Friday, May 08, 2009

Brookens Library features new Art Wall for campus and community

By Courtney Westlake

Brookens Library is hoping to plan for art gallery space in an future renovation, but since it is uncertain when the renovation might take place, they decided to take advantage of empty space they currently have available for a new Library Art Wall that features artwork by the UIS and local communities.

“For several years, we’ve been thinking that the campus needed a place for exhibiting artwork in addition to the Visual Arts Gallery and a place to bring in additional types of displays,” said Jane Treadwell, dean of library instructional services and university librarian.

Last year when the Library was considering hosting a student art competition, Megan Hunter, multimedia communications specialist at the Library, began exploring different ways to display artwork. She found a convenient hanging system that the Library was able to install, thanks to the Friends of Brookens Library.

Now the hanging system is in place around the corner from the Circulation Desk on the main floor.

“This space I picked particularly because it's a high traffic area in the library,” Hunter said. “A lot of students use the computers here in front of the Art Wall. It’s been an empty space for a long time, and we felt something needed to go there. It has really enhanced the library.”

The first two displays currently up on the wall include paintings by Dr. Bill Abler, professor in Human Development Counseling, and Rachel Hasenyager, office manager in the Office of Alumni Relations.

Now the Library is hoping to get word out around campus and to the Friends of Brookens Library that the Art Wall is available to showcase the artwork of the many talented people on campus and in the community, Treadwell said.

“We hope this is a way to get more people into the library and interested in the library as a place for lots of intellectual pursuits,” she said. “This is the library for the community, and I think it's important that the community members have lots of ways to interact with each other and find out about talents we have on campus.”

“At any university campus, it’s just amazing how many talents there are,” Treadwell added. “What we see is just the tip of the iceberg. We felt this is one way we can contribute to a more vibrant campus.”

To apply to exhibit artwork on the Library Art Wall, contact Marcia Rossi at 206-6597 or