Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews by Kathleen Benson, illustrated by Benny Andrews.

Published by Clarion Books

Summary:  Born in 1933 to sharecropper parents in Plainview, Georgia, Benny Andrews started drawing at the age of three.  He was able to finish high school, attend college, and eventually studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  He worked as an artist and a teacher, illustrated children’s books, was an activist to get museums to include more works by artists of color, and started a prison art program.  In 2006, he traveled to New Orleans to help children to use art to express what they had seen.  In an age of abstract art, Andrews believed in the power of “drawing what you see”, focusing his work on people and scenes from his own life.

Pros:  Not only does this story bring to life a man who contributed to the world in many positive ways, but it’s illustrated with his own works.  Since Andrews died in 2006, it doesn’t appear that he actually illustrated the book, but the artwork chosen vividly illustrates the text, and provides many examples of his interesting work.

Cons:  This seems to be the only biography in existence about this interesting and inspiring artist.

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