At one point in her life Coco Chanel was a teenager. Diego Rivera was a teen. The Wachowski sisters were teens, Janelle Monet was a teen, there was a time before Nikola Tesla and El Anatsui could drive and before Annie Leibovitz could vote. If you wonder what experiences led them to the creative adulthood they had, imagine their creative adolescence! Many teens wield a paintbrush or a microphone or a pottery wheel with powerful energy and vision, and the Labsy Awards are here to give it a big spotlight. The annual Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Labsy Awards accepts creative work from hundreds of teens all over Allegheny County and submits them to professional judges in seven categories: Fashion, 2D Design, Filmmaking, Music, Invention, 3D Design, and Photography.
The teens, who are in grades 6th through 12th, submit original artwork that shows a wide variety of voices and talents, over an equally wide range of media. They put in a huge amount of time and effort to bring to life something that communicates what is important to them – their friends, their dreams, their experiences, their humor, and themselves. It’s no easy task for the judges to decide how to award the $250 first place and $100 second place prizes. The submissions all go to local organizations and institutions recognized in Pittsburgh. 2D Design is judged by staff at the Andy Warhol Museum, Music is selected by WPTS, 3D Design by Contemporary Craft, Fashion by Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, Photography and Inventions by Assemble Pittsburgh, and filmmaking by Pittsburgh Filmmakers.
If you want to see some of the submissions, check out this link starting August 10th where we will be posting winning entries to view and celebrate. It is a courageous act to submit one’s own work for display and evaluation, so the teens who participate in the Labsy Awards are not only talented but brave as well. Take a look and see if you see the energy that these teens share with those who have made a mark through art.
Henry works as a Children’s and Teen Librarian at the Woods Run branch of the Carnegie Library. The staff at Woods Run try hard to live up to how extraordinarily much Neil Gaiman thinks of libraries, but they’re getting there. Outside of work Henry belongs to a team of scientist-explorers led by his two year-old daughter, Freya.