Written by Krissy Chapman. Digital Media by Jessica Sturgeon.
The library was alive with scenes springing from the pages as the 3rd Annual Book Art Contest was on display in Ruby E. Dare Library. Contestants from two age groups, Junior/Senior High and College and Beyond, submitted art pieces created from repurposed library books. Books were cut, folded, and paint strewn to revive the worn pages.
The panel of astute judges, professors Sharon Grimes, Jessa Wilcoxen, and Jake Amundson, announced the winning contestants this afternoon. “We judged contestants’ pieces on three basic categories,” said judge Jake Amundson, “the conceptual aspect of the piece, creative execution, and the relationship between the chosen book and the art piece. We’ve had some really creative combinations this year.”
Taking first overall was 6th grader Ethan Matthews with his creation “Millipede,” a giant, green millipede crawling out from a college Entomology book. “I got the idea for my project in my art class where I chose the Entomology book,” says Matthews.
Others awarded for their work in the contest include first place in the Junior/Senior High category to artists Hannah Gaffner and Samantha Siefken for their piece “Chapter of Our Lives,” and first place in the College and Beyond category to “Stratification of Behavior,” created by Tony Briscoe. Winning the People’s Choice Award was the “Librarians TV” by artist William Wagner, complete with dials, speakers, and a plug-in cord.
The annual contest, originally started by professor Steve Heilmer in his Juxtaposinthesis class, works to bring new purpose to used
books otherwise destined for the recycling bins. “It’s a fun, creative outlet,” Amundson tells. And the best part: contestants get to keep their work after the contest is over.
For students who missed out on the annual Book Art Contest this year, Jake Amundson encourages you to join in the fun next year. “It just takes some scissors and a little creativity. Anyone can do it, whether you are in an art class or not.” But beware, winner Ethan Matthews says he’ll be back again next year to defend his title.
The winning pieces will be on display in the library for a short time, so hurry over and take a look. And if you are so inspired, discarded books are still looking for a creative home, so ask a librarian the next time you are in Ruby E. Dare!