A special and wistful new collection of art has graced the walls of the Great Hall in the Castle Gould at Sands Point Preserve Conservancy. The exhibit “May We All Grow Up to Be Children,” features illustrations from the forthcoming book The Boy and the Boy King, which was co-created by George Lewis, who is the illustrator, and A.D. Lubow.
The book describes a friendship and the majesty of a real boy and the ordinary feelings of a Boy King whose swords and boomerangs began to have real value only when they turned in history’s eyes from gold to art. The exhibit and the book touch upon the importance of protecting and maintaining childhood innocence and the impact it has on humanity.
“Our purpose in writing this book is to make sure that children have the ability to imagine a better world than the one we’ve presented them with now,” said Lubow, co-creator of the book. “In other words, if they do grow up to be children, perhaps they’ll imagine a way for humanity to stop warring with our planet and amongst ourselves.”
The themes of the book and the illustrations include the value of friendship, art, spirituality, nature and childhood imagination, all of which are central to the goals and practices of Sands Point Preserve Conservancy.
“The book itself is about the very necessity to create,” said Lubow. “It’s about encouraging, not squelching, a child’s innate sense of wonder. It’s about making sure that imagination remains a child’s best friend.”
The conservancy offers several classes for children and families including art and yoga classes. The hope is that the presence of the exhibit will help to further inspire visitors and participants in the afterschool programs.
“The conservancy always looks for new ways to use the historic mansions and beautiful grounds of the former Guggenheim Estate,” said Beth Horn, executive director of The Sands Point Preserve Conservancy. “The refurbished Great Hall in Castle Gould is a gorgeous new exhibition and event space, and we are very happy to see all of our visitors as well as the young students in our afterschool art and yoga classes taking the creative adventure that this exhibit inspires.”
The afterschool children’s yoga class completed a session the Great Hall, surrounded by the artwork. In between poses, the participants took a lap around the exhibit, excitedly pointing at the illustrations and building their own narrative based off what they saw in the pictures. Each individual child pointed out a different detail than the next.
“This book is about wellness of spirit and consciousness,” said Lubow, “So the fact that you see children practicing yoga within the space of this beautiful hall surrounded by George’s wondrous art, pleases us to no end.”
The exhibit will be available daily from noon to 5 p.m. until May 31. The conservancy welcomes families and school groups to view the artwork and is willing to provide a question sheet to drive discussion and dialogue about the illustrations and the present themes.