Beth Campbell; William Powhida, and Kay Rosen,  through September 4; Tony Matelli's Hera, through October 21.

Lehman College Gallery: "Wonderland: Photos from the Bronx Museum Permanent Collection," Summer 2017.

I am teaching a course online at Purchase College through August 8: Impressionism.  If you would like to audit, please let me know. 

Also - for more timely recommendations and information about art and art criticism, please follow us on Facebook, where I post daily: New York Arts Exchange on Facebook

Best wishes for the summer,

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange, LLC

Friday, June 2, 2017

Last Call: Duchamp's Fountain, Sasha Meret @ Shchukin, Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos @ 2 Rivington


Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 2017/1964

On April 10, 2017, Francis Naumann Fine Art celebrated the centenary of Marcel Duchamp's famous/infamous Fountain with an exhibition of artworks that pay homage to this revolutionary artist's gesture: a urinal turned up on its side, signed by a mysterious unknown called "R. Mutt." It was submitted to the supposedly open, unjuried first exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in New York City, in the Grand Central Palace (since destroyed to make way for a taller, more lucrative real estate investment). The Society of Independent Artists included Marcel Duchamp, Katherine Dreier, Walter Arensburg, Albert Gleizes, William Glackens, and Man Ray.  From a position of power, Duchamp dared to submit a "ready-made" (already a concept in his repertoire, begun with Bottle Rack of 1914).  In this case, it was a decidedly male bathroom fixture with a sort of vaginal orientation on its pedestal.  This mass-produced ceramic site for depositing urine was sold by the J.L. Mott Iron Works Company. Nothing could be more antithetical for art.  It was a total Dada gesture: not unique, not handmade, not meant to be enjoyed for its aesthetic invention, and not made by the artist himself in any way, even as a commission from the foundry.  The supposedly "open" committee immediately rejected Duchamp's conceptual piece before the opening on April 10, and Duchamp immediately resigned from the SIA.  The urinal was photographed in Alfred Stieglitz's studio, published in The Blind Man magazine, and somehow lost. Reproductions are in various collections, most notably at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which has curated its own homage to Marcel Duchamp's "scandalous" gesture (on view through December 3, 2017).

 Kathleen Gilje, Sant'Orinale, 2017
gesso, goldleaf, gouache, oil paint on panel
16 3/4 x 13 inches

My favorite is Kathleen Gilje's Sant'Orinale (Saint Urinal) which says in its concise visual vocabulary how this subversive gesture has been transformed into a icon of art historical veneration, becoming as sanctified as a devotional image from the early Renaissance. Moreover, Gilje's painting amplifies the irony of this particular show by intimating that these appropriations may enrich many an artist due to the sales of their creations in response to Duchamp's anti-art work. In Gilje's work we see a masterfully rendered image of Fountain (Duchamp's rejection of "retinal art") surrounded by gold leaf in the manner reserved for Christian saints, Christ and the Virgin Mary. The sheer opulence, precious materials, uniqueness of the hand, and artistic fame of both artists (Duchamp and Gilje) flies in the face of Duchamp's original intentions, enacting a rebellion on its own terms and insisting on the glorified permanent art object that Duchamp decided to militate against and do without (by misplacing the first Fountain).  
Mike Bidlo, Fractured Fountain, Series of 8, 2015
Bronze, 14 3/4 x 16 x 11 inches

Mike Bidlo, Sherry Levine and Ray Beldner (Peelavie) transgress the original transgressive object by casting a urinal in bronze or sewing a urinal out of dollar bills, respectively.

Sophie Matisse, Fountain Cake, 2017 
Meringue, frosting, chocolate chips
16 x 16 x 12 inches

More in keeping with the original may be Sofie Matisse's white frosted meringue cake, fashioned into the fabled Fountain, embedded with chocolate chips to depict the urinal's holes.  Saul Melman's Johnny on the Spot, a concert hall in the shape of Duchamp's urinal that was burned during the Burning Man Festival in 2003, also plays into the Duchamp's anti-fetishizing of art through longevity, collectability and enshrinement as scholars anoint the object with masterpiece status.  Their works are ephemeral, in keeping with Duchamp's original iteration.

The Francis Naumann Fine Art website announced that May 24th would be the last day of the show. However, you can still see the exhibition through today, Friday, June 2nd. Gallery hours are 11 am - 6 pm and online at Francis Naumann Fine Art, 24 West 57th Street, NYC.

Sasha Meret at his opening, Shchukin Gallery, 110 East 31st. Street, NYC
through June 6th

Sasha Meret: Incendiary Artifacts of Past Digressions, opened on May 4th at Shchukin Gallery amidst a flurry of fans eager to partake in the magical journey of Meret's surrealist mind. The evening felt electrified with excitement.  Fortunately, the show will continue past the closing day announced on the invitation.  At this moment, June 6th is the closing date.  Hopefully, it will be extended further.

Mythological in origin, each work resonates with Meret's profound insights into the humor and darkness of human existence. Above, we find beauty in  Meret's reordering of existential chaos, for here are material castoffs recontextualized into magnificent creatures/creations and prints replete with phantasmagorical figures writhing inside fascinating compositions.  We see connections and disruptions, Dantesque heads spilling pipes from one mouth to another.  It's a scene reminiscent of Purgatory or Hell or both. For Meret disturbs our minds into a state of morbid curiosity. There is humor and their is demonic discourse presented in deliciously intricate detail and excellent drawing. 

Sasha Meret, Emperor Duck, 2017

As always, entering Sasha Meret's exhibitions feels like a trip into another realm of existence, an exploration into an extraordinary consciousness of reorientations.  Meret is indeed a response to Marcel Duchamp's Fountain in our time: the ready-made loses its identity.  It's fluid, undefined and yet part of an ensemble that functions as an artwork. Thus, it is postmodern and Dadaesque without being Dada at all. For Meret creates an aesthetic environment that retains the appearance of each object while he subordinates the individual identities of the ingredients to the whole vision.  Sasha Meret: Incendiary Artifacts of Past Digressions was curated by CATM  NYC.

Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos, "What I always wanted to tell you but never dared," 2 Rivington, NYC
May 31 - June 5

Curator Clémence Mailly explains that the artist Esmerald Kosmatopoulos discovered the uncanny abilities of predictive digital programs in text and email applications.  "The virtual machine had been learning from the artist’s everyday written communications and was now trying to mimic at its best her writing style, appropriating her most used vocabulary and style, in an attempt to predict her next words. This parapraxis was shedding light in a somehow disturbing way the complex - man versus machine - dialectic as the phone had been anticipating the artist’s next words without her consent." To that end, the artist decided to use these written artifacts to help digital "ready-mades" become artworks by virtue of the artist's intervention. "And the rest is history . . . .," as she quotes in one of her audio pieces.  What I always wanted to tell you but never dared, is a pop-up exhibition at Parasol Projects 2 Rivington Street gallery, just around the corner from the New Museum and on the way to Morgenstern's ice cream.  Another heir to Duchamp's Fountain, Kosmatopoulos dares to re-contextualize the algorithmic accidents that occasion our co-dependent  relationship on our smartphones and other mobile devices, teasing out the humor in accidents of communication. detecting significant in this banal quotidian territory.   This pop-up show will last until Sunday, June 4th.  So try to catch it before it disappears or visit Kosmatopoulos' website to see more images of the installation.

Happy Birthday, Fountain, and thank you, Marcel.  Let's us also celebrate rejection and the victories that finally ensue.

Best wishes for the weekend,
Beth New York

aka Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange, LLC 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Last Call: Impressionist Alfred Sisley at the Bruce Museum through Sunday, May 21

Alfred Sisley, Peasant Under the Trees in Blossom, 1865-66
Oil on canvas, 46.5 x 56 cm
Galerie Bailly, Geneva
Image courtesy of Galerie Bailly, Geneva

With much sadness, I have to announce that Alfred Sisley: Impressionist Master at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, will close on Sunday, May 21st. From the flowering fields of spring to the floods of Port-Marly,  Sisley delivers the quintessential appearance of an Impressionist painting in all its freshness, spontaneity and keen observation of nature in flux.  This exhibition has brighten a rather dark winter in these parts - not unlike the period Sisley emerged from during the 1860s.

Alfred Sisley, The Bridge at Villeneuve-le-Garenne, 1872
Oil on canvas, 49.5 x 65.4 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and
Mrs. Henry Ittleson, Jr., 1964 (64.287)
Image courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sadly too, Alfred Sisley's work never cultivated the starstruck fan-base enjoyed by his fellow Impressionists Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas and Camille Pissarro, with whom he bonded over the study of light on surfaces. Together they organized a "pop-up" at the photographer Nadar's modern studio from April 15 to May 15, 1874, which became known as the first Impressionism exhibition among the following eight. Sisley exhibited in all but the last in 1886. Yes, we know his name from the art exhibitions and auction catalogs, but most people know very little about Sisley's life and personality. Indeed even during his lifetime, he was overshadowed by the more popular members of that renegade group of "sloppy daubers" (the first reaction to the work we now call "Impressionist").  One wonders why this magnificent retrospective is not in a Manhattan museum, where more people would have access to its exceptional quality and the privilege of viewing works owned by private collectors. Alfred Sisley may still suffer from a lack of "power branding." The proof of his true talents is best experienced in front of the work, rather than in reproductions.

Alfred Sisley, La Route de Verrères, 1872
Oil on canvas, 47.5 x 63 cm
Private Collection, Thomas Gibson, England

So, what should we know about Alfred Sisley?  A lot. First off, he never became a French citizen.  He was born to two British subjects, William Sisley and his wife Felicia Sell, who had settled in Paris. Alfred was born on October 30, 1839 on rue des Trois Bornes, in the 11th arrondissement - not terribly swanky, but not shabby either. His father made a respectable living as a textile merchant. It was expected that Alfred would follow in his father's footsteps (as most of the young Impressionists' parents hoped for their sons too). Sisley spent 1857-58 in London studying commerce, but also drinking in the great museum collections and developing a passion for Shakespeare.

Alfred Sisley, Fête Day at Marly-le-Roi, 1875
Oil on canvas, 54 x 73 cm
The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum, Bedford
Image courtesy of The Higgins Art Gallery &
Museum, U.K.

Sisley entered academician Charles Gleyre's studio school during the autumn of 1861, where he met his life-long buddy Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who introduced him to Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and all the others in due time. They all fell under the spell of Monet's mentor Eugène Boudin and the swashbuckling strokes of Edouard Manet, who never exhibited in the independent exhibitions organized by Monet, Degas and the rest of the Société Anonyme Cooperative des Peintres, Sculpteurs et Graveurs (modeled on the Bakers' Union).

Sisley, like his fellow Impressionists Monet and Pissarro, met his life-long domestic companion in his 20s and remained monogamist (as far as we know). Her name was Marie-Adelaïde-Eugènie Lescourzec. She was a florist. On June 17, 1867, their first child Pierre was born. Their second child, Jeanne-Adèle, was born on January 29, 1869 and their third, Jacques, was born on November 26, 1871, but died three months later on February 28. 1872.  

Alfred and Eugènie finally married on August 5, 1897 in Cardiff Town Hall, over thirty years after they met. Eugènie died over one year later, on October 8, 1898, and Alfred Sisley died about four months after that on January 29, 1899 in Moret-sur-Loing. During that last year, on February 3, 1898, Sisley appealed again for French naturalization.  It was never granted. Ergo: this "French" Impressionist was English all his life (as indeed Camille Pissarro wasn't French either, though descended from a French family, he remained a Danish citizen from St. Thomas).  

Alfred Sisley, Flood at Port-Marly, 1872
Oil on canvas, 46.4 x 61 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.,
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
Image courtesy of National Gallery of Art

So much for the unconventional details about Sisley's rather conventional life as a plein-air artist among the practitioners of a thoroughly avant-garde modernist approach to making paintings. Resolute in his adherence to this messy, rebellious direction, Sisley suffered from financial hardship most of his life, surviving as best he could from sales and living outside the expensive booming metropolis that Paris had become. Therefore, we see in his work a cozy comfort in rural France, mainly modest villages and expansive landscapes affected by seasonal conditions: spring becomes resplendent in her delicate pastel blossoms, winter feels hushed under its blankets of purple-shadowed snow, fall is a bit broody, and summer dazzles, especially on the surfaces of a river gently flowing under the sun.  A decidedly Sisleyan characteristic is the pathway leading the eye through the composition - a central street dotted with shoppers in the village, a road winding through the countryside, or a path cut into a green meadow on a gently sloping hill.

Alfred Sisley, A Farmyard at Chaville-December, 1879
Oil on canvas, 46 x 55.5 cm
Private Collection

Most of Sisley's work is easel-size, occasionally grander but not by much. This is a snug, huggable show - calming, pleasant and carefully chosen for its diversity of subject matter. Art historian and curator MaryAnne Stevens has astutely arranged in chronological order a substantial introduction to Sisley's range.  She also chose the strongest to represent his areas of interest. Her efforts may never be duplicated, which makes this show so important. Would that the exhibition could stay just a few months longer to serve as an oasis for the mind and eye.  May the audiences visiting the Hôtel de Caumont, Centre d'Art, Aix-en-Provence enjoy this Sisley retrospective as much as we did in the US.

Kudos to MaryAnne Stevens, who wrote valuable essays for the exhibition catalog, along with contributions from Richard Shone and Kathleen Adler. 

If you were not able to see Alfred Sisley: Impressionist Master, please join me for a course on Impressionism this summer through Purchase College.  I will teach the course online and at the Met.
Details can be found on the Purchase College website or contact me at or

Best wishes for the weekend,

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange, LLC

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Book Party and Signing at Books of Wonder, Saturday, May 20th: Gary Golio on Billie Holiday; Susannah Reich on Pete Seeger

Authors Gary Golio and Susannah Reich join book illustrator Floyd Cooper for a panel on picture-book biographies at 

Books of Wonder
18 West 18th St, NYC
Saturday, May 20th, 1  - 3 pm

A presentation and book signing of their latest publications:

Award-winning author Susanna Reich’s Stand Up and Sing! Pete Seeger, Folk Music and the Path to Justice (Bloomsbury), with a foreword by legendary singer-songwriter Peter Yarrow

New York Times-bestselling author Gary Golio’s Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song (Millbrook Press).

(The following is taken from the press release):
Stand Up and Sing!, illustrated by Adam Gustavson, is the first picture book biography of Pete Seeger, one of the twentieth century’s leading advocates for human rights. Pete dedicated his life to bringing people together through song. Surrounded by music from an early age, he discovered the banjo as a teenager and soon put its rhythms to work. Moved by the suffering he witnessed during the Great Depression, he sang in support of workers’ rights and racial equality. During the McCarthy Era he went from the bestseller list to the blacklist, displaying extraordinary courage in the face of power and injustice.

In Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song, illustrated by Charlotte Riley-Webb. Golio tells the story of a young jazz singer who put her life and career on the line by debuting a song for which she'd be insulted, assaulted, and spat upon. "Strange Fruit," written by Bronx schoolteacher Abel Meeropol, was a haunting piece of music about a horrifying subject—lynching. When asked by Barney Josephson—owner of a new nightclub in New York City open to both white and black customers—to sing it, Billie Holiday was at first unsure. But when she witnessed its effect at a Harlem party firsthand, she agreed to perform "Strange Fruit" at Barney's club. From that night on, Billie's life would never be the same.

Susanna Reich is the author of many books for young people, including Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the Beatles, Minette’s Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat and José! Born to Dance. Her honors include the Tomás Rivera Award, International Latino Book Award, NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor, ALA Notable and ALA Best Books for Young Adults. The immediate past chair of the Children's Book Committee of PEN America, she lives and sings in Ossining with her husband, children’s book author Gary Golio.  

Gary Golio also wrote Bird and Diz Two Friend Created Bebop, 2016; Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane's Magical Journey, 2012, When Bob Met Woody: The Story of  Young Bob Dylan, 2012; JIMI: Sounds Like a Rainbow, the Story of Young Jimi Hendrix, 2011.  The recipient of numerous awards and accolades, Golio's books have been cited among the top children's books in Kirkus Review.  His book on Bob Dylan won the National Parenting Publications Award in 2012.

Adam Gustavson has illustrated more than twenty books for children, including Rock and Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story and The Yankee at the Seder, a Sydney Taylor Honor book. Adam holds an MFA from the School of Visual Arts and teaches at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He lives in New Jersey with his family and several guitars.