What better way to celebrate the Skirball’s presentation of The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats than with window display of a snowy day? After growing up watching Bugs Bunny fool Elmer Fudd into thinking it was winter in July, Audrey’s staff member Michelle Bourdon and I wanted to go all out on that theme. We researched various winter holiday store window display designs, and then we designed our own. It took the combined talents of the rest of Audrey’s staff to make our wintry window happen!
Team Audrey’s in action! Prior to the window installation, Audrey’s staff met for two workshops to build the display elements, including falling cotton ball strands of snow, cut paper snowflakes, and foamboard buildings. Here store director Pam Balton and I consider the layout of windows for the Keats-inspired cityscapes.
Audrey’s staff member Michelle Bourdon works on trimming the needle at the top of the foamboard Empire State Building—no easy feat!
Michelle plays with an initial layout before we actually install all the pieces into the store window. Audrey’s staff cut out each and every snowflake—a job that required lots of scissors and X-acto knives!
We used both colored paper and printed fabrics to mirror Keats’s use of collage and amate paper in his art. As a special touch, we added in Amy and Roberto (with his white mouse puppet) from Keats’s book Dreams (a detail of the original is pictured here in the above right image; copyright Ezra Jack Keats Foundation). We also included Peter (from The Snowy Day) stomping his footprints into the snow.
Installation begins! Michelle and I work on creating layered mounds of snow with butcher paper, inspired by cut paper holiday window designs from Anthropologie and Brooklyn Industries.
And there’s little Peter!
Assistant manager and ketubbah specialist Barbara Lang acts as the official dispenser of the special adhesive we used to affix the cut paper snowflakes to the window.
Pam and Michelle work on purposeful, yet random, snowflake placement. The Skirball logo blends in as a specially shaped snowflake!
The final product—our brainchild brought to life! Go Team Audrey’s!
Ezra Jack Keats, “It was hot. After supper Roberto came to his window to talk with Amy.” Final illustration for Dreams, 1974. Marbled paper and paint on board. Ezra Jack Keats Papers, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi. Copyright Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.