Spooky Archival Art Contest!









Halloween gets me all hot and bothered. One way to scratch that itch is to ogle some spooky images. I especially love archival images because of my naturally nostalgic nature. Not that I would seriously ever want to live in a past era—No thanks! Too oppressive!—but it is always fun to see how aesthetics have changed and, in some ways, not changed much at all. My first serious work with archival images was a college documentary on Edgar Allan Poe that I made for the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia. (You can watch it on The Huffington Post if you’re a nerd like me.) I’ve done a lot of serious and not-so-serious work with archival imagery since then. An example of the not-so-serious were my submissions for the Library of Virginia’s REMIX archival art competition.






Last year, the library staff challenged Virginians to make collages, GIFs, and other digital art using archival images they posted on a Flickr page. It was during October for American Archives Month, so spookiness was encouraged. I’m not just a history geek, I’m an art geek, so I went bananas for that competition. I downloaded my favorite images, pulled them into Photoshop, and played around.


The Culture War




I ended up winning First Place (for “The Culture War,” which I’ve included here) and People’s Choice. But there were all kinds of kooky and beautiful entries!


The Goblin Sisters




Check them out on Tumblr. You can see the entries that have been uploaded thus far this year on the same Tumblr blog. I have three entries up: “The Goblin Sisters,” “Secret Visions,” and “Harbor Ghost.” I’d appreciate your vote! The competition ends October 23rd. All you have to do is log into Tumblr and click on the heart icon at the bottom of the post.
The other GIFs I’ve included for this series are “The Widow” and “Calavera Party.” I made them using archival images available on the Library of Congress website. That is an absolute treasure trove of old drawings, photos, documents, and even film and audio works. I invite you to download your favorite images to make collages, GIFs, and even short films. Get weird—and happy Halloween!
Christine Stoddard Headshot Cropped
Christine Stoddard is a writer, artist, and the founding editor of Quail Bell Magazine. She is also a Puffin Foundation grantee, Artbridge competition winner, former Annmarie Sculpture Garden visiting artist, and current City College of New York Connor Art Fellow. She has authored or contributed to books for Spuyten Duyvil Publishing, The History Press, Shanti Arts Publishing, Dancing Girl Press, Another New Calligraphy, Candlewick Press, and elsewhere.

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