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Graffiti bookends kids summer library season (11 photos)

More than 25 kids in two age categories had just two hours to spray paint 4- by 4-foot boards, drawing upon a palette of two dozen colors

To Alexander Calder you can add the names Jake Callaghan and Gideon Irvine as impresarios of the expressionist art form. Calder is a famous American abstract artist honored with a collection of postage stamps. Callaghan and Irvine took top expressionist honors in a graffiti art contest held July 29 in front of the Bayliss Library.

More than 25 kids in two age categories had just two hours to spray paint 4- by 4-foot boards, drawing upon a palette of two dozen colors. Kids younger than ten coated sidewalks with colored chalk. There were two or three family spectators for each competitor.  

“We’ve been doing the graffiti contest since 2005 and this year is definitely a record,” said Sabrina Nevue, the child and teen services librarian for Bayliss. “A grant from the Chippewa County Community Foundation bought paint, chalk, and prizes for us this year. AmeriCorps got the graffiti boards primed and are here today in registration and as event recorders.”

The art contest caps a busy season that offers more than books for young readers and their families. 

Still to come in August are a rock painting contest and - apparently all the rage on social media – designing stickers from kits. Indoor scavenger hunts start every other Saturday. For the construction-minded, the library’s largest table will be stacked with hundreds of assorted Lego bricks. August 25 features a kids’ writing workshop presented by two singing authors – Tory Graham on vocals and guitar joined by Nels Lindquist on electric bass.

Attendance and participation in all these activities is optional for adults.

“The Community Foundation grant will allow us to expand activities for kids throughout the coming year,” said Nevue. “This includes book reading challenges, ongoing art contests, and guest author and artist appearances, all related to getting kids to read books and look at the library as a place where families can have fun.”

This was the fifth year Nevue coordinated summer kid events for Bayliss. She also oversees the library’s Augusta Seal Children’s Room that houses more than 25,000 books, toys, magazines, puzzles, and computers set aside for use by preschoolers through young adults up to age 17.

Nevue encourages parents to access the collection’s resources that offer parenting advice and ideas to help kids read earlier.

Look for “Bayliss Library” on Facebook to keep up on upcoming events as they fall into place. A Web search on Bayliss lands on a site that lays out the entirety of books and services offered to people of all ages.