Most libraries would throw away books that have been drawn in, cut up, and pasted or taped together, but the Mattapoisett Free Public Library has presented some for everyone to see.
A group of junior and senior artists from Old Rochester Regional High School have taken books from art teacher Joanne Dorothy’s father’s library, and they’ve manipulated them in a way that is much more visually stimulating than books as we know them.
“It’s sort of a way to bring new life to them,” Dorothy said. “It’s such a good fit for the library.”
Several different styles were used, but most of the artists drew, painted, and pasted pictures into the books and cut into the layers of pages, showing other pictures and pages, while also highlighting particular parts within the books themselves.
Overall, the work of 15 students is featured, which includes other forms of artwork, including self-portraits, portraits of fellow students, and landscape drawings using a technique called Two Conditions of Light, where students balanced white and black, as well as several other styles. Some artists also wrote statements to accompany individual pieces.
Dorothy said that some of the high schoolers also looked up famous artists, such as Victor Vasarely and Georgia O’Keefe, and imitated or emulated their work to get a feel for what some of the professionals had done in the past.
“They took influence from them,” Dorothy said. “They learn by copying other artists.”
A self-portrait from student Jacob Rioux was also featured in the show, after winning the Silver Key in the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards.
Dorothy also commended the work of Susan Pizzolato, the library director.
“Susan did a really good job of putting on the show,” she said. “It’s such a beautiful place to show work.”
The show will run at the Mattapoisett Free Public Library through June and perhaps longer.
Dorothy added that the show at the library is not only a great way to show off the students’ work, but also a good way to get students into the Mattapoisett Free Public Library itself.
“We wanted to get students’ work in here in an effort to get students to utilize the library,” she said. “There are a lot of great programs for that age group here.”
By Nick Walecka