Centre College’s Grace Doherty Library recently hosted their first Chalk The Library Walk competition, where students were asked to create a book-themed design along the sidewalks surrounding Crounse Hall.
“In past years we have had a paint a pumpkin and edible book contests in the library,” said Crystal Ellis, reference and research instruction, and collection development for the library. “While we can’t be in the library, we still wanted to have something for the students that was book-related and could be done outdoors. We love for students to be able to combine their artistic talents with their love for books and reading. It is always amazing to see how creative and talented our students are.”
This competition was inspired by the joy Carrie Frey, director of library services and the creative commons, saw in her granddaughter Reia, as she was creating her own chalk masterpiece.
Originally, 25 students signed up for the competition and six submitted photos of their creations to enter the contest.
“We were amazed at the creative and beautiful images the students generated, using just a few pieces of chalk,” Frey said. “We will likely make this an annual tradition. The submissions to the contest were lovely, and we had a hard time selecting winners for our given categories.”
The library staff chose three winners based on the “funniest/punniest,” “most realistic looking” and “most artistic creations.” Each winner received a library t-shirt and each participant was given a library sticker and highlighters.
The award for “Funniest/Punniest” went to Sam Adams ‘24 for “James and the Giant Peach.” “Most Realistic Looking” was awarded to Grace Malone ‘24 for “The Great Catsby.” Lastly, “Most Artistic” went to Joseph Falcon ‘24 for “Love, Simon.”
Falcon’s submission was a drawing depicting the actor Nick Robinson as Simon Spier from the movie “Love, Simon,” a character from “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,” by Becky Albertalli.
“The movie is one of my favorite movies to watch, and I even watch the spinoff TV series ‘Love, Victor,’” Falcon said. “I chose this book and design, because I wish for greater LGBTQ+ representation in society. I understand some may feel perhaps it is already too forced, but I believe our voices are still being repressed today.
“Moving onto campus as a first-year, I have felt that I don’t belong, because of the majority demographic on campus—I was too different,” he continued. “I am aware there are others with similar struggles like me, so I wanted to choose a design that reminded me of love and home.”
Malone submitted a drawing she titled “The Great Catsby,” because she thought it would be an interesting way to look at a classic.
“Instead of the iconic face in the sky, I edited it a bit by putting a cat nose and whiskers instead,” Malone explained. “As a lover of classic literature, ‘The Great Gatsby,’ and really anything by Fitzgerald, has been at the top of my list of favorites. Since I read ‘The Great Gatsby’ for the first time in seventh grade, I have read it six times, and it has been my most revisited piece of literature.
“With the global pandemic and the current situation on campus, this activity provided me some way to express myself in a new way,” she continued. “I actually had people who I had never met reach out to me and start a conversation about my drawing, which provided a new way for me to make friends and meet new people. Some would stop on their walk back to their dorms and give me a thumbs up while I was struggling to finish my drawing, which motivated me even more to continue to push through. The overall process was really rewarding.”
The honorable mentions awards were designated to “Moses” by Andy Zhang ‘21, “Lust for Life” by Carley Bishop ‘24, “Love” by Noah Cowperthwaite ‘23 and “Hobbit” by Hninn Nander ‘23.
“The submissions for the Chalk the Library Walk competition were wonderful,” Frey concluded. “We had a hard time choosing the winners for the three categories. Thank you or bringing beauty and cheer to campus.”
by Kerry Steinhofer
September 24, 2020
Header image: “James and the Giant Peach” by Sam Adams ’24