Category Archives: Art

Books + water. Don’t try this at home!

epic win photos - Book Fountain WIN

I discovered this wonderful Book Fountain in my internet wanderings. It’s in Budapest, Hungary, but I haven’t been able to find any story about its origin or design.

Some creative artist took two things that usually don’t go together very well–books and water–and put them together in a creation that’s refreshing, and doesn’t result in water-damaged books!

Enjoy,

~Janice

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Books as Art

I receive a weekly eNewsletter from Village Books in Fairhaven. It’s a great source for all things book-related. Plus, it’s a good reminder that the independent bookstore is still alive and well!

A recent edition had a link to this article, a list of the 20 Most Beautiful Children’s Books of All Time. These 20 books are certainly examples of “Books as Art,” and many of these titles are in our collection here at the library, including:

The Arrival, written and illustrated by Shaun Tan
Outside Over There, written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak
Flotsam, written and illustrated by David Wiesner
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale, written by Verna Aardema, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon
Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Tale from China, written and illustrated by Ed Young
The Snowy Day, written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
The Little Prince, written and illustrated by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Animalia, written and illustrated by Graeme Base

Proud Peacocks from “Animalia” by Graeme Base.

In a quick browse of the children’s picture book collection, I discovered two books illustrated with the bold art of Ted Harrison, The Cremation of Sam McGee, and O Canada. I also have long been a fan of the wordless book, On Christmas Eve, with illustrations by Peter Collington.

Children’s librarian, Lisa Anderson, shared several of her favorite beautiful books:

Too Many Toys, written and illustrated by David Shannon
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, with words and illustrations by Mo Willems
Max Cleans Up, written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells
Sector 7, written and illustrated by David Wiesner
Where the Wild Things Are, with story and pictures by Maurice Sendak

Look over the online list–and the beautiful artwork–and see what you think. Do you have a favorite Beautiful Children’s Book? Respond with a comment and let us know.

Janice

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More mysterious book sculptures

Long-time fans of this blog may recall the Case of the Mysterious Book Sculptures.  This was a real-life thriller when an anonymous artist in England planted beautiful book sculptures in different libraries, to show support and appreciation for public libraries (a practice of which we heartily approve).

The whimsy is apparently contagious.  This time, high school artists plotted a secret campaign to stealthily plant their pieces in unsuspecting libraries.  Kind of anti-vandalism, isn’t it?  It became quite the status symbol for libraries across London.

Just to be clear: BPL is totally willing to be the victim of a mysterious art visitation.

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The Library as Art

Libraries usually hold art, and often the architecture is art; but how often do you hear of a library being an art installation?

Bookyard-by-Massimo-Bartolini

Doesn’t that kind of take your breath away?  Italian artist Massimo Bartolini created the piece, entitled Bookyard, for a Belgian art festival (see more here).   It’s a working library, too: DesignBoom reports, “The units are filled with books for sale by the public libraries of Ghent and Antwerp with the profits of these items to benefit the institutions. Visitors to the exhibition may bring home a piece of the artwork, an object housed in the shelves of ‘Bookyard’ by leaving a donation of their choosing into a small box supplied by the artist and the libraries.”

The piece is set in St. Peter’s Abbey vineyard, and is designed to travel up the slope in line with the grapevines.   Pretty cool.

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The Book Tank

Last week we looked at Free Little Libraries, and I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on that charming enterprise.  Now here’s one in a similar vein… sort of… and the charm is in the unexpectedness of turning a weapon of war into a “weapon of mass instruction.”  Gotta love it.

Good Magazine profiles this original approach; take a look at the article and the website, which is also really, um, good.

 

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Women’s History

March is Women’s History Month, and as a tie-in to that celebration we’ve got a special display in the antique library cabinet. Our reference librarian, Karen Prasse, recently discovered two historical volumes of The Gibson Book in the library’s storage room—special publications that were saved, even though they are no longer a part of our collection. Karen did a bit of research, using both library and internet resources, and gathered background on the “Gibson Girl,” the popular stereotype of the ideal woman from the 1880s through the 1910s.

The display is a fun combination of historical background and images from the books. Check it out, for a glimpse into a time one hundred years ago in women’s history.  

For additional background see these (and other) books in the library’s collection: 1001 things everyone should know about women’s history by Constance Jones and Women in Pacific Northwest history edited by Karen J. Blair.  

~Janice

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Magic at the bookstore

Well, here’s one I can’t resist sharing.

Have you ever wondered what the books do at night?
Here’s your answer, painstakingly and creatively filmed with stop-motion photography (and a cast of many assistants) at a bookstore in Toronto.

You can’t do this with a Kindle!

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Library advocacy at its best!

As you know, libraries across the globe are in dire straits.  If you love libraries, now is the time to speak up and protect your library’s future.

And if you love mysteries, now is the time to follow this link.  This is the most charming example of library advocacy, activism, art and mystery I’ve ever encountered.  Also, a pretty neat example of gratitude.  And the pleasure of surprises.

If you love books, click here!

P.S.: Don’t miss the update at the top of the page, after you’ve read it through once.

 

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Miscellany

Well, here is an odd grouping of tidbits I’ve been wanting to share.  I kept thinking they would eventually work into the theme of a blog post, but I’ve come to admit that may not happen.  On the other hand, they are too good not to share.

 Take a few minutes out for some word-related delight.

 Tattly: designy temporary tattoos          I share this site in the devout hope that all the parents who read this will buy one of these great (temporary) designs, apply it, and completely freak their children out.

 

 

Save the Words  I’m not sure which is cooler: the mission of this site, or the graphics.It has practical application—sign up for a “Word a Day” email to enhance your vocabulary—and it has terrific whimsy: sign up to “Adopt A Word” which is in danger of becoming extinct.  

 The Surrealistic Book Paintings of Alireza Darvish are amazing, book-cherishing paintings. “Books as bridges across the unknown; as building blocks of the Pyramids; readers as fish in a desert with books as the water of life, their only chance to maintain themselves and survive, one book to the next.”  Here’s one:

        —Mary Beth

 

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Upcoming “Altered Books” Workshop

Here’s a chance to love books in altogether different way:  use them to create your own story.  “Altered Books” is an art form that uses books as your easel to draw, paint, and collage old, castoff hardback books into new works of art. 

The workshop  is Saturday, August 20, from 10:00 a.m. until noon, and is led by accomplished collage artist Ciara Meyer.  It’s for adults over 18, and is free of charge.

Please do call to pre-register at 755-0760.  No previous experience necessary!

Learn more about it here.

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