Just when you think you know every program that the Harker Heights Public Library has to offer, it throws something new into the mix.

This time, the new program was “Bad Art Night,” courtesy of reference librarian Christina Link, and despite its name, Bad Art Night was an incredibly good idea.

Link said, “I got the idea from an adult library programming book. It seemed like it would be something fun and thought I’d give it a try.”

And so it was that on Tuesday night, a dozen people assembled for the first-ever Bad Art Night.

Link began the session with these words: “The point of this is to create purposefully bad art, so everything doesn’t have to be ‘just so.’ There is no direction — you can draw, you can paint, I have all the supplies.”

As people began selecting their supplies, from construction paper, drawing paper, paint, markers, pencils, glue, stickers, pipe cleaners, and other items, Link continued, “When we’re done, we’ll vote on the worst piece, and I’ve got prizes (for that and) the runners-up.”

Harker Heights resident Laurena Ward said, “I’ve been wanting to get more creative in my life, and when it said ‘Bad Art,’ I thought this might be my opportunity. I’ll probably use more stickers since I can’t draw.” Ward was creating a spooky graveyard scene using stickers and markers with construction paper.

Ashton Rivera of Killeen was drawing using paper and pencil. He said, “I don’t know what I’m drawing. I’m just sketching away.” His sketch turned out to be a giant raven, which he then shaded in red and black and which he titled, “The Things Nightmares are Made Of.”

His brother, Arman Rivera, drew a picture of a man surrounded by thorns, with the only color being a red moon and red shading on the tips of the thorns.

He titled his picture, “Nightmare of Nightmares,” and described his pictures as, “Going down through the rabbit-hole of endless nightmares.”

Teenager and library volunteer Richard Santos made a picture with dragon stamps and Star Wars stickers; his two friends, Tajane Harrison and Kayden Crenshaw, created a picture together using stamps, stickers, pipe cleaners, and markers, which was held together by glue, tape, and staples.

At the end of the hour-long program, everyone voted on their favorite piece of bad art. First prize went to 4-year-old Ayanna August. First runner-up was the piece done by Harris and Crenshaw, and second runner-up was Ayanna’s mother, Tyria August.

Everyone received embroidered Harker Heights Public Library tote bags.

Ward said she really enjoyed the evening.

“There was no pressure,” she said. “I could just create.”

Link said she hopes to hold another Bad Art Night again in the future.

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