Art Enhances Library Experience

Library wall with many small quilts, showing animals and colorful designs

Winter 2019

Whether you enter Kirk-Bear Canyon Library to borrow books or recordings, attend events and story times, or use a computer, you will find it a colorful, friendly place.  Yet one wall stands out as exceptionally beautiful and worth a visit.               

Every month a new and different exhibit by Southwestern artists appears on the “ramp wall” leading to the magazine area.  Established in 2009, the community art program has featured original works in a wide variety of media:  oil, watercolor, charcoal, pastel, pencil, leather, metal, and mixed format. Quilts, photography, and sculptures have also been shown.     

The gallery as it appeared in 2009

When applicable, Adult Services Librarian Vicki Ann Duraine coordinates lectures and demonstrations with exhibits.   For example, during the March 2019 Diversity in Quilts  show, an Arizona Humanities Road Scholar presentation with a trunk show on Hopi quilting traditions was featured.

To accommodate the frequently changing exhibits, the Friends of the Kirk-Bear Canyon Library (FKBCL) purchased a Walker Display System — a professional installation that allows for flexibility in hanging artworks without damaging walls.

“The artists tell me they really appreciate the access, flexibility, and lighting in the exhibition area,” Vicki explains.  

When sculptors need to show free-standing pieces, they have space in glass display cases near the front entrance, also obtained with funds raised by Friends. 

Vicki actively recruits artists through online resources, local galleries and advertising, and responding to artists’ inquiries.  

Artists who would like to exhibit at the branch may request more information at the front desk.   They will need to provide a biography, resume, and samples of their work (in photographic form).   

Thanks to Southern Arizona’s thriving art community, the schedule of future exhibits is never empty.  And Kirk-Bear Canyon Library patrons are never without a bounty of creativity from regional artists.

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