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Win Cicada Art!

What do cicadas and people have in common? People’s University at the Ohio County Public Library is teaming up with Wheeling artist Bob Villamagna to answer that question for one lucky livestream viewer.

As part of its PU Livestream: Bugs & People summer series on entomology (insect biology), the Library has commissioned Villamagna (aka “Bobby Cicada”), a popular mixed-media artist who uses repurposed lithographed metals, found objects, and vintage photographs to create colorful and whimsical pieces, to make a work of art based on the re-emergence of the Brood X or Great Eastern Brood of periodical cicadas, which are starting to re-emerge this summer.

Though not Wheeling’s major 17-year cicada brood (which last visited in 2016), a small colony of Brood X has existed here for many years.

“In light of the long quarantine from which we are just starting to emerge thanks to vaccines,” Library programmer Sean Duffy observed, “we thought the periodical cicadas’ epic journey made a nice metaphor for what we humans are all experiencing.”

Inspired by the return of the cicadas, the People’s University at the Ohio County Public Library will offer an 8-part summer series on Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm starting May 27, featuring some of the best entomologists and experts from all over North America. Attendees will learn about the six major insect orders, as well as the history of human and insect interaction, a subject known as cultural entomology. Go to www.ohiocountylibrary.org and search “Bugs and People” for the full schedule.

And, of course, there are prizes, including the sure-to-be-highly-coveted Villamagna art.

“Starting now and running through and including July 15,” Duffy said, “anyone can come to the library, find the giant 8-foot cicada wings, take a photo or ask library staff to take one in front of the wings, post it with the hashtag “BroodPU,” or tag People’s University at the Ohio County Public Library, OR, email the photo directly to the library for posting, and be entered into our drawing to win the artwork or another gift, such as #BroodPU tee shirts, tote bags, or coffee mugs, gift certificates to local restaurants, or insect related books (and kids books). So the time has come to emerge from your home, find your wings, and fly.

But then please go back home and watch the livestreams!”

Another way to win: Bug your Pug or Gnat your Cat.

You can become eligible to win the above prizes plus pet treats by dressing your pet like an insect, taking a photo, posting it, and tagging the Ohio County Public Library, OR, emailing the photo directly to the library for posting. Library staff will choose their favorites and contact the winners to send out the prizes.

The People’s University is a free program for adults who wish to continue their education in the liberal arts. It features courses–taught by experts in each subject–that enable patrons to pursue their goal of lifelong learning in classic subjects such as history, philosophy, and science. Patrons may attend as many classes as they wish. There are no tests of other requirements and all programs are free and open to the public. For more information about PU Livestream, Bugs & People, visit ohiocountylibrary.org or call the library at 304-232-0244.

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