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“Future” art contest at Ogdensburg library

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Imagine Ogdensburg just 15 years from now in 2027.

Ogdensburg Public Library, 312 Washington St., is asking the city’s youth to do just that, but to utilize their budding artistic talents to do so.

The library is sponsoring the art contest for teenagers ages 13 to 19. Creations of any medium — including drawings, paintings and film, with no inappropriate content such as nudity and obscenities — must be dropped off at the library by Dec. 1.

Library Director Wayne L. Miller explained the inspiration for this art show with a futuristic twist.

“The art show is the brainchild of our student page, Hannah Lamere, and part-time clerk/teen programmer Melanie Brown,” he said. “The theme was based upon a suggestion I made. It came from a grant I wrote four years ago that was not funded to create a place where teens could participate in the community’s economic redevelopment efforts.”

The theme is actually a reflection of every small, close-knit community’s fear — that its young people leave him and go out into the world, never to return.

So the age range of the would-be artists, Mr. Miller noted, is really no surprise.

“The concept was to empower our kids as a reverse the brain drain,” he said. “They go off to college and few are able and willing to return. We want them to have a stake in building an Ogdensburg of the future. If that is a place with which they identify, a place where they can prosper, they will lift the community along with themselves and their families.”

The contest, Mr. Miller added, asks teens to envision Ogdensburg 15 years from now when they will be 25 to 35 years old.

And help them stay home.

“That’s the age when young professionals are establishing their permanent residences, building businesses, starting families,” he said. “The newly proposed redevelopment plan covering much of the riverfront and city core has projects that, if realized, could well take that long to occur.”

The contest will recognize winners of People’s Choice and Best of Show awards with a $25 gift card from Brewer Bookstore at St. Lawrence University, Canton.

Digital pictures of each entry will be posted to the library’s Teen Program Facebook page.

For more information call Ms. Brown at the library at 393-4325.

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