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Altered Book Competition Underway at MRL

For the first time, there is a new youth group competition in the Massanutten Regional Library annual Altered Book Competition.  Any youth, ages 12-18, are encouraged to create an altered book exhibit and place it in competition within its own age group.
“This is the library’s sixth altered book competition, and while we have always encouraged any age individual to participate, it seemed somewhat unfair that youth entries were competing with adult entries, so we created a youth category as well.  There will be first, second, and third place winners in the youth altered book competition as well as first, second, and third place winners in the adult competition,” says Cheryl Griffith, Community Relations Manager, Massanutten Regional Library.  
Entry forms for the contest may be picked up at any MRL library or downloaded from the home page of the library website www.mrlib.org.  Discarded books can be obtained at the Main Branch.  Entry forms and the altered book artwork are due by 12 noon on Tuesday, April 1, at the Main Branch in downtown Harrisonburg.
An altered book is a form of mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form into something else.  According to the International Society of Altered Book Artists, an altered book “…is any book, old or new that has been recycled by creative means into a work of art.  They can be …rebound, painted, cut, burned, folded, added to, collaged in, gold-leafed, rubber stamped, drilled or otherwise adorned.” 
Altered books give new life, artistic purpose, and meaning to used, old, or abandoned books.  People traditionally think of books as works of literary art.  Through altered book projects, books transform into works of visual art as well.
The altered books exhibits will be displayed in a gallery at MRL Main and visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their top three favorite entries during library operating hours April 3-5 and again on Friday evening April 4 from 5-7 pm in conjunction with the First Friday Celebration sponsored by the Arts Council of the Valley.  
Last year’s first and second place winners are featured in the current Altered Books brochure.  “Gnome Dome,” by Diane Landis, Bridgewater, was the first place winner in the 2013 competition.  Ashley Mullins, Culpepper, VA, placed second in the contest with her entry, “Gateway to New Worlds.”   Broadway resident Bethany Pence won third with her “Little Girl in a Strange Land” entry. 
For more information regarding the Altered Books Competition, please contact Cheryl Griffith, 434-4475, ext. 121.


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