Pulaski County Public Library - Somerset, KY
Reading, the magical doorway 5 windows, 8' 5" x 25" each
Postcards from the journey to the library 5 windows, 8'5" x 25" each
I was delighted to be asked to design windows for young children and for the room where the regional library board meets.
Children 12 and under have a floor to themselves, where they can curl up with a book inside a hollow tree or on a parent's lap in a comfortable chair. This library has something I wish every library had, but I've only seen here: when a young person reads their first book on their own, they may come to the library and ring the special bell which hangs outside, letting the whole town know that there is a newly literate person in their community.
Next to this bell is a curving bank of windows. Treating the 5 windows as one landscape, I painted children sitting in a field of native wildflowers, each reading a book. Overhead, ornate silhouettes of intricate figures and animals from classic nursery rhymes, fairy tales and other stories like Kipling's Jungle Book dance across a blazing sunset sky. Above this, a starry night sky is set with jewels. The librarians occasionally hold contests to see who can name all the characters and stories in the window silhouettes.
Downstairs in the Board meeting room, the business of running the libraries is conducted. As a way to put this work in perspective, I created scenes from five points in history, signposts in the journey to the modern public library. Painted in the historic style of each culture and period are an Egyptian scribe writing on papyrus, the early Chinese paper making process, illuminated manuscripts, Gutenberg in his shop with his first printing press, and a scene from a modern library.