Tompkins County Public Library

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

BANNED! A new exhibit opens at TCPL on September 21, 2013

What have the following books got in common?  Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling and Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut; the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Lolita by Validmir Nabokov; James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl and I Write What I Like by Steven Biko; To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Forever by Judy Blume; Black Beauty by Anna Sewell and Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger; and Liar by Justine Larbalestier, Native Son by Richard Wright and 1984 by George Orwell.  

They are all “Banned Books”. That is they have been banned from some school or library somewhere or challenged as appropriate reading material for kids and adults at some time and are now featured in a new art exhibit at TCPL. Curated by Suzanne Onodera. The exhibit BANNED! opens in conjunction with the National Book Community’s annual Banned Books Week (September 22 – 28, 2013) and celebrates the freedom to read.

The intention of this exhibition is to call attention to the banned or challenged book throughout history in the United States. 

Claire Lesemann

BANNED! asks the question, “What sort of society would we be without freedom of access to information, freedom of ideas, and the freedom to read?”  It brings together 17 artists, poets, writers, librarians and community members who have been inspired to illustrate a challenged or banned book in a variety of different ways.

Carol Clune


The contributors, who vary from experienced artists and poets to those who have never exhibited publicly before, and range in age from as young as 9 years old, were charged by curator Onodera to draw attention to the current and growing issue of censorship, challenging and banning of books, and the threat to free and open access to information. They include Kenny Berkowitz, Duffy Berkowitz, Steve Carver, Carol Clune, Jane Dennis, Ariel Bullion – Eckert, Amy Emerson, Claire Lesemann, Tyi Mc Cray, Bridget Meeds, Tim Merrick, Trisica Munore, Suzanne Onodera, Barbara Page, Terry Plater and Werner Sun. 
Ariel Ecklund

BANNED! will be on display September 21 – December 19, 2013 at TCPL.  An opening reception will take place on Friday, October 4, from 5:00 to 8:00 PM during First Friday Gallery Night.  

This exhibit is made possible by the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation with grant support from the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County.

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