The Orem Stories Project encourages locals to tell their stories

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The Orem Stories Project will be on display Nov. 16th. (Photo courtesy of Orem Stories.)

The Orem public library is hosting a new event, the Orem Stories Project, that offers the opportunity for local citizens of all ages to tell a story about a citizen through their own artwork.

The library collected artwork entries in the form portraits of local citizens, which will be on display in the library on Saturday.There will also be a painting demonstration with local artist Cassandra Barney and her daughter Fiona Barney.

“It is the first annual contest and is designed to be a yearly contest,” said Rynell Lewis, publicist for Orem public library. “The Orem Stories Project is designed to portray the unique stories of Orem citizens as depicted by artists who are also Orem citizens.”

Charlene Crozier, of the Orem public library commission, was walking through the Orem Summer Fest when she started to wonder what it was about Orem that made it unique. She realized that Orem holds many stories. In 2012, about 62,926 people attended Orem library programs and events, making it a place for citizens to gather in the city. Crozier explained that the diverse art community adds to the stories in Orem and also promotes tolerance and acceptance.

“People love to tell their stories and to leave their own mark,” Crozier said. “Through the sharing of stories, we learn that we are more alike than different. Sharing our stories bridges cultural gaps and religious, ethnic diversities. This helps us all to be more understanding and tolerant of all people in our community and ultimately closer as a community of unique individuals with a variety of stories.”

All ages, including Orem school students, were encouraged to submit artwork for the project and in any medium, from watercolors to acrylics. With each entry, the artist also submitted a form about each person’s story being portrayed in the portrait.

“I can imagine the young interviewing, then celebrating the lives of older community members through artwork,” Crozier said.

Local artist Cassandra Barney, who graduated from BYU with an MFA in 2011, will be demonstrating painting techniques with her daughter Fiona Barney. Barney was born in Provo and now lives with her three daughters and husband in Orem. Her daughters also enjoy making art.

“As individuals we are all unique, and we are also very much the same,” Barney said.

The Orem library is located at 58 North State St. in Orem. The display will be held this Saturday, Nov. 16, from 3 to 5 p.m.

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