Nelson County Public Library - Bardstown, KY
Glass Tapestry 9’ x 12’
Garden Doorway Children’s room 6’8” x 6’8”
Chartered in 1788 and Kentucky's second oldest city, Bardstown was once the gateway to the settling of the west.
Its rich history has been shaped by Daniel Boone, Abraham Lincoln, the composer Stephen Foster (who wrote the state song after a stay in Bardstown), the inventor of the first steam-powered paddleboat, several state governors, the bourbon industry, the Catholic church and many other pioneers and influences.
Initially, the prospect of creating artwork which could both adequately represent this region's heritage and speak to the role of the library in the life of the community felt overwhelming!
It was not until I had a feeling of the continuum of life, through both the natural world and the realm of human endeavor, that I was able to arrange disparate elements into a feeling of wholeness. The resulting composition reflects a dynamic continuum, in overlapping circles in transition and in motion. Within this structure are references to local history, native species, the elements of earth, air, water and fire, the phases of the moon, the seasons, as well as noting Bardstown's place on the globe along with its sister city in France, etc.
The dual role of the public library as both an archive of human knowledge and an active portal for exploring the world is also represented. I utilized a variety of visual styles for depicting disparate elements, such as the juxtaposition of Renaissance engravings of constellations with a contemporary interpretation of the night sky, pixilated imagery, musical notation and varied fonts in wording around learning and understanding. This "Glass Tapestry" is the result.
The children's room includes a transom and sidelights around the door leading to the reading garden. These windows are filled with silhouettes of children and animals playing, reading, riding, etc., against a streaky sunset sky.