Texas Tech Libraries Seek Book Cover Art for "Recovering the Classics" Exhibit

Members of the Texas Tech and Lubbock communities are invited to submit works of art for inclusion in a pop-up art gallery of reimagined covers of classic novels.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Staff members of the Texas Tech University Libraries are asking local artists to flex their artistic muscles and recreate the cover art of classic novels.

The artwork will be displayed in the "Recovering the Classics" pop-up gallery, slated for a 7 p.m. opening on Feb. 8 in Library Room 309. The opening will launch a book reading series that will last through the month and include guest speakers and discussions focusing on "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."

"We've done book reads, but we really haven't had a fun art event like this before," personal librarian Kimberly Vardeman said.

Recovering the Classics is an organization that uses crowdsourcing to collect original covers for classics in the public domain that may otherwise be left with poorly designed or auto-generated covers. Artists interested in participating in the Texas Tech exhibit can create paintings, prints, sculptures, collages or other visual art to represent any of the 50 classic titles listed on this website.

"Moby Dick" and "The Works of Edgar Allan Poe" are among those listed on the website. Personal librarian Cynthia Henry said two artists have already made plans to submit art based on the works. The amount of submissions or size of the art is up to the creator, each of whom will be responsible for drop-off and pick-up of their pieces, she said.

"As long as you can move it across campus, you can make it whatever size you want," Henry said. "They can submit as many things as they want."

Plans for the pop-up gallery at Texas Tech began after Vardeman attended the American Libraries Association Conference in San Francisco last year and viewed a gallery of prints illustrating reimagined book covers.

"They had all different sizes of the posters," Vardeman said. "They had some that were probably 24-by-36 inches, and they had some that were postcard size."

Visitors to the Texas Tech gallery will have a chance to see some of the same art she saw at the conference, she added.

"They'll be sent here from the organization," Vardeman said. "We'll have around 40 pieces of art from them and in addition to that, we'll have whatever our local community submits."

Henry said after the exhibit closes, those prints will be available to other libraries through a collaboration between the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and Texas Tech University Libraries.

"We're going to let any library across the state use them," Henry said. "All they have to do is contact me and we'll ship them, and then they can do their own pop-up gallery."

Deadline to submit art for exhibit consideration is 5 p.m. on Feb. 5. Those interested should send their art to Cynthia Henry at the University Libraries. Submissions must include the artist's name, contact phone number and email address.

For more information about Recovering the Classics, visit its website.

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