Putting perspective to good use

Published 2:25 pm Thursday, October 4, 2018

Artists from across Suffolk got to flex their creative muscles in the Suffolk Public Library’s Underground Art Show, which collected 19 submitted pieces throughout September. The reception on Saturday was timed to recognize Banned Books Week.

Each submission drew inspiration from an artist’s favorite banned or challenged story. There were even a few additions from library staff themselves. I was very impressed with some of the art skills that were brought to either two- or three-dimensional life for a shot at recognition and bags of prizes.

My favorites included artist Jeff Onwularu’s “There’s No Place Like Home,” a digitally rendered piece inspired by “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” with exquisite detail and lavish coloring. The ripples and shadows in the puddle within the shot were clearly done with deliberate care.


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Some of the submissions made me feel nostalgic. Sean Dorsey penciled and inked “Desire,” a portrait taken right out of the “Sandman” comic book series by Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite authors. I can remember first reading the series back in high school and again in college.

Cory Bland made an eye-popping scene titled “Magic Can Happen to You” that had Goku and Bulma of “Dragon Ball” literally jumping off the page. That pop-up effect worked great with young Goku’s frightened expression, and I could hear the voice actor from the cartoon series in my head.

There were two “Hagrid’s eggs” from “Harry Potter,” a few books that were burned in the pages of “Fahrenheit 451” and a collage of purple color tones inspired by — you guessed it — “The Color Purple.”

Library Services Coordinator Angela Martin said she wanted to get “a visual representation of banned books for the public, and to inspire them to be creative with banned books,” and I think the show did a great job of that, along with the arts and crafts activities at the reception that allowed children to use printed words for their art projects.

Every consumer of media can have a unique impression from a particular story, and outlets like this allow them to make something tangible and rewarding by combining their perspective with their own handiwork.