February 18, 2018


Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery by Sandra Neil Wallace and Bryan Collier takes a close look at the true story of how NFL star Ernie Barnes became one of the most influential artists of his generation.

Ernie Barnes grew up in the segregated state of North Carolina in the 1940s, and despite his deep appreciation for drawing, there was no way for him to make a living as an artist. Since Ernie was also very tall and athletic, he became a football star instead, and it didn't take long for colleges to come calling. But no matter how hard he tried, Ernie never forgot his love of art, and eventually with time and patience he finds a way to realize his dreams, even becoming the creator of an artistic movement.

True to form, Bryan Collier nails the illustrations with a combination of collage and watercolors. He integrates pieces of artwork created by Ernie, and also true to form Collier's use of light helps draw the eye from one end of the book to the other. A special shout out is also very warranted to designer Laurent Linn for choosing some amazing textures for the dust jacket! Yet another reason to literally get your hands on this book (and into the hands of readers everywhere).

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