Behind the Book Blue Sky, White Stars:
The Original Art of Kadir Nelson

Immerse yourself in the evocative and thought-provoking works of New York Times bestselling author and Caldecott Honor award-winning artist, Kadir Nelson. His new book, Blue Sky, White Stars is 2018’s KPBS One Book, One San Diego for Kids selection and inspired this exhibition which showcases many of the artist’s earliest works, some never before displayed to the public!

Kadir Nelson (b. 1974) spent his early years in San Diego and attended Crawford High School before being accepted into  Pratt Institute, Brooklyn NY.  He has created artwork for a host of distinguished clients including The New Yorker, The Coca-Cola Company, The United States Postal Service, Major League Baseball, and Dreamworks SKG as the lead conceptual artist creating for Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated feature film, “Amistad.” He also created artwork for Michael Jackson’s posthumously released album, “Michael,” and hip-hop artist Drake’s album, “Nothing Was the Same.”

Nelson’s artwork is exhibited at galleries and museums nationwide and abroad. His paintings are in the collections of several notable institutions including the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and National Museum of African American History and Culture, The National Baseball Hall of Fame, and the US House of Representatives.

Photo credit: David Walter Banks

The book Blue Sky, White Stars will be on sale in our History Center Store.

Behind the Book Blue Sky, White Stars: The Original Art of Kadir Nelson is on display daily from 10am-5pm during open days.


This exhibition is presented by





One Book, One San Diego is a partnership between KPBS and over 80 public libraries, service organizations and educational institutions in the region. Now in its twelfth year, the literary program brings the community closer together through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book.