The Texas Book Festival (TBF), an Austin-based nonprofit organization that hosts an annual event as well as other literacy programs, has announced Jon Flaming as its 2023 Festival Poster Artist.
Established in 1995 by former librarian and then-First Lady of Texas Laura Bush, the TBF hosted its inaugural festival in 1996. The annual event, which is held in downtown Austin and at the State Capitol, takes place over a weekend filled with presentations, panel discussions, book signings, cooking demonstrations, and programs for participants of all ages.
Each year, TBF selects an artist to create an image to be used on posters and t-shirts for the festival. The selected artist always has a strong connection to Texas; last year’s artist was Austin-based photographer Minta Maria.
This year’s artist, Jon Flaming, was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1962 and moved to North Texas in 1967. His work, which is rendered in a flat graphic style, is in the permanent collections of the Tyler Museum of Art, The Grace Museum in Abilene, The Museum of the Southwest in Midland, and the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art.
In a press release, TBF’s interim executive director Dalia Azim stated, “Selecting an artist and work of art to represent our beloved Festival has been a privilege and a lot of fun. Flaming’s Cowboy Reading in Big Bend beautifully represents the activity of engaging with books and what we most love to celebrate and cultivate at Texas Book Festival.”
In an interview with Mr. Azim, Mr. Flaming said of his work: “Inspired by designers Paul Rand and Saul Bass and painters Marsden Hartley, Stuart Davis, Picasso, I started to experiment with bold, blocky, graphic shapes to create cowboys and western scenes. I was heavily influenced by my years as a designer/illustrator. I create my “collages” on the computer and then use those as my studies for my paintings.”
Posters and t-shirts featuring Mr. Flaming’s design will be available for purchase at the Texas Book Festival on November 11 and 12, 2023. Learn more about the festival at the organization’s website.