Art Lives at Our Library!

October 13, 2010

It just keeps getting better!  What? ART at our public library, one of Tuolumne County’s best places to see a high level of quality art.  And art at our public library also raises our community’s status as an Art Tourism Destination.  We just have to let the world know what we have at our rural county’s public library!  So, here’s the scoop…

It all began with Gereon Rios when he helped to create the Vietnam War Veterans’ Memorial with its bronze cast bas-reliefs that welcome library visitors.  Then in Spring 2008 Jack Cassinetto, working with CSAC, loaned an exquisite painting that is still on view in the public library.  Thank you, Jack!

During  Summer 2008 photo-based artist Geoff Wynne exhibited a collection of bug photos in the Children’s Room for the summer reading club, “Catch the Reading Bug.” Soon the Mother Lode Art Association started hosting member exhibits in the library, adding to the arts presence of this important cultural destination.  The MLAA exhibits are now an on-going partnership with the library.

Then an ART EXPLOSION took place at the library when Sunrise Rotary stepped up to fund an amazing public art project, the largest ever in Tuolumne County!  With the persistent, dedicated work of a committee of Rotarians, library professional staff and professional artist Patti Cherry, a “Call to Artists” went out, requesting proposals for a huge mural on the theme of “From Pastures to Pines.”  In Sumer 2009 artist Tracy Knopf was selected to receive the commission!  In Fall 2009 her work began as scaffolding went up and paint brushes began to fly.  For months library visitors got to watch as Tracy told the story of Tuolumne County’s natural beauty in her 70 ft. masterpiece. This amazing mural will be dedicated on October 19th, 2010, with great fan-fare!

Now Tuolumne County Library has gained another star in its art crown.  Internationally known fiber artist Leslie Carabas has loaned two of her award-winning quilts to add to the library’s growing aesthetic integrity.  Both quilts are hanging in the Children’s Room, adding to this brilliant artistic presence that greets families each day!  One is hand-dyed by Carabas.  It evokes the image of a storm brewing over a placid body of water.  The second quilt, is a delightful homage to America’s Amish quilting traditions.  This colorful piece readily reflects the unlikely but strong connection of these traditional quilts, made by “The Plain People,” and the dynamics of modern abstract art.  In fact, San Francisco’s deYoung Museum* recently hosted an exhibit that distinctly outlined the ties between abstract art and these simple designs of American folk art.

"Conjecture," quilt by fiber artist Leslie Carabas

"Amish Influence #5," by fiber artist Leslie Carabas

Carabas work shows in museums all across the United States. Her quilts have been included in many of the most reputable books on art quilts, including Contemporary Quilts USA by Arlette Klaric (Boston University Press, 1990, op. collectible).  In addition, she shows in galleries in New York City where her work is widely sought by collectors of fiber art and abstract art alike.  We are very proud to have Carabas as a member of Central Sierra Arts Council, along with her husband Robert Carabas, an exemplary abstract and non-representational artist also of international merit.

Tuolumne County’s art presence has a long reach, one that many locals don’t really grasp.  Part of our efforts here at Central Sierra Arts Council is to help educate our public, to build support for the outstanding contributions that our many local artists make.  We hope that all of you will take time to visit the library to see these exquisite works of art.

Each Spring Central Sierra Arts Council partners with Tuolumne County Library to host the annual Tuolumne County Youth Art Show.  This Fall CSAC will work with the library to host local home school high school students’ opportunity to participate in Poetry Out Loud, the national poetry recitation performance contest.  Thanks to our library staff for their clear appreciation of the arts in our community!

*San Francisco’s DeYoung Museum–Don’t forget CSAC will host its first ART Excursion Trip to the DeYoung on Thursday, October 21st, and again on Thursday, November 4th!  Both trips are fully booked, but you can call us at (209)532-2787 to get on the waiting list for trip #3!

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