The Big Read Blog (Archive)


March 27, 2009
Washington, DC

This spring, Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association is sponsoring The Big Read Scioto County, a Midwestern celebration of Harper Lee?s To Kill a Mockingbird. Today?s Roadshow and Tell features just a few of the sublime projects created by students at South Webster High School for their Big Read project: Altered Books, Altered Minds, A Mockingbird Odyssey.  (We featured The Big Read Scioto County  and the art book project in yesterday?s blog post.)

Gifted Students Coordinator Sharee Price explained the class project. ?An altered book is defined as any book, old or new, that has been recycled by creative means into a work of art. Art students at South Webster High School first studied and discussed the themes of  To Kill a Mockingbird.  They then worked together with their teacher, Mr. Brad Painter, and me, to make works of art that visually interpreted their ideas related to this story. Students began with books as a ?canvas? upon which to make their work; they transformed the books into works of art by adding a variety of found materials.  Some of the books have become more sculptural and others have retained their original form. Whatever avenue the student has chosen, the end result becomes the artistic interpretation of the reader.?

Artist book with pages with hand-drawn illustrations

Ashley Horner?s project transformed the book back into its original form -- a tree.

Courtnie Charles's painterly project deftly captured the novel?s idyllic setting.

Artist book

Kim Scaff?s mixed media approach deftly the many ways in which Lee?s novel challenges accepted viewpoints.

All photos are courtesy of South Webster High School.