Meet the Artist: Juana Martinez-Neal
Go behind the scenes with Caldecott award-winning author and illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal, as she talks about her creative process, inspiration, and how she used mixed media on homemade banana leaf paper that was crafted by indigenous Asháninka women to create the illustrations for her book Zonia's Rain Forest.
Juana Martinez-Neal is a Caldecott award-winning author and illustrator whose Zonia’s Rain Forest (2021) focuses on a young Asháninka girl living in the Amazon rainforest of Peru who on one of her daily adventures encounters an area where many trees have been cut down. She worries about what will happen to her animal friends—the sloths, butterflies and birds—who live in the forest. The book has received high praise for its environmental message and its exuberant illustrations which Martinez-Neal created with woodcut prints and ink and pencil drawn on homemade banana leaf paper that was crafted by indigenous Asháninka women.
Focused on the enduring bonds of family and nature, this exhibition features more than 75 original artworks from eight children's books. Rooted: Family and Nature in Contemporary Children's Book Illustration is on view through Feb. 28, 2024.