Posts Tagged ‘art’

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If you could see all of the activity around me today, you would know that the answer to that question is “yes.”  Of course I would say that as a librarian, but the last few days have brought home to me how much our services are needed.

There is so much information available on the internet that people need someone to sort through information for them.  Librarians find creditable sources and libraries pay to use online databases that the general public cannot afford as individual  subscriptions.  Yesterday I showed a mother the Tumblebooks link on our kids page.  With a computer, children can see the pages of picture books on which the words are highlighted while the computer reads the text aloud.  I also explained the Maker Lab to a very excited patron.These are two of the many resources you can access with your library card.  We offer e-books and audiobooks that can be downloaded to your mp3 player through Overdrive, streaming movies from Hoopla, magazines through Flipster, music downloads through Freegal and a language learning program called Mango.  All of these services can be accessed from home through whatever internet device you own.

We currently have two terrific apps for your mobile device: the ACPL mobile app lets you browse the catalog, check the events calendar, store your library card info and renew books with a touch of your screen; the family app has games, information and much more to offer to parents of young children.  You currently need to have an Apple device to access the family app, but I’m told it will be available for android in the future.

Libraries are gathering points for the community.  Parents attend the same story times each week with their children and make friends with other parents.  Groups use our meeting rooms for quilting, dance, yoga, scrap-booking and, of course, meetings.  ACPL has its own theater and art gallery. There are also live music concerts throughout the year.  This summer ACPL again offers Rock the Plaza concerts outdoors on Saturday evenings.  Oh, by the way, we also have books.

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Sunday Smiles: Paint-by-numbers

A 73-year-old man in Japan is creating amazing art.  The art itself is lovely, but how he creates it blows my mind; he uses Microsoft Excel.  I use Excel and other spreadsheet apps quite often to keep track of lists, calculate numbers, track budgets. But create artwork?  It never would have occurred to me that it’s even possible.

73-Year-Old Japanese Man Creates Impressive Paintings Using Only Excel

Image via demilked

Check out more of his paintings.

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In celebration of community and the 2013 Three Rivers Festival, local visual artist Jerrod Tobias installed an original, temporary wheat-pasted painting to the exterior of the downtown library building last week on the corner of Wayne & Ewing streets (over the windows of the Children’s Department).  This is a library sponsored project and is not permanent or sacred.  It is a passing public art piece.

installing an original, temporary wheat-pasted painting

Photo credit: Amy Griffin

Jerrod Tobias is a visual artist who grew up in our community and now chooses to live here as an adult, celebrating the virtues of Midwestern life.  Tobias graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2003 before returning home as a working member of our community.  In effort to broaden the local scope of public art and creative expression in Fort Wayne, Tobias works to install wheat pasted imagery at area venues.  The process is temporary, nondestructive, and non-toxic, reminiscent of early methods of sign advertising.  Its permanence is relative to weather conditions and will likely remain on the building through the end of the summer season.


Photo credit: Amy Griffin

The large scale painting Tobias created for the library building is a simple offering of celebration for the community.  The visual imagery of three children, traveling through time and space in a wooden ship, is both literal and metaphorical.  The trio in the ship, representing Fort Wayne’s Three Rivers, serves as a metaphor that represents our commonality as human beings in the same boat, navigating our way in the world.  The subjects of this work are Jerrod and Kara Tobias’ three young children.  Tobias paints the people that he “gets up in the morning for,” those people he says, “who reflect and define you.”  The spirit of this artwork directly reflects this year’s 3 Rivers Festival Parade Theme: Made Here.  “The work is innocent; it speaks for itself,” Tobias says.


Photo credit: Amy Griffin

“In an era when visual iconography is dominating the printed word, it is more important than ever to provide visual arts opportunities and support for visual artists, especially those who are working members of our community.  Part of our mission at the library is to enrich the cultural landscape of the community.  Hosting this painting on the library building is one small way we can work to fulfill that mission.  It opens a dialogue about the inundation and effects of visual marketing, and it’s also just nice to look at.  Public artworks such as these help define our sense of place while reclaiming our visual landscape,”  says ACPL Gallery Librarian, Amy Griffin.


Photo credit: Amy Griffin

As Tobias says, “(These paintings) are visual design that is not trying to sell you anything.”

The 3 Rivers painting on the outside of library building is part of a growing and evolving body of public artwork.  Current wheat-pasted paintings by Tobias can now be seen installed on the outside wall of the Auer Center for Arts & Culture on Main Street across from the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, on the outside wall and in the adjacent lot of the Crestwoods Gallery and Frame Shop in downtown Roanoke, IN, and on the outside wall of Wunderkammer Company on Fairfield Street in Fort Wayne.  Past installations on Fort Wayne buildings include Lotus Gallery, Pint & Slice, Delaney’s, Rise, and CS3.

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360° books


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Yusuke Oono’s art may be tiny, but it has a huge visual impact.  His wordless books open a full 360 degrees, creating a detailed scene that can be viewed from all angles.  Oono created the laser-cut books using 3D CAD programs: industrial design software usually associated with architectural, engineering, and technical trades.  Information on how his 360 degree books are created can be found here.  All images used with permission.

People interested in owning a palm-sized objet d’art need ¥980 (about $10.50)… and a laser cutter of their own.  As of February 19th, Oono’s program for cutting the Snow White book can be purchased and downloaded at fabcafe.com, but the laser isn’t included, and assembly is most definitely required.   But with interest in his books building both online and off, perhaps the finished product may someday be made available for purchase.

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Jodi Harvey-Brown’s hand-crafted book sculptures are “[her] way of making stories come alive.”  You can see more of her work at Jody Harvey-Brown; all images used with permission.

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PostSecret : Extraordinary confessions from ordinary lives
OK, so maybe this is more like Sunday Smiles and Laughs and Deep Thoughts and Crying Like a Baby.  PostSecret evokes such a range of emotions.

“PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.”  New secrets are added to the PS blog (the largest advertisement-free blog in the world) every Sunday.

My secret : a PostSecret book
Reading people’s deepest secrets makes me feel a little less alone in a world that is big and crazy and sometimes scary.  It reveals our shared humanity, and is a reminder for me to treat everyone a little more gently.  After all, you never know what another person might be struggling with.

The library carries the five compilations of secrets which Frank Warren, the PS creator, has published.  I would recommend my favorite, but that would be like choosing a favorite child.

Postsecret : confessions on life, death, and God The secret lives of men and women : a PostSecret book A lifetime of secrets : a PostSecret book

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If you are a fan of the Emmy Award-winning AMC drama Mad Men, this summer may find you patiently awaiting the Season 5 DVD set to reach library shelves (the first four seasons are now available for check-out at multiple locations).  Whatever reasons the show draws you in, these recent additions to the ACPL print collection will satisfy your cravings for the 1960’s New York City advertising world of Donald Draper-related drama.  Indulge in these books while the screenwriters are hard at work crafting Season 6.  For even more related titles, ask your nearest librarian.

Mad Men on the Couch: Analyzing the Minds of the Men and Women of the Hit TV Show by Dr. Stephanie Newman

For the Mad Men Psychoanalyst: Why, why, why?  Explore the personal and professional lives of the complex main characters of the 60s-period drama from the perspective of a modern-day clinical psychologist.

Sterling’s Gold: Wit & Wisdom of an Ad Man by Roger Sterling by Matthew Weiner

For the Student of Sterling/Comedian: One-liners and sage ad man advice arranged by topic, it’s a handy 5×7-inch book to slip in your bag for a daily dose from Roger Sterling himself.

The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin

Bake Like Betty and Drink Like Don: Recipes, stories, and photographs providing cultural context and how-tos for entertaining in the Mad Men era.  The resource you need for putting together a themed viewing party.

Crafting Modernism: Midcentury American Art and Design by Jeannine J. Falino, Jennifer Scalan, and Glenn Adamson

For the Mad Men Aesthete: Appraise the American studio craft movement in 367 pages by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, including color photographs.  Pin down mid-century decorating ideas from key examples of the craft movement.

Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the ’60s and Beyond by Jane Maas

For the Mad Men Journalist: How accurate is Mad Men from the female perspective? Learn firsthand from a former Advertising Woman of the Year winner in this intimate and sometimes saucy account of her life on Madison Avenue, including candid peer interviews.

The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men by Janie Bryant and Monica Corcoran Harel

For the Mad Men Fashion Conscious: More than just a gorgeous full color look book of vintage style for men and women, the costume designer of Mad Men imparts her fashion-finding wisdom based on your personality.

The Real Madmen: The Renegades of Madison Avenue and the Golden Age of Advertising by Andrew Cracknell

For the Mad Men Historian: A book filled with back stories and alternative real life details that often contrast the story lines of Mad Men, while putting the advertising revolution in historical perspective.

Mad Men: The Illustrated World by Dyna Moe

For the Graphic Designer:  A full-color cartoon tribute to everything Mad Men, including paper dolls of Joan, hairstyle tutorials, and office protocol, all in the style of definitive 1960s advertising.

Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes: A Cultural History of American Advertising by Juliann Sivulka

For the Mad Men Sociologist: Examine the push and pull of advertising in American society with illustrated examples from 1492 to present day, updated from the 1998 edition.

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