LOS LUNAS — The Los Lunas Public Library was recently adorned with the art of local teens who participated in the library’s first teen artbook contest. Out of these submissions, three were recently recognized as winners.
“We’re really surprised with the turn out,” said Ronda Sanchez, STEM specialist at the Los Lunas Library. “It was quite an array of kids that participated, and the way our patrons and community came in to vote was amazing. Even if they didn’t vote, almost everyone who came in commented on the artwork.”
The contest, open to 12 through 18 year-olds, saw 147 submissions of original artworks depicting re-imagined or original book covers from a variety of genres.
The art was displayed throughout the library during April. Voting was open for two weeks to the public and a total of 357 visitors cast their votes on which was their favorite.
The first-place winner is Elena Padilla, age 14, who won $125 dollars for her artwork depicting a cover to a story she is writing based on a video game called “Shovel Knight.”
The second-place winner is Emma Randolph, age 12, who created a re-imagined cover of a children’s fantasy novel titled “Wings of Fire.” With her $75 dollar award, she plans to buy more art supplies.
In third place is Margaret Espinoza, age 17, who won $50 dollars for her book cover inspired by exotic birds. Espinoza said her father raises pigeons and she has chickens of her own, so her admiration for birds is what shaped her entry.
Sanchez wanted to target teens through this competition to give them more representation and help retain them at the library.
“Teens tend to fall away, so if we can get them here when they’re teens we can hopefully have them coming in throughout the rest of their life,” Sanchez said.
The hope is to have this contest again next year if they are able to secure the funding, Sanchez said. In the meantime, Sanchez encourages the community to stop by for a variety of fun programming, for both adults and youth, and to see what resources are made available at your local library.
Felina Martinez was born and raised in Valencia County. She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2021. During her time at UNM, she studied interdisciplinary film, digital media and journalism. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, the School of Dreams Academy and the town of Peralta.