The library is now featuring student artwork examining banned books.

Taylor Dice hopes that her art can help give a voice to people who need to be heard.

The Eudora junior is one of the honorable mention winners at this year’s banned books student exhibit at the Eudora Community Library.

The high school and the library partnered in an effort to shed light on banned books through student’s unique interpretations. Eudora High School’s Art 3 and Art 4 classes participated in the banned book assignment.

Over a dozen projects are now on display at the library. Normally the projects are only displayed for a week, but this go-around they were so impressive that Library Director Carol Wohlford decided to keep them up for all of October.

“It reminds me that there is so much creativity in kids if you just let them loose,” Wohlford said. “There is no limit to what kids can do if you don’t limit them.”

Art teacher Austin Lauxman wanted the students to experiment with different types of art for this project.

“This is a great ‘getting your feet wet, let’s get back into it’ kind of first project of the year because there is a lot of freedom for them,” Lauxman said. 

Lauxman had the students pick three books that they are familiar with and check a list compiled by the American Library Association to see if those books have been banned, restricted or challenged.

Once the students picked the book they wanted to portray, they presented their idea to Lauxman and got started.

Tice chose to focus on “Annie on My Mind” by Nancy Garden and said she found the assignment interesting.

“Oftentimes, there is a lot of censorship in the history of books, especially when it comes to people of color and queer people and other minorities, and so it was interesting to see what books were banned and why they were banned,” she said.

The book that she chose was controversial in Kansas, she said.

“So, I felt it was a perfect opportunity to use what I’ve learned about that book and make something artistic and symbolic of all that that book has gone through,” Tice said.

She hopes those who view the exhibit understand and see the difficulties that diverse communities have gone through to have their stories heard and published.

 “I’m really hoping it’s still a step in the direction of more representation and acceptance in the art that we make and the books that are written and having more diverse plots and characters in them,” Tice said.

Katelyn Patterson won best in show for her interpretation of "Bridge to Terabithia," while Audrey Shain was another honorable mention winner for her art of "The House on Mango Street."

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