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Bill Thomson

Professor, Chair of Visual Communication Design

Illustration, MFA Illustration

Hartford Art School

MFA, Illustration, University of Hartford

BFA, Illustration, Syracuse University

Bill Thomson has created artwork for advertising, book, and editorial clients across the United States. His recent work has focused on children’s books, creating the wordless books, CHALKFOSSIL and The Typewriter. He also illustrated Karate HourBuilding With DadBaseball Hour, and Soccer Hour.

His artwork also has received more than 75 awards in the country’s most prestigious juried illustration competitions, including those sponsored by the Society of Illustrators (New York), the Los Angeles Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Step Inside Design, and Three By Three, and his work has been exhibited in numerous group shows across the country. Thomson is a professor of illustration at the University of Hartford, where he received the Outstanding Teachers Award in 2004 and the Innovations in Teaching Award in 2011. He lives and works in Southington, Connecticut with his wife, Diann, and their three sons. 

Professional Experience

Thomson Illustration and Design, Southington, CT. Principal/Illustrator, June 1983–present. Responsibilities: Work to promote and secure freelance illustration work from a national client base.

Awards and Distinctions

    • School Library Journal- Book Review Stars,February, 2016 School Library Journal, New York, NY
    • Parent’s Choice Recommended Seal, Spring 2014Parent’s Choice Foundation, Timonium, MD
    • 2011 ALA Children’s Book Notable Award,American Library Association, Chicago, IL                             
    • Prix Livrentête 2013, Winner (ages 3-7)Culture et Biblothèques Pour Tous, Paris, France
    • 2011 Buckeye Children’s Book Award, Winner (Grades 3-5)Buckeye Children’s Book Association, OH
    • 2012 Kentucky Bluegrass Book Award, Winner (Grades K-2)Kentucky Reading Association, KY
    • 2011 Connecticut Book Award, Winner (Children’s Illustrator)Connecticut Center For The Book, Hartford, CT
    • 2011 IRA Teacher’s Choices Award,International Reading Association, DE
    • 2011 Cardozo Award for Children’s Literature, Finalist   Library of Virginia, VA
    • 2011 Cybils Award, Finalist  Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards
    • 2011 Crystal Kite Members Choice Award, Finalist,SCBWI, Los Angeles, CA
    • 2011 Best Books for Kids Award, Finalist Page Ahead Children’s Literacy program, Seattle, WA
    • 2013-14 Buckarro Children’s Book Award, Nominee  Wyoming Library Association, WY
    • 2013 Colorado Children’s Book Award, Nominee  Colorado Council International Reading Association, CO
    • 2013 Nevada Young Reader’s Award, Nominee  Nevada Library Association, NV
    • 2012-13 Young Hoosier Book Award, Nominee  Indiana Library Federation, IN
    • 2012-13 Volunteer State Book Award, (Tennessee), Nominee  Tennessee Library Assoc., Tennessee Association for school Librarians
    • 2012 Beehive Book Award, Nominee Children’s Literature Association of Utah, UT
    • 2012 Iowa Goldfinch Book Award, Nominee Iowa Association of School Librarians, IA
    • 2012 Blue Hen Book Award, Nominee  Delaware Library Association, DE
    • 2011  2 x2 Reading List, Nominee, Texas Library Association, TX
    • 2012 Sakura Medal Nominee,International Schools of Japan, Japan
    • 2011 Baker’s Dozen: Best Children’s Books For FamilyLiteracy Pennsylvania Center for the Book, PA
    • Children’s Books
    • 2010: 100 Titles For Reading & Sharing List New York Public Library, NY
    • Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2011 Bank Street College of Education, New York, NY
    • Capitol Choices:Noteworthy Books For Children and Teens, 2011  Arlington County Department of Libraries, Arlington, VA
    • School Library Journal- Book Review Stars, April, 2010  School Library Journal, New York, NY
    • 2012 Mockingbird Children’s Book Award (Abilene, Texas), Nominee  Abilene Independent School District, TX
    • 2009 Connecticut Book Awards, Winner (Children’s Illustrator) Connecticut Center For The Book, Hartford, CT
    • Essentials of Children’s Literature, 7th Edition,2010, by Lynch-Brown, Tomlinson and Short, Allyn & Bacon, Boston, MA
    • 2x2 Reading List, 2009 Texas Library Association, TX
    • ABC Best Books for Children, 2008 Association of Booksellers for Children, FL
    • 2007 Connecticut Book Awards, Finalist (Children’s Illustrator) Connecticut Center For The Book, Hartford, CT
    • 2009 Volunteer State Book Award, (Tennessee), Nominee Tennessee Library Assoc., Tennessee Association for School Librarians
    • 2009 Mockingbird Children’s Book Award (Abilene, Texas), Nominee Abilene Independent School District, TX
    • Publishers Weekly- Book Review Stars, August, 2006  Publishers Weekly, New York, NY
    • Children’s Catalog, Nineteenth Edition Supplement, 2007 H.W. Wilson, United States
    • NAPPA 2005 Gold Award, Winner (Ages 6-up)National Association of Parenting Publications, United States
    • 2005IRA Children’s Book Award Notable BookInternational Reading Association, Newark, DE
    • 2005 Connecticut Book Awards, Finalist (Children’s Illustrator)  Connecticut Center For The Book, Hartford, CT
    • 2007-8 Young Hoosier Book Award (Indiana), Nominee Association of Indiana School Librarians, IN
    • 2006Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award, Nominee Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA
    • 2006 South Carolina Picture Book Award, Nominee South Carolina Association of School Librarians, SC
    • 2006 Prairie Bud Book Award (South Dakota), Nominee South Dakota Library Association, SD
    • 2006 Mockingbird Children’s Book Award, (Abilene, Texas), Nominee Abilene Independent School District, TX
    • Top Ten Sports Books for Youth, 2005 Booklist/American Library Association, Chicago, IL
    • BooklistEditor’s Choice 2004 American Library Association, Chicago, IL
    • Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2004 Bank Street College of Education, New York, NY
    • Children’s Catalog, Eighteenth Edition Supplement, 2005 H.W. Wilson, United States
    • Booklist- Book Review Stars, September, 2004 American Library Association, Chicago, IL
    • School Library Journal- Book Review Stars,December, 2004  School Library Journal, New York, NY
    • Children’s Book Sense- Winter Picks 2004/2005American Booksellers Association, Tarrytown, NY


Individual Exhibitions
  • CHALK: A Wordless Children’s Book, 2011  West Hartford Public Library, West Hartford, CT
  • TheChildren’s Book Illustration of Bill Thomson,2010  Barnes & Franklin Gallery, Tunxis Community College,bFarmington, CT
  • Picture Show, 2005 The Society of Illustrators Member’s Gallery, New York, NY
  • Bill Thomson, Artist/Illustrator Exhibition, 2004  J. Whitney Gallery, Southington, CT
Group Exhibitions 
  • Fantastic Rumpus: 50 Years of Children’s Book Illustration  Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI, 2013-4
  • Skokie Library Gallery Caldecott Exhibition, The Skokie Public Library Gallery, Skokie, IL, 2013
  • Sendak & Co: Children’s Book Illustrations Since “Where The Wild Things Are", Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, FL, 2012-3
  • Children’s Book Illustration Exhibition, 2013 Milford Arts Council, Milford, CT
  • Southington Community Cultural Arts Fundraiser, 2013 Governor’s Mansion, Hartford, CT
  • AIGA “Orange Show”, Photography and Illustration Showcase, 2013 Spring Gallery, Chester, CT
  • New Museum Acquisitions, 2012  The Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA
  • 12 New England Illustrators, 2011 The Spirol Gallery, Quinebaug Valley Community College, CT
  • You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby, 2006-2010                               
  • Illustrating Connecticut Exhibition, 2008 Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, CT
  • Group Show traveled nationally to the following locations:Student Scholarship AuctionExhibition, 2007 The Society of Illustrators, NY
    • The Original Art: The Fine Art of Children’s Books Travel Show,
    • The Society of Illustrators Traveling Show, NY, 2009
    • Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, 12/08-1/09
    • Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, 3/08
    • Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, 10/07-11/07
    •  The Society of Illustrators, New York, NY, 10/06
  • Illustrators Who TeachExhibition, 2006  The Society of Illustrators, NY
  • Favorite Flix, 2003-2005Our Own ShowExhibition, 2005 The Society of Illustrators, NY
  •  Group Show traveled nationally to the following locations:Our Own ShowExhibition, 2004  The Society of Illustrators, NYCelebration of the American Artist Exhibition, 2004  J. Whitney Gallery, Southington, CT
    • Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design, Lakewood, CO, 9/05-10/05
    • Brigham Young University, Rexburg, ID, 3/05
    • Kendall College of Art & Design, Grand Rapids, MI, 12/04-2/05
    • Utah Valley State, Orem, UT, 11/04
    • Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, 9/04-10/04
    • Art Institute of California- Los Angeles, CA, 4/04-5/04     
    •  California State College, Fullerton, CA, 2/04-3/04                                                                        
    • Montgomery College, Rockville, MD, 11/03-12/03                                                                                       
    •   The Society of Illustrators, New York, NY, 10/03
  • llustrators Who TeachExhibition,2004 The Society of Illustrators, NY
  • Drawing ConclusionsExhibition,2003  First Experience Gallery, Glastonbury, CT (6 Person)
  • First Wheels, 1998-2002
  • Group Show traveled nationally to the following locations:Our Own ShowExhibition, 2002  The Society of Illustrators, NYThe Artist and the Baseball Card, 1991- 2001
    • Illustrators Who TeachExhibition,2002  The Society of Illustrators, NY
    • Bob Jones University, Greenville, SC, 8/02-9/02
    • Towson University, Towson, MD, 9/01-10/01
    • Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 4/01
    • Montgomery College, Rockville, MD, 1/01-2/01
    • Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg, MO, 11/00-12/00
    • Mott Community College, Flint, MI, 10/00
    • Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, 9/00
    • Art Institute of Houston, Houston, TX, 4/00-6/00
    • Stephen F. Austin, Nacogdoches, TX, 2/00-3/00
    • McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA, 10/99-11/99
    • The Society of Illustrators, New York, NY, 9/98
  • Group Show traveled nationally to the following locations:Illustrators Who TeachExhibition,2000  The Society of Illustrators, NY
    • Our Own Show Exhibition, 2001 The Society of Illustrators, NY
    • Staten Island Museum, NY 3-7/06
    • UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, 10/01-11/01
    • Newfoundland Labrador Gallery, St John’s, Newfoundland, 2/99-3/99
    • Zanesville Art Center, Zanesville, OH, 9/98-10/98
    • Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, MI, 11/96-12/96
    • The Society of Illustrators, NY, 7/96
    • Marshall University, Huntington, WV, 5/96-6/96
    • Auburn University, Auburn, AL, 4/96
    • Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA, 6/95-9/95
    • Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, 4/95-5/95
    • Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA, 1/95-3/95
    • Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, 11/94-12/94
    • Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX, 9/94-10/94
    • Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA, 6/94-9/94
    • International Museum of Cartoon Art, Boca Raton, FL, 4/94-5/94
    • Laramie Community College, Cheyenne, WY, 1/94-2/94
    • Blandon Museum, Fort Dodge, IA, 9/93-11/93
    • Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE, 4/93-7/93
    • Trenton State College, Trenton, NJ, 1/93-2/93
    • National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY, 5/92-12/92
    • Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, 1/92-2/92
    • Marywood College, Scranton, PA, 10/91-11/91
    • Stamford Museum, Stamford, CT, 3/91-7/91
  • Our Own ShowExhibition, 2000 The Society of Illustrators, NY
  • Hartford Art School Faculty Exhibitions, 2000-2013 Joseloff Gallery, Hartford, CT