Friday, May 01, 2015

Novel Art at the Ligonier Valley Library...

When I was growing up, the library was a special place.  Not only was it the place of answers (this is before one could whip out their phone and Google it), but it was a place where anything could happen... a hero could triumph over adversity, long lost siblings were found, and magic was commonplace.  The library allowed me to see and experience the most amazing things.  That's why Novel Art is near and dear to me.

If you haven't heard of Novel Art before, it's a creative fundraising effort for the Ligonier Valley Library.  Books that have been taken out of circulation are given to participants who then transform them into paper crafts and works of art!  It's a great way to reuse books destined for the landfill and help the library raise money in the face of budget cuts.

In the past, Novel Art has raised money to improve their technology and help with children's literacy and early learning development.  It's a really great project that helps a cornerstone of our community!

This year's Novel Art was supplemented with additional events leading up to the exhibition and auction.  I was fortunate enough to teach a class at the library and The Kitchen on Main Street had a Ladies Night with featuring paper arts out of upcycled books.  

They also did something new this year and offered a professional category!  Here's a snapshot of two of the professional category entries! The one on the left was created by Michelle Mach and the piece on the right was made by Jenny Davies-Reazor.

One of the things that I enjoy about the Novel Art auction night is that so many come out in support of the library!  It's nice to celebrate such an important local institution with your friends, neighbors and peers from the community!

This is a photo collage of some of the snapshots from the evening.  At the upper left is Pat Childs of G Squared Gallery Ligonier who co-chaired the event with Theresa Gay Rohal of the Compass Inn Museum (not shown).  To the upper right is the recently retired WJAC news anchor and local celebrity, Bill Brown.  Below and to the left is Janet Hudson, who is the director of the Ligonier Valley Library.  On the bottom right is a shot of how crowded it got!

I had originally designed a sculpture for Novel Art.  I used a clay made out old books.  However... I left the clay out too long before working on the sculpture and it went rancid.  (Normally, you work with it right away and in thin layers and it's wonderful!)  I thought about trying to bake the sculpture to speed up the drying time and help with the funky cheese smell, but it was too big to fit in the oven.  Eventually it'll dry out and not be so fragrant and I can seal it up with a clear coat.  

I had hope to salvage my first attempt in the eleventh hour, but the only thing that'll save it is time to slowly dry out.  Since my first project didn't turn out the way I wanted, I had to come up with a backup plan.  I had promised to make something for Novel Art and I was determined to make something. So, I whipped up this painting.  The background is all collaged book pages with acrylic paint on top.  I was happy to see that the painting was won by a fellow artist!  It really means a lot to me and I hope they enjoy it for a very long time!

What a fun evening and a great cause!  I wish that I had taken more pictures of the various projects.  There were so many creative pieces that were really awesome and were inventive in their use of the books.  I'm already thinking of what I want to make for next year!


Unknown said...

What a wonderful event! Libraries are such wonderful places, sometimes I can hardly believe they exist!

Shai Williams said...

It is so wonderful that you support your local library. Book have always been my escape and my husband is an author. Remind me next year, and we will send some books.