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Magical Realism

April 21, 2014

Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died. Speaking of him as a master of Magical Realism, the New York Times obituary said that in his stories “storms rage for years, flowers drift from the skies, tyrants survive for centuries, priests levitate and corpses fail to decompose. And, more plausibly, lovers rekindle their passion after a half-century apart.”

Now is the perfect time to celebrate such art, wherein words and images fuse in a kind of intellectual and emotional synesthesia. Get your entry ready for this year’s “Arts at the Library” challenge show. The theme is “Tell me a story.”

The deadline for responding is May 1^st . The show will run from May 9 to June 30, 2014, and will be on the map as a destination during ArtWalk in June.

This year we are asking artists and writers to work separately. This is not a collaborative challenge as in years past. (See the library website for more details not included below.)

Here are the parameters for poets and writers: “Select a visual piece, whether a painting, drawing, illustration, photograph, billboard, sculpture, memory, hallucination, daydream, postcard, ad infinitum. Create a story based on your selection, written in prose or as a poem.”

The limit for poetry is 40 lines; for prose, 500 words.

“Your written piece will be a story, not simply a description of the visual image you have chosen. Do not include the title of the visual piece, or otherwise disclose its identity. Paint us a story in words alone. Let the readers create their own visual experience of what you’ve written. If your visual piece does have a title, please include it with your application so it can be revealed later in the show.”

“Submit work in an attached word document (doc., not docx.) via email by Thursday, May 1 to <>.Please use 12 pt. font.Include the title of your story, title of the visual piece the story is based on (if there is one), your name and contact information.An email confirmation will be returned. Entries are limited to one per person.”

The parameters for visual artists: “Select a written or oral story to base your piece on. It can be a story from your own life; a made-up story; a story from Aesop, Mother Goose, Grimm’s, the Bible, Greek mythology, folktales from other cultures and eras; a news story; a movie, novel, something you heard on NPR or Oprah; ad infinitum.”

“One important feature of your piece is that you are to use no words/letters/numbers. Tell us a story in imagery alone. Let the viewers use their imaginations when looking at your artwork.The title of the artwork should not reveal the story being referenced.If there is a title to the story, please include it on the application for later disclosure. The work can be two-dimensional or three-dimensional.”

You may well have such a piece already hanging on the wall. There are size constraints; see the library website for more information. Title of the artwork, title of the story (if there is one), dimensions, medium, price and artist’s name/contact information must be emailed to <> by Thursday, May 1^st .”

The show will be juried if the number of entries exceeds the space restrictions.Artwork can be for sale. For more information, contact Sally Mather at 539-9636 or <>.

This is a show worth doing. Our lives are essentially a jumble of stories, and reality, such as we know, is full of our own creations. As Garcia Marquez said, “Surrealism runs through the streets.”


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