When asked how many pieces would be in 22 Haviland Street Gallery's next show, gallery director Dennis Bradbury began counting.
As she worked through the images and items in each room of the South Norwalk art space, she got up to about 42 before stopping to account for artist James Grashow's contribution.
"(He) has decided he will have a million small prints," Bradbury said, laughing. "So, I guess it will be 1 million 42. But I don't think he exactly means a million."
Gallery visitors won't find such an exorbitant number, but they will find multiple works by a trio of illustrators who Bradbury calls "masters of their craft."
"Illustration Celebration," which opened earlier this month, features works by Guy Billout of Fairfield, Jahmane West of Norwalk and Grashow, who lives in Redding. The gallery also will feature works by 27 artists from the gallery's permanent collection. The show runs through Saturday, Dec. 31.
"Their work elicits respect, smiles and conversation," Bradbury said of the three artists, noting that their work also demonstrates a great sense of fun.
"I felt all three had a style that worked together," she added. "I feel they have a beautiful spirit that inspires me, and I can see it in their work."
Billout's illustrations appear frequently in such publications as the Atlantic and the New Yorker, and he has written and illustrated nearly 10 children's books, including "Something's Not Quite Right" and "The Frog Who Wanted to See the Sea."
Grashow is as known for his woodcut prints, which have been featured in many well-known publications, as he is for his corrugated cardboard sculptures, including his 2010 "Corrugated Fountain," which was inspired by the Trevi fountain in Rome. The Allan Stone Gallery in New York City, where the artist has shown for about the past 45 years, presented the large work earlier this year. It comes to the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield early next year.
West, 36, whose style is as steeped in street art as it is in fine art techniques, has used those graphic elements in his art and his designs, which include an independent Kultjah clothing line and furniture.
Although West has worked with Bradbury in the past, he said "Illustration Celebration" is a chance to show some of his limited edition art.
"I'm showing a lot of versatility of design and illustration," West said, adding that he would present works that are representative of the projects he undertakes as co-founder and head designer of the design firm Kultjah Dezigns. "Once I loosened my own reins, I could see how art could be applied to many different mediums."
West said most of his works reflect a desire to communicate with the viewer -- to create an access point that spurs dialogue.
"I have that platform ... to put that concept out there," he added.
There will be multiple points of entry when it comes to Grashow's work.
Grashow, a 40-year resident of Redding who has known Bradbury for many years, said he "decided he wanted to do a potpourri of things."
He is showing many of his smaller woodcut prints, along with, in his words, a "sprinkling" of some of his larger works. The former includes a series Grashow created based on the many different species of flies, such as the Spanish fly, the house fly, the firefly, the dragonfly and others.
Bradbury said the artists' works have a headiness, along with humor, which is what attracted her in the first place.
In describing Billout, Bradbury noted, "As deep as his work is, in terms of ability to send a powerful message of whatever it is he is illustrating, he loves to have fun and you can see it in the work."
All three artists engage the viewer, Bradbury added, employing such elements as puns, word play, irony and mystical symbolism. The effect elicits something of a challenge.
"They want you to participate and try to solve the piece," she added.
22 Haviland Street Gallery is located at 22 Haviland St., South Norwalk. "Illustration Celebration" runs through Saturday, Dec. 31 (hours Wednesday to Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Closed Dec. 24). 203-852-6727.