Book Art

The Saline County Library is calling for art submission from middle school, junior high and senior high students across Saline County for its Book Art Contest.

"It is an art contest for all Saline County students," said Children's Library Manager Sarah Beth Lesko.

She explained the contest is for students to create art based on books. They can take their inspiration from books in general or a specific book. The library is looking for original art, not recreations of other works.

For this first year, Lesko said they only plan to accept 2D art, such as paintings, drawings, mixed media, computer generated art and photography. The library does not currently have the ability to display sculptures.

Lesko said there are many students who spend time at the library who are very talented. The staff wanted to give them the chance to show off their skills.

The library has reached out to area schools' art programs to get them involved.

"They seem super excited," Lesko said.

The library does not plan to leave out elementary artists. They just will not compete. Lesko said the library plans to feature displays of art from different schools each month and each library location. September will feature art from home school students. After that, there is a schedule for each school to be on display. She encourages any Saline County school not on the schedule to reach out to the library to be added.

Lesko plans to bring in local artists to judge the contest.

For the art contest, students can submit one piece per artist. Art must be no larger than 26 inches in length by 26 inches and four inches in depth. They must weigh no more than one pound.

The art must have been created during the 2021 school year. The library reserves the right to refuse art deemed inappropriate. Lesko said artists should remember children will see their work. Artwork must have a proper hanging mechanism. All art must be labeled with the student's information on the back.

The art will be divided into two separate contests — one at the Benton location and one at the Bryant location.

Students who live in Bryant, Alexander, Avilla, East End or Salem can email their forms to brettw@salincountylibrary.org or rebeccag@salinecountylibrary.org. The art can be mailed to 201 Prickett Road, Bryant AR 72022 or dropped off at the Bryant youth services desk.

Those who live in Benton, Bauxite, Haskell, Traskwood or Shaw can email their forms to watsonj@salinecountylibrary.org. Their work can be mailed to or dropped off at 1800 Smithers Dr. Benton, AR 72015.

All entries must be received by the youth services librarians no later than 5 p.m. Nov. 30.

The art will be on display from Dec. 4 through 31. At Benton, the art will be throughout the library. In Bryant, the art will be on display stands in the lobby.

Prizes will be available for the winners. There will be one winner per location.

Forms to enter are available through the Saline County Library Facebook page, at www.salinecountylibrary.org by clicking on the news story or at the library.

Lesko said she hopes to get 20 to 30 entries, but would be thrilled if they get more. The staff will plan next year's contest based on how well this one goes.

She encourages all local students to submit their art.