Library to display children’s artwork

Published 10:25 am Friday, May 29, 2015

The Lincoln County Library is calling out to student artists ages 6 to 18 to participate in an art contest as part of its summer reading program. The library has hopes of engaging kids’ imaginations with this year’s program theme of superheroes. 

The competition will be split into two groups, with ages 6 through 11 using the theme “Every Hero Has a Story” and ages 12 to 18 creating art with the theme “Unmask.” Through June 20, the library will accept original artwork under these themes.

Children’s Librarian Kasie Eckman said an increase in interest in art provided the idea for the art competition.

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“We’ve gotten a lot more kids coming in [interested in art,]” Eckman said. “Circulation for drawing books seems like it has increased and we have the arts school right here, we have the home-school kids who come here and do art, you know different groups that have artistic meetings and things going on, so I thought that would be a fun way to get them excited in the summer for art and the reading program.”

Eckman said “manga” – a term that in the United States refers to a style of comics that originated in Japan – has become really popular. In Japan, people of all ages enjoy the medium of entertainment that spans many genres, and it has become popular in the U.S. and other western countries over the past decade or so. Manga is a Japanese word referring both to comics and cartooning.

“I think mainly it’s because graphic novels are becoming so popular,” Eckman said. “Some kids come in and say they make their own comic books or comic sheets, so that’s fun.”

A superhero theme for the contest coincides with this interest in manga, and a resurgence of the graphic novel as a respected and more widely known art form, which Eckman hopes will inspire kids.

Many different mediums are eligible for the contest, including photography, painting, colored pencil, fabric, wood and paper or posterboard, and Eckman said if students have any questions on the eligibility of their choice of artwork they can call her. She said the art will be displayed in the meeting room of the library, the walls of which are bare for a lack of exhibits over the summer.

“Usually every month there’s an exhibit but during the summer we don’t do anything like that so we thought it’d be neat to have the kids do the artwork for the summer,” Eckman said. “I think the people walking through will like it and see how important the library is to kids over the summer.[…] I think it’s going to be fun to see all the pops in color and know that the kids did it, and they were excited.”

Eckman said a small group, not including herself, will judge the art submissions and the winners will be announced at one of the last meetings of the program.

Eckman said several children have signed up for the reading program that will run through June at the library. The program sets reading goals that earn children prizes when completed and also has a weekly program at the library on Monday or Wednesday, depending on the age of the reader.

“They learn different things, it’s not just reading a book,” Eckman said, noting that she knows everyone isn’t as big on reading as she is. “[The program has] something for each kid. So if you don’t like to read, you may be artistic though and get something out of a book about art or a book about drawing. We’ll have science experiments, arts and crafts, visitors on Sundays and a little bit of something for everybody.

“That’s what we’re going for,” Eckman said. “And hopefully also if we get them to read all summer it’ll get them prepared for school in the fall; they won’t fall behind.”

In addition to the summer reading programs, Eckman said that a book club for older kids is in the works. She said she hopes that students will be interested because it could help them accomplish summer reading requirements. For more information about the summer reading program, the art contest or the summer book club, contact Eckman at the Lincoln County Library at (601) 833-3369.