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Teen Artists Take on Wayzgoose

For the past two years, the Library has led a teen artist team in creating an art piece featured at the Wayzgoose Kitsap festival held annually on June 1. Since 2018, this festival has united the community through linocut art—a process of meticulously carving a 3’ by 3’ design into industrial linoleum, which is then steamroll-printed onto posters. Each year focuses on a unique theme, such as this year's theme: "Breathe."

We recently spoke with Glenna Matteson, teen services librarian, about this year's project: 

"In February, I applied to lead a Wayzgoose team of teen artists who self-identify as queer or allies, aiming to build community through art. Starting in March, about a dozen teens participated over ten weeks, leading the entire design process.

At our first meeting, we introduced the 'Breathe' theme and explained linocut printing. By the next week, several teens had already drafted designs they thought would make an incredible print." 

Glenna described how the theme of "Breathe" challenged teens to explore community and identity. "Breath is abstract, so we focused on lifecycle, rhythm, and unity. Over a couple of weeks, teens meshed these ideas into a final design that they traced onto the stamp and carved.

We spent about a month on the detailed carving process. It's challenging; the linocut tools are sharp, so mistakes are permanent. Embracing mistakes and staying focused was crucial." 

Glenna smiled when asked about working with the teens, "It's been wonderful. They're enthusiastic and incredibly creative. This group bonded over their love for art and formed a tight-knit community. By the end, they were lifting each other up.

To see a dozen teens who started with me on day one there for the final print day feels like a huge accomplishment." 

The final piece, titled "Space to Breathe," depicts Mother Earth breathing life into creation, symbolizing community renewal and the freedom to breathe deeply. As an unexpected touch, dragons were added because, as Glenna shared, "they think dragons are really cool." 


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