Library creates opportunity for young artists to showcase their skills

HARLINGEN — As we begin the last week of August, Valley communities are continuing their final event preparations in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month in September. This year, the Harlingen Public library will be adding a new activity to their annual cultural festivities that will give Valley kids an opportunity to showcase their skills.

For several years now, the library has hosted events and activities in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. They’ve had mariachi and folklorico performances, face painting and even piñatas for kids.

This year, library staff “wanted to highlight the artistic literary influences of Hispanic artists in our culture today” and is what inspired creating an art contest for kids.

Library personnel hope kids and the community will gain an appreciation for Hispanic influences and art and being able to see how it’s a part of our culture and heritage.

“Especially living here in Harlingen, we can see the influences in our art night and the murals downtown,” assistant library director Molly Walter said in a phone interview. “We have a very vibrant art community here and it would be great for the children to be able to take ownership of that as well,” she added.

Library staff is making sure to include a multitude of options for art submissions to allow artists be able to fully express their creativity. Participants are able to submit as many pieces of art they want and can submit a variety of different forms like paint, pencil, charcoal, crayon, mixed media and even photography.

“I really want to encourage kids to participate and be proud of their art and efforts,” Walter said. “It adds so much to our library when we can see the kids really contributing something beautiful.”

Art entry forms can be found on the Harlingen Public Library Facebook page. Artists may drop off their art at any library service desk. The deadline to submit artwork is Sunday, Sept. 16. Participants will be honored at the Hispanic Heritage Celebration on Saturday, Sept. 22. All art submissions will be displayed throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, ending on Oct. 15.