Thursday, September 11, 2014

Art and the Ketchikan Public Library!

My delight on this trip to Ketchikan is to really spend time with the folks that live here – the people that call Ketchikan Alaska home, the locals ---whether they’ve only lived here a few years, or have been here 60 years –no one knows the beauty of Ketchikan like those who call Ketchikan home do.

One of the recent additions to the beauty of the city of Ketchikan is the new public library, built up on a rise, above the city center, away from the hustle and and sounds of cruise ships full of tourists, float planes, sight seeing helicopters and traffic noise.

I’ve always loved libraries, and when I was asked if I wanted to take a trip to see this one, the suggestion was met with a resounding YES!

Take a look at that maple tree…..Autumn is in Alaska!





when you enter the foyer, don’t forget to look up!

The library is filled with the sculptures and art of many artisans ---this one of a young lad flying with a stack of books is called “A Trip to the Library” by artists Evon Zerbertz and Rich Stage.


Cozy seating area with Native Alaskan art!


Fish in seaweed!

Look around!  Other pieces include metal sculptures by the Salvage Divas, Rhonda Green and Anne Fitzgerald, depicting Alaska wildlife!

A pod of whales!


Close up of  whales in metal sculpture.


And my fave – the crabby family!


A quilt depicting Ketchikan history from 1900 to 2000.


Children’s quilt in the Children’s room!

I love this – the blocks were designed by the children and made by the children depicting their favorite story books.


If you give a mouse a cookie!

But best of all??


A colorful, whimsical fabric tree in the children’s section. The tree was created by Ann Carlson, Sherry Henrickson, Jackie Keizer and Deb Turnbull.  It’s a tactile wonder…a tree you can pet!

The kids here were all involved in a  Mommy & Me children’s yoga class, what a great way to get them active, get their wiggles loose, and wear them out before nap time!  I had a hard time getting good photos of the tree because of the light coming in from the lovely windows with a glorious view of the mountains outside…and the fact that there were children sprawled doing their downward dogs everywhere.  SO FUN!

But I think you can get a clue here:


Fabric leaves and fun things hidden in the branches!


Check out the multifabric trunk!

There was every kind of fabric here – Batik, Prints, corduroy, even ultra suede for a truly textural experience.


I spy a pig on a branch..what else do you see??


Close up of lower trunk
((Lots of light from those windows!))


More trunky-ness


Close up of knot hole with names!


Great spider web!


I could have spent all day here!

If you find yourself in Ketchikan, ask someone where the library is ---these beautiful works of art should be seen often and appreciated.  I’m so grateful we had a chance to stop here today on our little jaunt around the area.

We also took a lovely hike down at Settlers Cove – photos to come later.

It’s now past 3pm here, I’m rushing to get ready for my lecture tonight.  Little did I know that it has been publicized in the newspaper and the local radio station. OH BOY!  Its time to go get set up!

Alaska.  I love this place!

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  1. what a beautiful library, I love the fabric tree. I wonder how they made it. Have a wonderful trip there.

  2. Amazing! I, too, love libraries, and real paper books. My fav. This one is beautiful and what a great place for the kids to be. Thank you.

  3. Wonderful library! Hope the evening's lecture goes well.

  4. I would have thought IF YOU GIVE A MOOSE A MUFFIN would have been more popular in Alaska, ha ha! Love that whole series of books, what a wonderful library!

  5. Come on, now - tell us how you really feel about Alaska! 😉

  6. I love Ketchikan, too!!

  7. Bonnie what a fantastic art inspiring place!!!!! Thank you for letting us see it too.

    Nothing can beat a great library. Cuddle up and read !!!!

    Smiles, JulieinTN

  8. Wow -- how quickly fall has come....seems like you're just 3 weeks past when we were there last year....

  9. What a lovely place! Thanks for posting the photos.
    You can tell this is a town that people are proud to call home.

  10. oh yes i spied that autumnal tree first too...but the library, so beautiful, so patron friendly and inspiring....

  11. Mary Gillette10:23 AM EDT

    Bonnie, so glad you were able to see the library. My sister, Linda, is the head librarian there and she loves it. The tree is my favorite part, were you able to notice that it has characters from books in the branches? You can kind of see Pooh hanging from his balloon. If you get a chance have someone take you for a walk around Wade Lake, beautiful rain forest.

  12. Wow! I love my libraries. What a treat to have this visually awesome building holding books. Win-win.

  13. That is a beautiful library and that tree...how fun is that for the kids! Thanks so much for sharing.

  14. Anonymous9:12 PM EDT

    Hi, Bonnie
    I am the Library Director of the Ketchikan Public Library and I'm so glad to see that you visited. It's a beautiful library and the community is very proud of it. Someone asked how the tree was made: it is actually one the huge metal columns with rebar welded on it for limbs and branches and completely wrapped in chicken wire. The artists visited local ESL classes and asked people to write down what books, reading, and libraries meant to them in their native language. They took those strips of fabric and stitched them together, then started wrapping the tree and quilting it. Some of the leaves were created by school children. It was an amazing process to watch and I feel honored to be in charge of such a beautiful library.~Linda Lyshol, MLIS
    Ketchikan Public Library, lindal@firstcitylibraries.org


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