3 Places Where You Can View Local Art

a

While people may assume that you have to live in a big city to have access to good art, that simply isn’t true. There are plenty of places here in West Tennessee alone that have fantastic work to offer. Here are three places in the West Tennessee area where you can get your art fix (and maybe take home some of your own).

a1

 

Companion Gallery
Based in Humboldt, the Companion Gallery is a high quality ceramic gallery, store, and studio. With a variety of works from many different creators nationwide, it’s an incredible view into the world of ceramic art. There’s no fee to enter the gallery space, and most, if not all, of the works are for sale. Throughout the year, they will host special showings and gallery openings spotlighting a specific artist, technique or theme. In addition, you can get in on the action as well. They offer pottery lessons at a variety of levels, so even if you haven’t touched clay once in your life, you’ll be in good hands.
Mon-Sat 11am-6pm
3600 East Mitchell Street (Hwy 152), Humboldt, TN 38343

Belz Museum
In the heart of Memphis within the Peabody Place there is a museum with absolutely jaw-dropping contents. The Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art, founded in 1998, is unofficially dubbed the “jade museum” for good reason. Giant, intricately-carved statues made of jade and ivory are displayed alongside Qing dynasty vases and gigantic tapestries. In the Judaic art section, Holocaust memorials and Jewish contemporary artwork reside.
Tues-Fri 10am-5:30pm
Sat-Sun  12pm-5pm
119 South Main Street, Concourse Level
Memphis, TN 38103

West Tennessee Regional Art Center
Residing on Humboldt’s Main Street in the refurbished city hall building, the West Tennessee Regional Art Center boasts an impressive variety of work. The center contains everything from colonial American portraits, Southern folk art, traditional African sculpture, and everything in between.  They pride themselves on being the only fine arts museum between Memphis and Nashville, and they host a number of exhibitions and events throughout the year.
Mon-Fri 9am-4pm
1200 Main Street, Humboldt, TN 38343

Top 5 DIY Books At The Library

diy

Are you looking to learn a new skill or make a new craft? The library has several do-it-yourself (DIY) books that can help you complete your next project. From sewing to woodworking, these guides will take you from beginner to pro.

 

How To Decorate by Shannon Fricke

Shannon Fricke’s How To Decorate gives examples on the best interior design for your home or dorm. Read more about this book here.

 

McCall’s Essential Guide To Sewing by Brigitte Binder

Learn all of the basics of sewing and start a new project with McCall’s Essential Guide to Sewing. This book can also teach you how to mend tears and add embellishments to your fabric.

 

D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself by Ellen Lupton

D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself walks you through conception to creation with various design projects. This book is useful to those who may want to design their own t-shirt, wedding invitations, and even website upgrades.

 

Furniture Makeovers by Barb Blair

It’s easy to give your furniture a makeover with the tips and tricks in this book. You’ll learn how to spray paint, apply gold leaf, stencil, and more.

 

Put ‘Em Up! Fruit: A Preserving Guide and Cookbook by Sherri Brooks Vinton

Try your hand at preserving fruit through canning, refrigerating, freezing, drying, and infusing. Once you’ve preserved your fruit, this book also includes creative recipes for when you’re ready to use them!

 

Bonus:

The Woodwright’s Apprentice: Twenty Favorite Projects From The Woodright’s Shop by Roy Underhill

My mom watches The Woodwright’s Shop With Roy Underhill all the time; her father was a carpenter, and she enjoys learning all about woodworking. Through The Woodwight’s Apprentice book, you can now follow woodworking projects at your own pace.

 

 

 

Book Review: “Shoji Hamada: A Potter’s Way And Work” by Susan Peterson

ruth book

In my opinion, I find that sometimes the most interesting biographies are the ones whose people aren’t too well known. Oftentimes household names have so much in the way of lore and common knowledge that, in many ways, we already know some of the best parts. This trend continued in the book Shoji Hamada: A Potter’s Way and Work. For those who don’t know, Shoji Hamada is a former living national treasure in Japan due to his work as a folk potter. He has become internationally renowned in the ceramics community, his works becoming synonymous with Japanese mingei (民芸 meaning “folk arts” or “art of the people”) ceramics. Having spent four months with Hamada, author Susan Peterson has written a charming glimpse into his life, home, and work.

The book is based in the small town of Mashiko located in Tochigi prefecture and about a two-hour drive north of Tokyo. As the book was written in 1970, the context is of what Mashiko was like during Hamada’s time. However, I had the privilege of visiting Mashiko during this past spring break, and it was wonderful to compare with what was written during Hamada’s life with how the town has changed throughout the years since Hamada’s fame. Shoji Hamda’s house has been turned into a museum of his life and work, and it was fascinating to compare the images from the book’s photo galleries to the real thing. After reading the book, I can’t imagine not wanting to visit.

This book covers anything and everything one might want to know about the potter and his work, but even so, it is still an incredibly easy read. The language is accessible to people who have not studied pottery, but also enriching for those that have. The book covers everything from his workflow, techniques, glazes, kilns, family life, and even the way Hamada himself thinks. The book is not a detached biography written by historians years after the death of the person, but rather a living telling complete with the thoughts and actions recorded in these first-person accounts. The photo albums scattered throughout the book are both an enjoyable and invaluable addition to the biography, as seeing the work for oneself is both contextually important as well as very interesting to see the stages of his work and life. If you are at all a fan of the arts, even just a little, I would definitely recommend this book.

 

*written by Ruth Duncan

Featured Book: “Unexpected Art”

unexpected art

 

What would you do if, one day, you saw a giant rubber duck on top of the Bowld? Would you assume that it’s an art project?

The book Unexpected Art shows us beautiful photographs of art installations all over the world. These installations can be surprising and are often a part of the local landscape. The artists want their art to be seen and enjoyed by the people around them, and so they have brought their art to the public space.

unexpected art 1

Unexpected Art showcases work by Adel Abdessemed, Amanda Browder, Nick Cave, Myoung Ho Lee, Cornelia Konrads, and many more. You’ll see all kinds of creative pieces, from wallpapered dumpsters to aluminum landscapes to giant rubber duckies. This book is fun to flip through, but you can also read about how each artist made their art and why they made it that way.

You can check out Unexpected Art from the library!

Book Review: “North of Beautiful” by Justina Chen

north-of-beautiful2

North of Beautiful is a well-written young adult book about a girl who learns to be brave. Terra Cooper was born with a port-wine stain on her face and has learned to hide it from others, in particular her verbally abusive dad. Together with her timid mom, Terra learns to stand up for herself and accept herself as she is. In the midst of Terra’s transformation, she meets a Goth romantic interest, goes to China, and creates map-based art.

 

What North of Beautiful gets right: The main characters experience a lot of growth throughout the book. None of them become perfect, but they each begin to make positive changes in their lives. North of Beautiful has a happier ending but not so optimistic that it’s unbelievable.

The traveling part of the book is fun but never overshadows the characters themselves. North of Beautiful is all about relationships and inner motivations. It’s encouraging to watch Terra repair her relationship with her mother and begin building a new one with Jacob.

What North of Beautiful does wrong: Terra’s insecurity can be hard to read about in the first part of the book. She seems to look down on others who don’t put as much effort into their appearance as she does. However, as the book goes on, we begin to understand why Terra feels that way, and we get to see her grow and change.

Who should read North of Beautiful: Anyone who has struggled with how they look, likes cartography, or enjoys a (mostly) innocent romance. Teenagers who need someone to relate to. Adults who will understand the relationships between Terra and her parents.

Who shouldn’t read North of Beautiful: People who aren’t interested in reading about teenagers or families. People who get bored by character development and need more action in their stories.

 

Check out North of Beautiful from the library’s Family Room.

Featured Author: Maurice Sendak

The path to success is to take massive, determined action.-1

 

Maurice Sendak was born on June 10th, 1928 in New York City. Sendak excelled at art as a child; he would often draw illustrations while sick at home. When Sendak grew older, he began to illustrate children’s books. In 1956, the first book that was both illustrated and written by Sendak was published: Kenny’s Window. 1968 would see one of Sendak’s most popular and renowned books: Where The Wild Things Are (a Caldecott medal winner).

Some of Sendak’s other well-known books include:

 

Sendak has also lent his illustrations to many children’s books, including The Moon Jumpers and Brundibar.

In 2012, Sendak died at age 83. However, his books and illustrations for children will continue to delight kids for generations.

Click here to see which Sendak books the library has to offer.

 

Featured Book: “How To Decorate”

how to decorate

If you’re looking for a book with beautiful photos, watercolor typography, and tons of do-it-yourself ideas, How To Decorate is the right choice for you. The book’s author, Shannon Fricke, leads workshops on decorating for beginners, and How To Decorate collects her wisdom from these events and presents them in an easy-to-access format. Along with Fricke’s advice, the book is packed with full-color photos from photographer Prue Ruscoe.

How To Decorate starts off by emphasizing the importance of your own workspace. Before you can begin to decorate your house or workplace, you need a personal space to begin brainstorming and collecting supplies. Fricke writes:

Fashion your workspace exactly as you need it to operate for you. Always underpin it with a degree of order, and then layer it as colourfully and creatively as you like.

Fricke encourages her readers to take it slow, and to develop a plan before just buying furniture to fill up a room. Decorating your home is about telling your story- and that may look different for each individual. While decorating according to what’s currently in fashion can be fun, it is not necessarily long-lasting. Fricke suggests instead to decorate with people in mind: who will use this space? What do they require to feel comfortable or inspired?

Once you’ve begun answering questions about your lifestyle, you can move on to more hands-on brainstorming. By gathering different items- color swatches that you’re drawn to, pieces of ribbon or cloth, etc.- you can create a moodboard. Moodboards help set the tone of your decorating, and can bring together disparate ideas into one cohesive brand. They can also be made virtually, whether on Pinterest, Microsoft Publisher, or a blog.

pex decorate

Finally, Fricke elaborates on how to make a floor plan for each room of your home and how to use the existing architecture to your advantage. Everything from color theory to floor types is examined and explained. Fricke warns the reader to cull items before bringing in new concepts, since it’s easier to work with less.

How To Decorate ends on a positive note, with the mantra “When we decorate our home thoughtfully and with love (not necessarily with large funds), we’re creating a space we love living in, a home with meaning, a house that feels comfortable, a place to feel at peace with ourselves.” Pick up this book if you’re looking to feel refreshed in your space!

Presenting: Book Tunes by Yoolim Moon!

 

Library student assistant and art major Yoolim Moon made an amazing stop-motion video about the library! Check it out.

Featured Graphic Novel: “Audubon, On The Wings Of The World”

audobon

 

Audubon, On the Wings of the World” is a fantastic graphic novel about a bird-obsessed man who goes on a journey to illustrate and document different species of birds. Audubon is truly passionate about birds, so much so that he makes the heart-wrenching decision to leave his wife and kids to travel across the southern United States to learn more about birds. As he travels, he creates amazing depictions of the many different feathered creatures.

While this graphic novel has been praised for its detailed and gorgeous artwork, the story itself has been criticized as being rather dark. The antagonists of the story are portrayed in grotesque forms and birds are shown being shot, killed and dissected.

Even still, the overall story is fascinating and beautiful; this is definitely worth a read!

 

*written by Donny Turner

Featured eBook: “The Cambridge Art Book”

cambridge art book

Are you an Anglophile? It’s okay, you can admit it. If you drink Earl Grey every morning, have the Union Jack hanging on your dorm room wall, or dream of going to grad school at Cambridge, you probably are.

For now, you can get all the British feels just by scrolling through this eBook on your iPad or laptop. The Cambridge Art Book is not your average travel guide. It’s an artistic celebration of the ancient college town “through the eyes of its artists,” as the cover proclaims. Vibrant and energetic, the artwork in this book includes everything from woodcuts of architecture to watercolors of those classic red phone booths.

Whatever style or medium of art is your favorite, you’ll find something to enjoy in this lush collection. It’s basically a local museum you can click your way through!

Search for more of our eBooks at http://guides.uu.edu/databases/ebooks.

 

*written by Danielle Chalker