101 Town Center, P.O. Box 5655, Bella Vista, AR 72714 (479)876-1255

BVPL announces library card design winner

A recent library card design contest has been deemed a success.  Library staff say the community effort drew a great deal of interest, and they are pleased to announce Bella Vista teenage resident Anais Bowerman’s design as the winner among numerous artistic submissions.

“We had a ton of great entries and if we were able to order cards in every single design, we would have,” said Alex Newman, Children and Youth Services Manager.

Winning art contests is nothing new for Bowerman. The prospective architect, who just turned 17, began creating art when she was 8 years old. Her raw artistic skill caught the eye of many. In the span of just a few short years, she has earned awards, participated in displays and completed art commissions.

Library card design judges, who were the library’s staff members, say the submission was particularly meaningful.

“She seemed to have put a lot of thought process in her design that reflected the Bella Vista Public Library and the Bella Vista community as a whole,” said Newman.

“I am very enthusiastic about this particular project and overjoyed to be recognized,” Bowerman said.

Bowerman began entering art contests as a second grader. She earned a great deal of recognition when her artwork was showcased at Little Rock’s main library. She and her family traveled to see her art on display, and she started to imagine how her work could impact others.

Since then, she’s continued to grow as an artist, commissioning art and murals. She’s even had a self-portrait placed on display last year at Crystal Bridges for its 10-year anniversary.

Bowerman’s parents are supportive of her work and encourage her to take on projects. It was her dad that pointed out to her the library’s contest.

She leaned on her love for biking while thinking about a possible design. While her thoughts were percolating, she saw a picture of one of the Bella Vista golf courses with a bridge. She wanted to feature the landscape and hills and mirrored that as she began the artistic process.

Bowerman recognizes the Bella Vista community strongly reflects biking, so she intertwined that element in her art. She, too, is a bike enthusiast, earning a top-10 spot in her category in the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) league.

Once she sketched out the idea, she added bright colors.

“I decided to make everything pop,” she said.

Anais is used to completing artwork to hang or murals to span walls. To hold a small library card featuring her detailed artwork is “awesome,” she said. “It’s a vision come to life but 10 times better.”

Books have also been a critical part of Bowerman’s world from the time that she could read. Anxiety and meltdowns, along with ADHD and an Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis at age 5 created numerous challenges for her as a child, but books helped her tune out her environment, engaged her brain with productive tasks and kept her calm.

“For me, they're portals to new worlds, each encased within a tiny fragment of the library," she said. “Reading laid the foundation for me to triumph over negativity, and libraries were the source of my newfound enthusiasm for the arts,” she said.

“By the end of fifth grade, we had reduced most of my brain inflammation, through multiple treatments I received coincidentally from Lyme Disease ... and my symptoms decreased significantly. So, fortunately, Asperger's Syndrome no longer represents a daily challenge in my life. But my love for reading persists to this day,” she said.

Bowerman feels incredibly fortunate to be able to give back to her community with the new library card design.

“I'm lucky to have grown up here, reading and partaking in local activities such as mountain biking – it taught me the value of determination and enabled me to create a design that would represent our local atmosphere and library in a harmonious way,” she said.

“It’s been really exciting to share with people that the card was designed by a young patron,” Newman said. “We appreciate everyone who entered this year and hope to display all the designs in the future."