Starting in December at the Richland Library and six of its branches, don’t be surprised to smell turpentine in the circulation department or hear singing in the stacks because Jasper is going to the library!
Jasper Goes to the Library is a new outreach program presented in a partnership between Jasper Magazine and Richland Library. Once a month for six months and at six different library branches, artists from six different arts disciplines will present an hour long program of performance and demonstration. Disciplines include dance, theatre, the literary arts, music, visual arts, and film.
It was a brainstorm that originated with Heather Green, manager of Richland Library Wheatley. “I had really begun thinking about how Richland Library could partner with our community artists to have the biggest impact on our community,” Green says. “Although we are considered a metropolitan area, many of our residents do not have access and exposure to the many arts resources we have right here in Columbia. I decided to contact (Jasper editor) Cindi Boiter to get the ball rolling on a Richland Library/Jasper partnership. My initial ideas were small – that Jasper could come to Richland Library Wheatley, which is my location, and present something arts related. Cindi blew my small ideas wide open suggesting that Jasper and the Library collaborate for a series of presentations – from performing arts to visual arts. So in one afternoon meeting, my little idea grew into a wonderful partnership.”
Local visual artist Tim Floyd is also one of the six selected artists and arts groups to participate in the inaugural program and is scheduled to present and demonstrate on January 7th in 2014 at the Ballentine branch of Richland Library. For Floyd, who will be talking about creative solutions and demonstrating how to make an encaustic painting, it makes perfect sense for an arts magazine like Jasper to design a series of arts events which will allow working artists to share their talents with their community in free and public spaces. “Libraries are the knowledge hub of a community. Showing original art and process is important for the encouragement of others,” Floyd says. “Maybe one person will get a spark and go out and create something.”
The programs will all take place on the first Tuesday of the month starting on December 3rd with visual artist and writer Laurie McIntosh who will be talking about and reading from her art book, All the In Between – My Story of Agnes, at the Wheatley Branch. McIntosh’s book is an annotated catalogue of an art series she completed commemorating the life and death of her mother. Other presenters include the musical duo of Todd Mathis (guitar) and Cully Salehi (viola) who will perform at the North Main Branch on February 4th, films from The 2013 2nd Act Film Festival presented by Jasper Magazine on March 4th at Richland Library Northeast, Columbia City Ballet Company on April 1st at the Southeast branch, and the South Carolina Shakespeare Company on May 6th at the Cooper branch.
“Columbia has so many wonderful resources. We should all be partnering more to maximize our message that all residents/communities deserve to have quality education and information—no matter their socioeconomic standing,” says Green. “I am so excited that Richland Library and Jasper are partnering up to further promote the arts in Columbia. Six months of Jasper artists in our libraries? That sounds pretty awesome to me!”