Jean Cassels studied at Eastern Michigan University; The School of the Art Institute Chicago; and University of Illinois School of Art and Design Chicago; where she received her bachelors of studio arts. In New Orleans she has taken master classes in figure drawing with Auseklis Ozols. She taught beginning and intermediate figure drawing at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts starting in the fall of 1994 until the fall of 1999. On the NOAFA faculty since 1994 Jean teaches beginning and intermediate drawing, painting with gouache and botanical illustration.
Jean began her work as an illustrator in 1970 with biology textbooks. She has over 60 titles in natural history books for young people, including Armies of Ants, Fabulous Frogs, Chameleons, Creepy Beetles, and Butterflies, all Scholastic Books for young readers; Swift as the Wind – the Cheetah, Orchard Books; Earthmates – poetry, Marshall Cavendish; Once I Knew a Spider, Walker&Co;.; Lonesome George, the giant tortoise, recipient of the 2004 Giverny Award, Walker&Co;., Groundhog Stays Up Late, Walker & Co. 2005The Mysterious Collection of Dr. David Harleyson, Walker&Co;., is Jean’s first book of fiction, and the first book she has written and illustrated. It has been awarded the Golden Kite Award by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, for the best illustrated picture book of 2004, and was juried into the Original Art, Society of Illustrators, New York , NY.
The sequel Br’er Rabbit Captured! Another Dr. David Harleyson adventure was released fall of 2007 and was a SIBA finalist for best book of the year.
Her illustrations for Swift as the Wind, the Cheetah, Orchard books, were included in the juried Original Art, Society of Illustrators, New York in 1997. A painting…Madame Moitessier was juried into Illustrators 40, Society of Illustrators, New York , 1998. Her work has twice been accepted in the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Ocean Springs, Mississippi , Cross Currents, 1997 and 2000. Her work has twice been hung at the Contemporary Arts Center , “Art in the Service of Illustration” and in 1999 with Auseklis Ozols an installation of figure drawings to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts.
NOLA native of popular cookbooks, like Taste of Tremé & kid’s books, like Who Dat…
Joanne Mehrtens and Pat Roig, friends and teachers who have began a series of children’s…