Here’s what we did this morning! My husband and I went over to the library and installed these letters for library patrons to decorate. “Explore” is the theme of the summer adult reading program and the colors were taken from the banner and flyer for the program. Only four colors, which was an excellent creative constraint and also provided some unity.
People arrived for the workshop and start to paint! Our first visitor of the day was a professional house painter. While kids are always ready to dive right in to this kind of thing, adults are more hesitant. As I invited folks to come paint with us, more than one actually said, “Oh, that’s not for me.”
Others needed plenty of encouragement, but once they’d made the commitment to give it a try, they were on a roll and painted for a long time.
How did this project come to be? Photos below explain the process.
Librarian Alicia Hammond at the Forest Park Public Library had the vision to bring some public art to the library. Forest Park, a close in suburb of Chicago, has very little public art, and in fact, the stained glass window at the library is one of the only pieces of public art in town.
Alicia invited me to collaborate the project and, with my history of making 3′ letters for indoor art installations, I hit on the idea of making larger letters that patrons would decorate. (These are 4′.)
Here’s the summer reading program brochure that served as our inspiration for the colors.
To make the letters, I bought 1″ x 8″ boards and then got help learning to use a table saw.
After sawing the wood, next up was gluing and clamping. In addition, each attachment was reinforced with screws.
It’s been a rainy summer and I had to move the painting into our crowded basement:
These orange strips of flexible plastic make up the O. I drilled them and pop riveted them. Luckily, since I trained as a metalsmith, I knew the concepts of using rivets as a connector: always use at least two to hold things together.
Finally, the big day arrived and I loaded everything up in the car to deliver!
Thanks to the library for sponsoring this super cool project, it was a lot of fun!
What more details? Want to do this at your library? I’m available to replicate the project at your library with the word or words of your choice! –> Contact Me to start a conversation.
And a tutorial will likely be forthcoming, I’ll post it or a link here on the blog!
Here’s a link to a nice story the local paper did about the project: http://www.forestparkreview.com
Update 7/29/15: Here’s the link to the how-to article on the Library as Incubator blog!