The Dayton Metro Library and The Dayton Art Institute have selected Artist Darren Kall's proposal for an original art installation at the Electra C. Doren Branch Library in Old North Dayton. This is the first piece commissioned by the ReImagining Works project, coordinated by the Library and the DAI, which will incorporate original artwork at each Dayton Metro Library location.
The Electra C. Doren Branch, located 701 Troy Street, is the oldest in the county-wide system and the first to undergo renovation in the $187 million "Libraries for a Smarter Future" project, approved by voters in 2012. The Library is currently operating at a temporary facility, 359 Maryland Avenue, while construction takes place at the historic Troy Street building.
The ReImagining Works project suggested several pieces from the DAI's permanent collection for reinterpretation at the Electra C. Doren Branch. By public vote, the painting Stacks in Celebration, by Charles Sheeler, was selected. In his winning proposal, artist Darren Kall reimagines the painting as a sculptural metal fence surrounding the new outdoor reading terrace at the Library.
The fence will be comprised of eight cutout panels depicting notable Dayton architecture, particularly the buildings of Old North Dayton. The fence panels "invite you to contemplate their patterns and inspire you to be part of Dayton's industrial spirit," says Kall in his proposal. "Their vibrant reflections, solidity and playfulness are letting you know that the Dayton spirit of making things is still alive."
"The sculptures I create will be touchable for the visually impaired," says Kall. "Patrons of the Library will be invited to touch the sculptures so that they can build a tactile image of [them]."
"I believe that the community is the consumer and customer of the artwork, so gaining their insights, interpreting and making sense of their goals and preferences allows me to design appropriately for that audience," says Kall.
Kall is a Dayton-based artist with a BA from Rutgers University in studio art, specializing in sculpture. He has done private and public commissions in both painting and sculpture, among them the bas-relief tiles in the portico of Oakwood High School, 1200 Far Hills Avenue.
The ReImagining Works project is made possible by an anonymous bequest intended to integrate original art and innovative programming at the 17 new or renovated Dayton Metro Library buildings. The public recently voted for artwork to serve as inspiration at the Main Library, the new Northwest Branch Library and the Miami Township Branch Library.
"The two inspirations tie together nicely. They share an inspirational historical time, when grand visions of the future and the promise of industry were strong cultural motivators," says Kall. "The E.C. Doren Branch, having been designed by Pretzinger, represents the distinctive personality of its time, and makes a perfect setting for other Dayton architectural icons," he says.
For more information on the ReImagining Works project, visit DaytonMetroLibrary.org/Works.