Photos: Light St Branch Altered Book Contest Winners

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By Melanie Jacobs, Light Street Branch

Through the years, the Friends of Light Street Branch have made significant contributions to the library. The group has purchased a book drop, given $500 to enhance the children’s book collection, and have enthusiastically and financially supported branch programs. So it is no surprise that the Friends generously sponsored the recent Altered Book Competition held at Light Street.

The Friends made free books available to the public to alter, transformed paint brushes into participation prizes, and donated a gift card to a local art supplies business which was awarded to the winner of the Altered Book Contest. Light Street Friends President, Rob Jacobs, was on hand August 6 to present the awards.

Altered Book WinnerWinning Best in Staff and bragging rights was Caitlin Huddleston with her entry entitled “I am half sick of shadows.” Her inspiration was “The Lady of Shalott” from Alfred Tennyson: the Major Works. The Lady of Shalott is cursed and bound to her tower where she weaves all day. She weaves images “shadows of the world” and the outside world (Camelot) that she sees through a mirror. Sir Lancelot rides up and at the sight of him she leaves her tower and her loom believing she is in love with him. She finds a boat by the river and floats away toward Camelot and dies. Caitlin chose to literally weave the lines of the poem.

Upon viewing Caitlin’s entry, Contest Judge Mark Cottman (Federal Hill artist and art gallery owner) commented, “The words flow from the boat like a dialogue with only a gentle ribbon to hold them in, making you want to see more.”

Altered Book Winner: Jenny O'GradyWinner of Best Book Alteration and the gift card was Jenny O’Grady. Jenny thought it would be fun to work with a semi-trashy novel and found inspiration in “Rock Star” by Jackie Collins. Her submission entitled “Rafealla: 1975” referenced the main page of the book where two girls compared their bodies.
She found it completely over the top and decided to create an erasure poem from it just as ridiculous. Using photos of up-and-coming female artists from the most recent issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Jenny created a tiny glitzy guitar book to hold them, because Rafealla’s dream is to become a glamorous rock star.

Art Exposure Director and judge, Ann Wiker, found Jenny’s entry to have “the best use of book theme in artwork. “ She liked the way there was a book within the book and how it interacted.

Thank you, Light Street Friends, for always looking for new and innovative ways to show your support for the library! The Altered Book entries will be on display at the Light Street Branch through the end of September.


Follow Me on PinterestFollow our Pinterest board, Altered Books, to see beautiful and wild images to inspire your book altering adventures.

Want to become an official Altered Books pinner? Send us an email using the contact from on our Community Guidelines page. (You will need a personal Pinterest account to participate).

These creations are so beautiful and very inspiring. What a great project!!!
Posted by: Shamia at 8/14/2012 12:01 p.m.

Some of those altered books are amazing. I hope this continues as an every year contest. Who ever was inspired to put such a program together is amazing too. Kudos !
Posted by: Ron Johnson at 8/14/2012 5:05 p.m.

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