Teens, we interrupt our regularly scheduled book recommending to bring you some exciting news. While A.K. Smiley Public Library has been closed to in-person visits, we’ve been busy behind the scenes giving the Teen Underground space a mini-makeover…new paint, a little reorganization, some new signs: a subtle revamp we hope will make it easier to find things and easier on your eyes when we reopen on March 8. While things are definitely looking fresher, we quickly realized something was still missing. Something that could make the space feel energetic and vibrant. YOU.
We got to dreaming about ways you could leave your mark—literally—in this space. We noticed we had two blank walls, and they looked unnervingly spotless. Hmmmmm…
Blank walls + teen touch needed = the Teen Underground Mural Contest.
We are very excited to announce that A.K. Smiley Public Library is sponsoring a Teen Underground Mural Contest, open to teens ages thirteen to nineteen, and we invite all teen artists/designers/creatives to participate. Do you have ideas about what you want to see in this space? A gothic underground laboratory? A subterranean ode to anime? A wall-sized hand-painted portrait of Harry Styles sitting between the Smiley brothers? No? You can see why your creative vision is urgently needed.
In a nutshell, here’s what we’re looking for:
Since this space is located in the basement level of the library, our general theme is “Teen Underground.” We would love for this space to feel welcoming, inclusive, and relevant for our diverse teen library users. The mural design may, but is not required to, give a nod to teen literature (manga, anime, teen banned books, teen classics, you get the idea). The rest is up to you. We love creative interpretations…let your imagination go wild.
What’s in it for you, you may be wondering. We’re glad you asked. Of course, the winning teen designer(s) will get the unmatched thrill of seeing their original art in the teen space of the library. In addition, they will have an impressive community project under their belt to boost their artistic portfolio, college application, or resume.
Oh, and one more thing. The selected design, and installation of the design in the library space, will earn the teen designer(s) one-thousand dollars! An additional stipend of up to $500 will be awarded to purchase any necessary supplies.
If this is making your arm hair stand on end and your artistic teen eyeballs turn into glowing spirals—or, in other words, exciting you—we encourage you to visit the Teens page of our website at www.akspl.org/teens/ for additional contest information, mural dimensions, FAQs, due dates (April 30, 2021), submission details, and the official Teen Underground Mural Contest application.
We are ready to be wowed by your submissions and the Teen Underground space is definitely ready for its mini-makeover to be complete…your creativity is exactly what the space has been missing. And if you have zero interest in designing a mural, don’t worry. The space needs you too…and we can’t wait to welcome you back.
Youth Services Library Specialist