We believe that original art holds a special place in public libraries. Not only does it enhance the ambiance but it is also an important ingredient of the full experience when visiting YDL.
Still Life with Melon
Oil on canvas
“During my early years of painting I was swept away by Abstract Expressionism. Young American artists moved away from subject matter and I was certainly one of them. In the past twenty years my better paintings have combined abstract thinking with personal subject matter. I enjoy the freedom of color choice, brush application and spatial relationships intertwined with references to the real world. This painting was created entirely from my imagination.”
Cows in Heaven
Charcoal & Graphite
I draw because I like to make marks. These “marks” reflect my background as a draftsman, my interest in formal relationships and my allusion to cultural upbringing and sense of place. The act of mark making itself is symbolic of change and time passing, in other words, life itself.
Debra Jean-Smith Golden
Sun Square Moon
Acrylic on mylar
My work is about bringing to life what I observe with my eyes, and what I see through my mind’s eye. Visual art allows me to communicate in a way that words cannot. Symbolism has always played a key part in my work, whether it is through image or color, or both. I enjoy having viewers interpret the story with their understanding of the symbols. What does the sun mean to you?
Fabric & Paint Collage
The quilted image is part of a mariner’s compass. There are colored points representing the human spirit reaching out in all directions to find our place in the changeless reality. The sky represents that reality that is within and around us at all times.When the superficial falls away, oneness remains. A special effort was made to create symmetry between the art and architecture of the library.
Mixed media collage
Of primary importance to my work are the symbolic properties inherent in cloth. I love the sensual quality of holding fabric in my hands and creating something from simple elemental materials. I find solace in connecting with stories that demonstrate the strength and fortitude that people discovered in themselves as they faced hardship and strayed far from home.
Oil on canvas
A key characteristic of my work is the straightforward figure/ground relationship. While developing this painting I was thinking about the “appetite” for the unknown. The rational reasons for our curiosity represented by the numerical sequences and our instinctual motivations represented by the fruit. Red and green also have this opposite and complimentary relationship.
Cover photo, “Masters of Movement/Portraits of
America’s Great Choreographers”
Dancers, by and large, are very intelligent, highly intuitive and extremely creative. To be a dancer requires courage, stamina, dedication and a deeply felt passion. But what really makes them unique is their ability to survive in one of the most difficult professions. It’s the dancers’ ability to triumph over adversity that makes them extraordinary human beings.
High relief silkscreened print
The traditional surface of a screened print is “poster like” or flat. I have worked at creating a surface that is self-reflecting and gives the illusion of depth. The surface cracks and indents. The print possesses physical depth and by manipulating the surface I reveal the content and hope to add surprise and mystery to the minimal image. Saturation of color adds to depth and subtlety.
Mark P. Gregg
Hidcote Manor Gardens
My medium of choice for artistic expression is photography, a choice I probably made because it involves a blending of technology with perception. It certainly provides the opportunity to document life events, but more importantly, the opportunity to reflect and share in a very personal way our outlook on the world. Located in the Cotswolds, Hidcote is among my favorite gardens. Developed around the concept of rooms, visitors are treated to discoveries at every turn.
There are Millions of Fish in the Sea, but Only One’s for Me
Acrylic, cloth, wood
I have fond memories of sitting under the kitchen table as a young child as my mother and her friends would be sewing. I have used sewing to make many three-dimensional pieces of artwork. The works invite touch, the way it’s hard to resist having your hand slide over a quilt or a lush piece of cloth in the fabric store. I spent some time on the Ohio River and observed the native fish and contemplated how two people coming together can alter lives in profound ways.
Mary Poppins, Flying Over London
Donated by Michael Kunkel
I donated the pieces by world-renowned caricaturist Al Hirshfeld to the Ypsilanti District Library in honor of my nieces, Victoria and Lilly, and my nephew, Nathaniel. The library has been such an influential part of their lives and I wanted to express my gratitude for that. Appreciating the library’s emphasis on art (what a stunning collection they’ve acquired!), I thought these classic Hirshfelds — with their celebration of absolute simplicity – perfectly captured the light-hearted, whimsical natures of Victoria, Lilly, and Nathaniel and the infinite flights of fancy the library has provided countless patrons.
They Would Pin Their Prayers to a Cloud
Oil on canvas
After a day of painting I took a break and turned on the TV. A movie about the Wild West and Dust Bowl years was airing and one of the last lines in the film caught my attention. It was something like “they would pin their letters to the tumble weeds” and made reference to reaching out in times of trouble. The prayers in this painting are pinned to clouds and escorted to the heavens by blackbirds. Community and spirituality are central to my art.
Acrylic on canvas
My painting style consists of precisely controlled textures, sparse compositions, shapes without definite edges and monochromatic color harmonies. This allowed me to capture the winter mood of Pleasant Lake, located in Manchester, Michigan where I had the good fortune to reside for awhile.
Oil on canvas
“People communicate in different ways. Me, I paint. I hope I am understood.” Randy is a portrait of the artist’s grandson Randy Napolean. Randy became a musician, playing guitar in his own trio and in well known jazz ensembles and orchestras worldwide.
The piece Protection was one of my first successful large format works. It was created by layering watercolor, ink and wax paper to create textures. I was happy with the push and pull of light and dark. I am fascinated with the way nature puts her mark on man-made things. I enjoy studying the way nature deteriorates sidewalks and cement with cracks and chips, something I get to observe on my daily walks.
Chair with Quilt
Oil on canvas
My painting has followed a traditional path. Drawing and painting figurative work is a favorite of mine. I am drawn to the objects that express our ordinary humanity. Chairs, flags, quilts, figures and shadows are my favorites.
John Nick Pappas
I have always been interested in the use of the figure for its expressive power in sculpture. The human form allows me to explore the descriptive parts of the figure as well as the highly abstract elements found in the figure and nature. Composition, surface, and image are always my primary consideration. The sculpture for the Ypsilanti District Library was done from an early study titled “Reading” which was more impressionistic than the library sculpture, the composition of both sculptures was my main concern.
Acrylic on canvas
The painting Taxi is from a series that was produced a number of years ago. Taxi reflects an on-going interest in texture, how it can reinforce the two-dimensional aspect of a painting and act as a catalyst for visual changes of color. A primary concern in the series was the application of mixtures of medium and color that eschews an expressionist sense of the hand of the artist. Substituting that with a sense of surface causes colors to change and emerge.