School of Visual & Performing Arts

Department of Art

Eric Velasquez

Visiting Artist Lecture

Tuesday, Sept 11, 11:00 am, VPA 144

Eric Velasquez is an illustrator who lives and works in New York. He was born in Spanish Harlem, the son of Afro-Puerto Rican parents, and attended the High School of Art and Design. He earned his BFA from the School of Visual Arts and also studied with Harvey Dinnerstein at the Art Students’ League. Illustrating for over thirty years, he teaches book illustration at FIT in NYC.

Velasquez began his career as a freelance illustrator in 1984 and in the first 12 years, completed over 300 book jackets and interior illustrations. These included the complete series of “Encyclopedia Brown” and “The Ghost Writers”, among others. In 1997, he illustrated his first picture book, “The Piano Man” by Debbie Chocolate, for which he won the Coretta-Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. Many books and awards have followed. He received the NAACP Image Award in 2010 for “Our Children Can Soar”, on which he collaborated with 12 notable illustrators of children’s literature. He also wrote and illustrated “Grandma’s Records” and “Grandma’s Gift”, which won the 2011 Pura Belpre Award for Illustration. His latest book “Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library” by Carole Boston Weatherford has gathered rave reviews and has won the 2018 Walter Award, as well as the Golden Kite Award.