The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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Sculpture installed at Drake Library

Sculpture+installed+at+Drake+Library

By Zoe Fruchter
fruchter@grinnell.edu

Photo by Helena Gruensteidl.

On Friday, Nov. 10, Drake Community Library installed a new 11-foot-tall, rainbow-hued “Library” statue on Park St. to greet its visitors.

“The sculpture conveys fun and it is also functional, as it informs visitors that this is your public library,” wrote Marilyn Kennett, Director of Drake Library, in an email to The S&B.

According to Kennett, the initial impetus to build the sculpture was to bring attention to the library.

“The outcome has been that the sculpture serves the dual purpose of not only identifying the library, but bringing more public art to our community,” she wrote. In accordance with this mission, the Library Board of Trustees recently established the Art Advisory Council. The council enriches the library user’s experience by displaying the work of local, national and international artists in the Drake Library space.

The designer of the new sculpture, Ryan McGuire, is one such artist. McGuire previously created “Word Bird” — a ten-foot tall cartoonish bird sculpture — for the Tompkins County Public Library in New York. Kennett was aware of McGuire’s work and brought him in to design a sculpture that would convey the exploration and fun of the library to the community. The Friends of Drake Community Library board of directors embraced McGuire’s designs and funded the $9,975 sculpture. Kennett then connected the artist with Ben Latimer, director of digital media at ASI Signage Innovations. Thus, the sculpture was born.

“It’s like a brand-new box of crayons — full of wonderful possibilities!” Kennett wrote. “We hope that interpretation transfers to the library itself — full of millions of ideas waiting to be explored.”

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