Library Buzz for September 2 Edition

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How do you see yourself, inside and out? What would your self-portrait look like – a realistic representation of your likeness, or an abstract reflection of your personality or identity as you see it?

Art is the expression of human creativity and imagination. So much can be said through colors, lines, shapes and textures. We can better understand another person’s world from the art they create.

A few years ago, an Eagle Rock resident stopped by the library with a generous donation of artwork. She shared a story of sadness, but also a hope and wish to create a better community through art. She wanted the library system to organize an art contest for children through funding that she generously provided. Since then, this anonymous donor has helped the library give away over $3,000 in cash to local children and teens.

We look forward to our 4th Annual Youth Art Contest this year. Artwork is accepted in four categories by grade level: K-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th, and 9th-12th grade levels. Each category will be awarded first place ($150), second place ($100) and third place ($75) cash prizes. Artwork in all forms of media are accepted (such as paintings, drawings and sculptures), but it must be no larger than a standard piece of poster board (22”x28”). Submit all artwork to any Botetourt County Library branch (Blue Ridge, Buchanan, Eagle Rock or Fincastle) by September 30 at 5 p.m., along with an application that you can pick up at the library or download from BocoLibraries.info. Limit one entry per person. All artwork must align with this year’s theme: Self-Portrait.

Why did we choose a self-reflective theme? The youth of Botetourt have experienced a year unlike any we’ve seen before. While we all wish to protect our children from the tragedies and difficulties of life, we cannot hide the effects that a pandemic and social unrest have had on our lives. At the same time, we know that struggle best reveals who we really are and how we identify ourselves to the world. We wanted to celebrate the unique blend of emotions, experiences, personalities and perspectives of individual youths in our community – and hopefully, encourage them to see the rich value in themselves that we all recognize in them.

This year, we’re teaming up with local restaurants across the county to showcase our youth’s artwork. From October 9-November 2, visit some of your favorite dining spots (details TBA!) to see the amazing talent of Botetourt’s budding youth artists. While you’re there, take advantage of a great meal to celebrate our resilient local businesses that remain dedicated to serving our community.

Julie Phillips – Fincastle Library