NEA Big Read in Graham County continues with the Big Student Art Show

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: The Big Student Art Show photography exhibit will run through Jan. 12, 2023.

Contributed Article/Courtesy Safford Library

SAFFORD — The Safford City-Graham County Library concludes its National Endowment for the Arts Big Read exploration of The Bear by Andrew Krivak with a student photography exhibit through Jan. 12. The exhibit can be seen during library open hours, Monday – Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. NEA Big Read in Graham County is presented in partnership with the Gila Valley Arts Council and the Graham County Superintendent of Schools, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The event will feature photography from students in 7th-12th grade in response to the prompt “The Beauty of Graham County”. Paulette LeBlanc, Gila Valley Arts Council Board Member, enthused “The Bear is a stunning tribute to the beauty of nature’s kingdom. Why not capture that through a lens?”.  Eighteen students from classrooms reading The Bear submitted their work. The following students have been awarded prizes provided by The Gila Valley Arts Council.

Middle School

1st place: Aiden Van Woesik, Safford Middle School

2nd place: Emilia Grace Warner, Bonita Schools

3rd place: Tucker Stamback, Bonita Schools

High School

1st place: Samantha Cortez Leon, Safford High School

2nd place: Nylie Rodriguez, Mt. Turnbull Academy

3rd place: Darius Swift, Mt. Turnbull Academy

An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the power of a shared reading experience.

Graham County is one of 62 communities nationwide participating in the 2022-2023 NEA Big Read.

For more information on this event, please contact Lesley Talley. You also can view a full calendar of library events at