Artists from Troy inspired by “The Big Read” book “Fahrenheit 451”

Kianna Collins
Arts and Entertainment Editor

The foundations of time and space class taught by Beverly Leach, lecturer of art and design foundation studies, designed books based on quotes and any kind of text relating to the themes of the book “Fahrenheit 451” by Rad Bradbury.
The installation is on the social quad on campus. The books are all in a circle, showcasing the multiple themes, but something that each of the books shares is that they are all “on fire” at the base.
The book “Fahrenheit 451” is part of “The Big Read,” a national event that Troy University is participating in this year.
Each student’s book has the quote or idea that it is based upon worked into the piece of art.
Sarah Talbot, a sophomore graphic design major from Montgomery, used a quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne as her inspiration for her design.
“Such loss of faith is ever one of the saddest results of sin,” Hawthorne said.
Talbot said that she wanted to focus on the destruction of religion in the world that surrounds “Fahrenheit 451.” Her work was centered on Christianity.
“Picture the end of the world,” Talbot said. “People are dying, but one man scurries to find anything he can write on to write about what he can remember of a world with religion.”
“The lamb, the symbol of the childlike, naïve people of the world, slain for the world to see upon the humblest of altars, a beaten, wooden cross.”
Talbot’s book has a lamb in hay and a cross, with many other religious symbols on the opposite page. Her book is No. 15 in the installation.
Tehron Stallworth, a sophomore graphic design major from Atmore, got his inspiration from a quote in the book: “With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire leaving the sky red, yellow and black.”
Stallworth made his book to reflect the eyes of the firefighter in the book, who saw the building burning down. The book also has mirrors where eyes should be, and the eyes are surrounded by fire.
“On this project, I can conclude that reading is not only important to the world we live in today, but reading is the future of our society,” said Stallworth.
His work is No. 14 in the display.
Alison Spengler, a freshman graphic design major from Smiths Station, is another student whose work is featured. She said she drew inspiration from a quote from Indian philosopher Rabindranath Tagore and the 1966 Information Act.
“The false can never grow into truth by growing in power,” said Tagore.
“I stumbled upon this quote when researching for this project,” said Spengler. “I felt it was very powerful and reflective of Fahrenheit 451.”
She said that she feels like the reason she burned her pages and folded them in on themselves was to
show the idea that people in power will start crumbling in on themselves over time.
“In the book, Montag (the main character) discovers himself what was going on in the government,” said Spengler. “He was trying to right the wrongs going on in his society.”
Also, Spengler censored some of the text in her book to show another theme from Fahrenheit 451.
“In the government, there’s a lot of things that need to be kept secret, and it’s sometimes a good thing or a bad thing,” said Spengler.
Spengler’s work is No. 13 in the installation.
Dianne Warren, a junior graphic design major from Fort Pierce, Florida, went a different route with her piece. Her focus was on the whole book of Job.
To her, Montag in the end of the book was akin to Job.
“The character reminded me of a faithful servant of God,” said Warren. “When he noticed the Bible, he stole it.”
Warren spoke about how people wanted to protect the Bible and they didn’t want to be burned. In her piece, she made a fire extinguisher to protect the Bible.
“As a Christian, I think that no one should take away religion and the ability to read the Word,” said Warren. “It gives me direction, teaches me a better way to live and think, and it gives me faith when I read it.
“I praise Montag for grabbing the book in the end.”

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