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Illustration by Rashin Kheiriyeh for the New York Times

Rashin Kheiriyeh has received a 2017 Sendak Fellowship for her book, "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly."  Kheiriyeh is an internationally recognized children's book illustrator and author and lecturer in both the art department and Persian flagship program at the University of Maryland.

Launched in 2010, the fellowship supports artists who tell stories with illustration and includes a four week-retreat at Maurice Sendak's former residence in Cambridge, New York, and a prize of $5000.

According to Publishers Weekly, "Sendak inaugurated the fellowship in 2010 with the goal of fostering illustration talent that will, he said, ‘create work that is not vapid, stupid, or sexy, but original. Work that excites and incites.’ "

In addition to this fellowship, Kheiriyeh has recently received three other awards for her work as an illustrator.

As the winner of the 2017 Nowruz Banner Contest from the Farhang Foundation, which recognizes original designs from graphic artists that illustrate the Iranian New Year, or Nowruz, Kheiriyeh's design will be featured on hundreds of street pole banners throughout the city of Los Angeles.

At the 2017 Illustrators' Exhibition of the Bologna Children's Book Fair, Kheiriyeh's illustrations were among the 75 selected by the jurors from submissions among nearly 4000 illustrators.

Kheiriyeh's illustrations received special distinction at the 2017 Nami Councours, an annual international illustration contest. 

Of her winning design for the 2017 Nowruz Banner Contest, Kheiriyeh says, "My Nowruz illustration is inspired by traditional Persian art. I tried to bring together traditional patterns and designs influenced by ancient Persian illustrations, with all those bright colors, fables, and storytelling feelings from my Iranian heritage, as well as my childhood memories from Iran, while incorporating Western abstraction," adds Kheiriyeh. "I've always had a great passion to work on Persian literature and adapt it to the modern audience. I want to retell those stories with my original images."

Kheiriyeh earned an MFA in graphic design from Alzahra University. She has also studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and regularly illustrates for the New York Times.

Read more about Rashin Kheiriyeh on her website.


Image: Illustration by Rashin Kheiriyeh for the New York Times.