Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month: In Our Own Image(s)

At the Capitol Hill Library, we wondered how to create an Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month display that recognizes the many peoples who are categorized as “Asian” and “Pacific Islander” — each unique and with their own histories, languages, religions, cultural values, and experiences.  Is it possible to represent such broad and diverse communities without using stereotypical imagery (especially those which focus exclusively on East Asia)?

An answer dawned on us: since API people are already representing themselves, through their art and creative practice… why reach for the clipart of cherry blossoms and dragons, when we could highlight the imagery of API artists?

We reached out to a number of local artists with API heritage, and have featured some samples of their work – swing by the Capitol Hill library, and check out library items that are produced by API writers, illustrators, filmmakers, and musicians.  Our display offers a selection of poetry, picture books, nonfiction, DVDs, comics, and other media from our collection.  For those who can’t make it to our neck of the city, here are a few titles to place on hold:

Works by Pacific Islanders

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Continue reading “Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month: In Our Own Image(s)”

Click! Photography through the Lens of History

Click! A photograph is a precise record of an irretrievable instant, locked within the borders of a frame that transcends time. Did you know that the history of the camera predates the history of photography? Check out 100 Ideas that Changed Photography for more eye opening discoveries of how a room-sized device came to be held in the palm of our hands.

Once a purview of the few, cameras are, today, ubiquitous and unavoidable. A lot of thinking and experimentation went into the process of refining the photographic process. In A History of Photography in 50 Cameras you have a front row seat to technological changes that made it possible for the camera to become a necessary part and partner of memory making. Continue reading “Click! Photography through the Lens of History”

Burlesque 101

Join us November 18th at Timbre Room, 7-8:30pm, for Carnal Knowledge, a burlesque show designed to educate and entertain. Performances featuring Miss Kitty Baby, The Marquis Façade, Mx. Pucks A’Plenty and more! Hosted by Donatella Howe this show will explore the forms and functions of the art and the local history of burlesque. This event is 21+. Library events and programs are free; registration is not required.

To prepare yourselves for a night of tantalizing delight, here are a few novels to get you in the mood:

Continue reading “Burlesque 101”

The Artist in Fiction or Creating Your Own Story

Sometimes it is hard to separate the two, don’t you think? I mean the hard-baked idea of what an artist is or is not. The journey of an artist becoming an artist may be singular, but it is accompanied by a lot of noise!

Do you chart your own path or are you casting about for an identity that will fit? Masked or unmasked, imaginary or realistic, we hold in mind the idea of an artist, the ideal kind of artist we aspire to be and the one we encounter in the mirror.

You, already, have it all! An artist is creator and creation in constant flux and motion. There is a huge art eco-system encompassing Sunday painters, internationally-recognized artists and everyone else in between. While there are multitudes of artists, one story counts and that is the one you are creating. Continue reading “The Artist in Fiction or Creating Your Own Story”

Here’s Looking at You!: Documentary Films about Artists

An artist’s life can be as compelling as the work they produce. A documentary, at best, strives to render a portrait of the artist as honestly as possible. This, of course, is as close as any of us will get to being in the same room with a person whose life and work draws us in.  What will you find that you do not, already, know?  Will this new view enhance the experience of the art or detract from it?

Continue reading “Here’s Looking at You!: Documentary Films about Artists”