Tag Archives: art

Art Project for Teens and Adults

I stumbled across a site that had directions for a project called Song Lyric Wall Art that may work as a program in your libraries.  Instead of song lyrics, you could use quotes from books, movies, etc.

They say to find a painting at a thrift store or use one that you already have and are willing to paint over. Next, attach letter stickers over it in the form of whatever quote or saying you would like, and paint over it with acrylic paint or spray paint.  After it dries, take off the stickers and you will have a unique wall hanging.

I decided to try this to see how easy it actually was. Instead of using a painting, I bought a canvas and spray painted it black.  Since it took multiple coats, it did take longer than originally anticipated.  Also, if you use spray paint instead of the acrylic paint, make sure to go outside for this project.  Once it was dry, I stuck the letters and numbers on and spray painted the whole thing yellow.  This also took multiple coats.  Then, after it was dry, I took off the stickers.  The stickers weren’t too keen on staying on the canvas so some of the yellow paint got where I didn’t want it but, all in all, it was a fun project.  Next time, I may try the acrylic paint and see how that works.  Here is my finished project:

wall art

Have you done something similar at your library?  How did it turn out?  Do you have any tips or ideas on how to make this a successful program?

Book to Art Clubs

back of coulor pencilsIf the usage of the book club kits we offer at the State Library is any indication, book clubs are very popular in North Dakota libraries!

Bring a new element to your book club offerings by trying a book to art club. The official Book to Art Club was created by The Library as Incubator Project, and was designed as a way “to find hands-on, creative ways to engage with literature.”

A book to art club is perfect for crafty book lovers, but it would work for any book club looking to branch out a bit. If traditional book clubs haven’t taken off at your library, perhaps this would be the perfect way to engage other readers. As the Club page says “the process of art-making is more important than the product,” so you don’t have to worry about being a skilled artist.

The book to Art Club has a list of titles that have already been read for past clubs, and it also includes upcoming titles. Each book has a Pinterest page of related art to help inspire you.  There are several titles with cross-over appeal that would appeal to kids and teens as well as adults. There isn’t much overlap in their selections and the book club kits available at the State Library, but a little research on Pinterest goes a long way when it come to craft ideas. And you can always upcycle weeded books into works of art!

Whether or not you follow along with their suggestions, there is a Facilitator’s Guide available to walk you through the process of hosting a book to art club. There are ideas to get you started, but feel free to adapt it to the needs of your library.

Have you tried alternate ways of engaging your book clubs? Have any of them involved art? Share your ideas in the comments!

“It Came From a Book” Teen Art Contest


The Library as Incubator Project is once again hosting the “It Came From a Book” art contest for teens. This year the contest is sponsored by Teen Librarian Toolbox, EgmontUSA, and Zest Books.

It’s easy to enter – read a book and create a piece of art based on the story, then submit an image of your piece by November 1. All types of art work are eligible, so encourage your teens to participate!

Have you hosted any art, book-inspired or otherwise, in your library? Share your stories in the comments!

Celebrate Youth Art Month at the Library

paletteMarch is Youth Art Month. Youth Art Month is sponsored by the Council for Art Education. The goal of Youth Art Month is to “emphasize the value of art education for all youth.”

The Council for Art Education suggests that libraries can get involved by inviting illustrators to speak, displaying children’s art and crafts, and featuring books on art and illustration. They also provide program ideas that have worked successfully in other states.

As budget cuts continually reduce the amount of arts education available in schools, libraries can help fill the void and keep art accessible to kids and teens. Continue reading

Open Access to Art

openGettyThe first Sunday of every month, admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art is free (pay what you wish, technically). In high school, I took liberal advantage of this opportunity. Exposure to art changes your perceptions and broadens your options for response to the world around you. Immersion in the historic and contemporary output of creative people not only shapes your understanding of the past and of other cultures, but also your understanding of human thought and emotion. Visual art inspires reflection and discussion in ways that no other medium can. Put simply: art inspires. I can think of no better way to spend a Sunday.

The Getty is ushering in a new era of free and easy access to art by sharing high quality images of artwork they own online. They’re making everything they can (those works not under copyright or other restriction) freely available  for download, use, sharing, and remixing as part of their Open Content Program. This means that not only can you be inspired, you can easily build on what came before–this is an operant definition of culture.

I sincerely hope other museums and cultural institutions follow suit. In the meantime, I hope everyone visits The Getty’s Open Content Program, takes in the art, shares the experience with their friends and family, and maybe even starts to create something themselves.

“It Came From a Book” Art Contest for Teens

It Came From a Book
Do you have artistic teen patrons? Teens at your library can enter the 2nd annual “It Came From a Book” Teen Art Contest, sponsored by The Library as Incubator Project, Teen Librarian Toolbox, EgmontUSA, and Zest Books.

Entering is easy: Read any book and create a piece of art inspired by the story. All types of artwork are eligible, simply email a photo or scan of your piece. For all the details, be sure to read the full submission guidelines. You could win a $50 Amazon gift card, books from EgmontUSA and Zest books, and swag from The Library as Incubator project. The deadline to enter is midnight on November 1, 2013. Print their poster for easy promotion in your library and community!

colored pencils

This would be a very easy program to run in your own library as well – either in conjunction with this contest or separately. You already have plenty of inspiring books! You’d only need to supply display space, a judge, and a prize. Displaying art work in the library would be a great way to bring in community members who might not otherwise visit the library, and you could increase circulation by creating displays of the books that inspired the art, along with your non-fiction art books. You could partner with local artists or the school’s art teacher to judge the entries.

Have you had an art show at your library? How did it go? Share your stories in the comments!