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John Parra Artist Portrait
 

John Parra is an award winning illustrator, fine artist, designer, and educator, best known for his art illustrated, Latino themed, children’s books such as Waiting for the Biblioburro, Green is a Chile Pepper, and Gracias/Thanks. For his books he has received many awards and honors including: The American Library Association’s Pura Belpré Honors, The Christopher’s Award, and the Golden Kite Award from The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. His illustration clients have included: United Airlines, The United States Postal Service, Hitachi Data Systems, Jeep/DaimlerChrysler, National Geographic, PBS, El Museo del Barrio, Boston Children’s Hospital, Chronicle Books, Penguin Random House, Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, Lee & Low Books, SCBWI, Santa Clara Magazine, Virgin Records and many more. Parra’s original artwork has also been showcased and displayed in numerous gallery shows and museum exhibitions in New York, California, and throughout the United States and abroad. Many of his fine art paintings now reside with private collectors. He has taught art at the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard, California and regularly speaks as a visiting artist at primary schools, college universities, and literary conferences across the country advocating art and reading education.
John’s artistic path began while growing up in Santa Barbara, California. He spent his days exploring and drawing landscapes, wildlife, city, and family. His Hispanic roots and heritage provided a rich cultural palette of inspiring imagery and customs. Mexican mural artists, folk style paintings, pop art, surrealism, outsider art, regional cuisine, music and dance costumes are all visual influences seen in his work. As his artist journey developed John went on to graduate from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
Now living in Queens NY, with his wife Maria, John continues working in his studio, passionately creating art through his imagination and creativity. He recently received his second Golden Kite Award from SCBWI for his children’s book, Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans. Last year in 2015 he was invited by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to present a special event and workshop about his art and illustration and this year John’s work will be seen on six new 2017 U.S. Forever Postage Stamps titled: Delicioso, with art images celebrating Latino food cuisine.
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