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BYU visual arts professor honored by national Society of Illustrators

Robert Barrett, associate dean in the College of Fine Arts and Communications and a professor of visual arts at Brigham Young University, recently received an Award of Merit from the Society of Illustrators based in New York City.

Barrett received the award after submitting the last illustration from "Silent Night, Holy Night," a children's book released in December 2003, to the society's annual juried exhibition.

"It is a nice affirmation of your work because it is evaluated by your peers," Barrett said about the recognition.

"Silent Night, Holy Night" was released in commemoration of the 2002 annual Christmas concert performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square with narration by Walter Cronkite.

The book tells the story of soldiers on both sides of the World War I conflict entrenched at Flanders Field in December 1914. A miraculous two-day "Christmas Truce" was called and both sides exchanged gifts and buried their dead. At the end of Christmas day, all the retrenched soldiers sang "Silent Night" in their native tongues.

Barrett's award-winning illustration depicts the soldiers returning home.

Five other illustrations from the same book have also been selected for the prestigious 2004 Communication Arts Illustration annual.

The Society of Illustrators is a professional organization that seeks to promote interest in the art of illustration through exhibitions, lectures, educational programs and social intercourse. Barrett has been a member for 10 years.

He is a member of the Portrait Society of America and recently received a certificate of recognition at their annual competition in May 2004. He was also recently selected as a member of the Pastel Society of America.

Barrett has exhibited his work in many art shows including those at the Directors Guild of America, the Norman Rockwell Museum, the LDS Church Museum of Art and History, the annual Utah Illustrator's Exhibitions and the Busam Gallerie in Berlin Germany.

His clientele includes Random House, McGraw Hill, Harper Collins, Bantam, Doubleday and Deseret Book Magazine.

He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Utah and two master's degrees from the University of Iowa. He also studied at the Academy of Arts in Berlin as the recipient of a German exchange grant.

For more information, call the College of Fine Arts and Communications at (801) 422-2819.

Writer: Thomas Grover

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