It is not uncommon to see a parent lift a child onto their shoulders to look at the artwork in Maze Branch Library’s Reading Room. Or to hear someone exclaim, “What’s different?  Something’s different…” immediately upon entering the library. aMAZEing Art has transformed the Reading Room into an art gallery and the transformation is one that Lori Pulliam, Branch Services Manager, envisioned.

Beginning in the fall of 2011, Maze Branch Library has invited local artists to share their work on a monthly basis. In addition to displaying their work, some artists have hosted programs that have included a 3D printing demonstration, drawing workshops, and Chinese jump rope.

Our summer 2012 schedule promises to be no less impressive. Our June artist is Susan Anderson Bjornson. Her “Magic Realism” display will feature watercolor and egg tempera paintings. Her work should be familiar to the Oak Park community as it graces the Friends of the Library t-shirt! Here her exhibit explores light and shadow.

In stark contrast to our June artist, Michael Bochner of Flavor City Studios on Harrison Street shares his abstract acrylic painting with us in July. Mike is an art teacher at Chavez School in Chicago and divides his studio time between representational painting and mixed media drawing. His poetic approach to his art is a response to the treadmill consequence of life as a “wage slave.” In his artist’s statement he writes, “I saw my reflection in the big plate glass window, talking about work on the weekend. But there was really not that much to say.”

August’s artist is Jonathan Franklin. He also works with mixed media, yet uses the human figure as a means to an end in his work that investigates the tension between realism and abstraction.  While his resume says that he holds a BFA from the University of Michigan, we get the impression that his art education truly evolved through his worldwide travels.  Jonathan plans to host a program at the Maze Branch on Thursday, August 9. Watch our August event calendar for details.

To see the work of previous aMAZEing Artists or to inquire about sharing your artwork at the Maze Branch Library, please visit our website. To experience the rotating collection of art and books in person, visit the Maze Branch Library at 845 Gunderson Avenue.

— Jessica Roble-Cinelli is a Library Assistant at Oak Park Public Library’s Maze Branch

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Oak Park Public Library

The Oak Park Public Library enhances the quality of life in our diverse community by providing opportunities for lifelong learning, by creating spaces and opportunities to connect and engage, and by fostering...