Art refresh: New pieces, monthly exhibits return

Did you know your library has a permanent art collection? You can see works of art at all three locations, including two recently donated paintings now on display at the Main Library.

And this spring, monthly exhibits by local artists are returning to the Main Library Art Gallery and Maze Branch, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Two people hanging a painting
Artifact Services installs Rising and Falling (left) and Almost Together (right) by Richard Loving in the Main Library Silent Reading Room.

Richard Loving paintings now in the Main Library Silent Reading Room

Two new oil paintings now hang side by side in the Main Library’s third-floor Silent Reading Room.

Rising and Falling (1989) and Almost Together (1974), both by artist Richard Loving, were generously donated to the library by the artists’ daughters after Loving passed away last year.

“It means so much to us that our father’s work will hang in your beautiful space in Oak Park where he lived and worked for that last years of his life,” Katharine G. Loving and Julia M. Loving told us.

In February, the pieces were professionally framed and installed by Artifact Services.

Incitation (2006) by Richard Loving

View these & more during Main Library open hours

Another painting by Loving, Incitation (2006), hangs on the north wall of the Main Library’s third floor.

In a 2009 statement on his website, Loving argues that viewing “two-dimensional images in internet, print and video” has obscured and reduced the impact of paintings.

“To physically view the surfaces of paintings helps address the sense of detachment that is a pathology of modern life,” he writes.

We’ll echo the artist and encourage you to come into the library and view these paintings in person for yourself, during Main Library open hours.

Main Library Art Gallery
Main Library Art Gallery

Art Gallery & Maze Branch welcome back local artists

After a pandemic hiatus, the library will once again display exhibits by local artists this spring.

Artists of all backgrounds and mediums are invited to submit a proposal to exhibit their work in a library space designed to showcase wall mount paintings, photographs, and two-dimensional art.

Library Specialist Joel Javier, who serves on the committee that reviews exhibit proposals, says the process is guided by the library’s commitment to equity and anti-racism

“Art exhibit proposals will now be reviewed and chosen by an exhibit committee composed of a diverse group of library staff representing all departments and various occupations,” he says. “By having an exhibit committee, many of whom do not have trained art backgrounds, there is a more conscious effort to align with community wide aspirations of diversity, equity, inclusion, literacy and education.”

March is Youth Art Month

March is Youth Art Month, and we’re delighted to welcome back a display from all eight Oak Park Elementary School District schools, representing kids in grades K-5.

Come check it out in the Main Library Lobby Community Space all month.

Youth Art Month display now in the Main Library Community Space