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CHPL Celebrates Banned Books with Trading Cards

National Banned Books Week runs September 24-30. It’s a time for readers, librarians, and booksellers to celebrate those works that sometimes find themselves on the wrong side of school administrators. Books such as Catcher in the Rye, Slaughterhouse Five, and even Where’s Waldo? have all been in the crosshairs at one point or another.

In anticipation of this week-long celebration, Chapel Hill Public Library and the Cultural Arts Division of the Town of Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation Department are teaming up to host the 5th Annual Banned Books Week Artist-Designed Trading Cards competition:

The Chapel Hill Public Library (Library), in partnership with the Cultural Arts Division, celebrates intellectual freedom and Banned Books Week in an interesting, fun, and unique way. We ask local artists to create small scale (5” wide x 7” tall) works of art inspired by a banned/challenged book or author.

Based on their artistic excellence, seven of these works will be selected by a jury to receive $100 awards and be printed as trading cards, with the artwork on the front and the artist’s statement and information about the highlighted book or author on the back. All entries will be displayed during BBW and beyond at the Library and selected artist-designed cards will be printed and distributed to the public at the Library and other locations in the area. A special $100 award for best youth entry will also be given to an artist under 18 years of age.

Open to artists of all ages within Orange, Durham, Wake, Chatham, and Alamance Counties.

The deadline is August 28.

All submissions must be in hard copy format on paper (digital artwork is encouraged, but must be submitted on paper. Artists, please print in high quality.).

Original artwork will be returned to the artist at the conclusion of the project unless the piece wins. Winning entries will be auctioned to support the Friends of Chapel Hill Public Library, a 501-C3 non-profit. Artists may submit up to three different works of art.

All submissions must measure 5 inches wide by 7 tall inches (no horizontal artwork accepted) and include a ¼ inch bleed on all sides (meaning important words and images should be ¼ inch inside of the edges of the artwork; see diagrams and template). Final printed cards will measure 2.5 wide by 3.5 inches tall; the standard size of a trading card.

Each submission must be accompanied by a complete submission form that includes name, age and contact information for the artist; the title of the book and name of the author that inspired the artwork; and a brief 50-word-or-less statement of how the piece reflects the book and/or author.

Nonconforming entries will not be eligible for exhibition or award. By submitting artwork to this exhibition, artists are granting Chapel Hill Public Library the right to reproduce artwork images for publicity and/or sale of reproductions of the submitted design in any medium to benefit the library.

A Selection Committee comprising local arts and literary professionals, Library staff and Cultural Arts Commission members will review all complete submissions and select seven finalists whose works will be printed as trading cards.

The project will be publicized in the local media, the Town via website, social media, mailing lists, and in-house promotion at the library.

For delivery in person, by mail or for additional information please contact:

Christine Bennett
Chapel Hill Public Library

100 Library Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
T: (919) 969-2021

For ideas and inspiration, explore these lists of banned books: