July 12, 2017 marked the 200th birthday of Henry David Thoreau, American author, philosopher, and naturalist. As a member of a group known as the Transcendentalists, he has made an enduring contribution to the world in the areas of literature, the environment, and social justice.
Thoreau teaches us to respect nature and appreciate its beauty so that we preserve its resources. This American author also gives us the beauty of the written word through his descriptions of the seasons and nature with clarity and vividness.
During his own life, children were drawn to him because of his desire to teach them about the beauty of the natural world and to respect it. He took them on berry-picking parties, taught them about the animals that would readily come to him when he summoned them, and pointed out the various plants that grew in Concord, Massachusetts.
It is especially fitting to introduce him to children, so he can encourage them to partake in the joy of simple things just as he had done with the children of Concord during his own time. Children respond to his simplicity, love of nature, and enthusiasm for appreciating life.
Children’s author/illustrator and Thoreau Bicentennial Ambassador Donna Marie Przybojewski is exhibiting her illustrations from her children’s books on Henry David Thoreau — Henry David Thoreau, Who Can He Be? (Which was used as one of the story books for children at Walden Pond State Reservation in Concord, MA this past July), Henry David Thoreau Loved the Seasons of the Year, and If Henry David Thoreau Traveled to the Southwest. They are a combination of water color, acrylic, colored pencil, and oil. Donna Marie is a life-long resident of Garfield Heights and a junior high Language Arts teacher at St. Benedict Catholic School.
Celebrate Henry’s birthday year by eating a piece of birthday cake at the opening reception on Friday, June 1 from 5-9pm at Lee Road’s Art Gallery! If you can’t make the reception, worry not — Donna’s show will remain up for the entire month of June.