The NEA Big Read community reading program for Emanuel County begins September 6, and upcoming events include an art exhibition for local artists of all ages. The exhibition, Stand Tall: The Art of Strength, will feature works that capture the themes of the Big Read: Ernest Gaines’ novel, A Lesson Before Dying, and the Little Read: children’s book Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell.
Both texts follow the characters’ struggles against limitations. Gaines’ novel opens in 1940s Louisiana as a judge sentences young Jefferson to death by electrocution. The sole survivor of a liquor store shooting, he is convicted of murder and relies on visits from the local teacher, Grant Wiggins, to face his fate with dignity. The novel confronts death and social injustice through the growing bond of two men from a small community who both fight the limitations of their surroundings. The children’s companion book, Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, tells the story of a small girl who learns to embrace her clumsiness, large teeth, and strange voice by following the advice of her grandmother.
Accepted submissions include any medium: photography, painting, pottery, 3D models, textiles, etc. Children and students of all ages, as well as all community members, are encouraged to submit original work inspired by either book. Children will also have an opportunity to create submissions during the story time art workshop at the Big Read Kickoff on Tuesday, September 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the EGSC Gymnasium.
Artists may submit work at the EGSC Library before Wednesday, September 7. For more information, contact EGSC Big Read coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The art exhibit will open with a reception at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, September 8, and will run through September 30 at the East Georgia State College Library. Work may be picked up at the library circulation desk after Monday, October 3.