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Artists chosen for Banned Books week competition

Banned book  exhibition
Banned book exhibition

Linnea Lieth, a junior studio arts major at UNC, used a medium of colored pencils on canvas to create a visual depiction of William Faulkner’s "As I Lay Dying" for the Banned Books Week competition.

“I loved the novel the second time I read it,” Lieth said, “I understand that communities are trying to protect through challenging books, but I think that’s wrong. All books have important things to say.”

Beginning this week, from Sunday to Saturday, the Chapel Hill Public Library, in association with the Town of Chapel Hill’s Office of Public & Cultural Arts, will host the third annual Banned Books Week.

On each day of the week, a different artistic work will be revealed. A reception was held for the artists on Friday at the Chapel Hill Public Library.

Susan Brown, the director of the Chapel Hill Public Library, brought the national event to the town of Chapel Hill in 2013. She started the Banned Books Week not only because she wanted to encourage the freedom and availability of literature to the public, but she also wanted to bring recognition to local artists in the Chapel Hill area.

“Intellectual freedom is of interest to artists as well as writers,” said Brown. “The Banned Books Week is an interesting way to bring them both together.”

Local artists from the area were asked to create and submit small scale works of art which were inspired by and promote a particular banned or challenged book. Seven winners were chosen from the submissions, with an additional award in the best youth entry category. Each of the seven winners received $100 and their works are printed as trading cards, containing the artistic piece on the front of the card and information about the artist and piece on the back.

Martha Brunstein, president of Friends of the Library, helped to raise funds for the Banned Books Campaign. 

“I do everything I can to get banned books into the hands of people,” Brunstein said.

Robert Votta, one of the seven winners selected, submitted a water color and ink painting about the challenged novel "Lord of the Flies."  

“For me, when and where I grew up, there was no such thing as banned books,” said Votta, “I wanted to do 'Lord of the Flies' because it was banned as an alleged depiction of humans as animals.”

Kristen Pearson, who recently moved to Chapel Hill, was another winner present at the artist’s reception.  Her piece was a magazine collage of the novel "Lolita."  She chose the novel because it is a celebration of pop culture.

“My husband and I just moved here, and the first thing I did was sign up to be a member,” Pearson said, in reference to the Chapel Hill Public Library.

Elise Van Manen, a 12-year-old student at Phillips Middle School, was one of the younger participating artists. She submitted three separate works of art inspired by "The Lorax," "The Giver" and "A Wrinkle in Time."

“I just wanted to, like, start doing art again more,” Van Manen said, “When I saw this art contest, I wanted to start doing it again. It was fun!”

@burhankadibhai

city@dailytarheel.com

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