The Dayton Metro Library has selected five artists’ proposals for original artwork to be installed in the Southeast Branch Library, a new facility that combines the current Belmont and East Branches. These are the latest commissions in the ReImagining Works project, which places artwork in each new or renovated Dayton Metro Library. The Southeast Branch will be constructed at the corner of Wayne and Watervliet Avenues. Design work is underway for the facility.
ReImagining Works invites artists to use pieces from the Dayton Art Institute’s permanent collection as inspiration. Patrons of the Belmont and East Branch Libraries chose Georgia O’Keeffe’s Purple Leaves and Therman Statom’s Ovala Marea to be the inspiration pieces for the artwork at their new Library.
Five regional artists were chosen to receive commissions:
Gail Christofferson, Bowling Green - a large glass mosaic inspired by the O’Keeffe work, Purple Leaves. Using high contrast complimentary colors, the mosaic will be an abstraction of the beloved Sycamore leaves identified by the patrons of Southeast Branch as important to them. Echoing O’Keefe’s desire to allow the viewer to experience nature in a new way, Christofferson believes patrons will find new images in her work each time they view it.
Andrea Myers, Columbus - a large, wall based textile collage of sewn and appliqued leaf shapes. The piece will echo the colors and forms in the O’Keeffe work, but the leaf form will be derived from the Sycamore trees around the library. The hand-dyed fabric leaf shapes will create an interplay between the positive and negative space of the leaves.
Kate Huser Santucci, Dayton - a series of three panels, each including multiple smaller pieces mounted within its frame. Referencing O’Keeffe’s desire to highlight the nuances of natural beauty as well as paying tribute to the diversity of Southeast Dayton neighborhoods, each panel will incorporate smaller graphite drawings, sculptures and found objects. The Therman Statom work inspired Santucci’s use of smaller, individual pieces to form a larger piece and incorporating a variety of media.
Annie Lee Zimerlee, Dayton - three large scale woodblock prints depicting a Sycamore tree with two teens reading comfortably in its branches. Zimerlee will highlight the trunk of the Sycamore tree with watercolors, adding texture and depth to the work. Zimerlee responds to O’Keeffe’s balance of abstracting and simplifying natural forms in her paintings, as well as highlighting the joys of reading.
Chris Welker, Dayton - a work in low relief that incorporates recycled and repurposed books while referencing the myriad colors found in the O’Keeffe work. Welker works in a painterly, abstract style often combining paper and paint. For this work, he likes the idea of using cast-off books to represent a portrait of discarded information.
Artwork in the ReImaginging Works project has already been installed at the Electra C. Doren, Miami Township, Northwest, Brookville, New Lebanon, Kettering-Moraine, Vandalia and Miamisburg Branch Libraries, as well as the Main Library in downtown Dayton. The project will continue over the next two years. ReImagining Works is made possible by an anonymous bequest.
Artists are encouraged to fill out an Intent to Apply form to receive information about Requests for Proposals as they become available. You can find more information about ReImagining Works, online or call 937.463.BOOK.