This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, August 27, 1997

August 27, 1997 - Circle Game - Art and DPLD

It was altogether fitting that on the day the library celebrated its 30th anniversary (last Saturday), I had the opportunity to meet with Jay Mead. Jay's mother was the woman I consider the mother of our libraries -- Genevieve (Nicky) Mead. Jay and his wife Carol had brought with them one Joyce Newman.

Ms. Newman, an artist who now lives in Pasadena, California, was a good friend of Nicky's. Ms. Newman is also the artist of the ceramic sculpture that lives outside the southeast corner of the Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock. Called "The Circle Game," this piece was made in 1970, and paid for by Lee Stubblefield, the dashing developer of Perry Park (who since dashed off, I'm told, just ahead of some broken promises).

I've lived around "The Circle Game" some 7 years now, and have had the pleasure of watching both of my children discover it. The art piece works on several levels. One level is much like the Joni Mitchell song after which it is named: it's an abstraction of people holding hands and dancing in a circle. To my kids it's "the castle." To me, it's a red rock formation, a kind of miniature cliff dwelling.

As someone with no artistic ability whatsoever, I am awed by the ability of artists to do things like this: to create masses of clay that conjure up whole universes of feeling.

Ms. Newman told me that she had just completed a model of the Circle Game when Nicky told her, "That's just what we need! May I take this to a library meeting tonight?" The Circle Game wound up at the dedication of the first Castle Rock Library on Gilbert Street.

The Circle Game is not the only piece of art to find its way into our libraries. Our Parker Library has a ceiling mural over the children's room, and whimsical paintings in the children's storytelling room. It also has ever-changing displays of the work of local artists. Our Highlands Ranch Library has a mural on the wall separating the children's room at the community meeting room. The Philip S. Miller Library has a mural by local high school students in its children's area. Recently, our Louviers Library was presented with a beautiful drawing of the library itself. All of our libraries, at various points of the year, display the creative work of local children.

But the Circle Game was surely the first piece of art to join us.

After Nicky Mead's death, the library established a memorial fund. At this point, it's worth roughly $1,000. The library also has a Foundation, and a bequest from Philip S. Miller. Over the past several months, we have been talking with the Meads to find an appropriate memorial to the woman whose vision and energy called our library forth.

Here's what we've come up with. Ms. Newman is intrigued by the notion of making a companion piece to the Circle Game. The Meads are particularly interested in some kind of fountain. (Library focus groups consistently tell us that one of the things they would like to hear in our libraries is the sound of running water.)

We expect to be doing some work on the Philip S. Miller Library in a year or so anyhow. We'll try to coordinate Ms. Newman's work - both old and new - into the design. Somehow I know that Nicky and Phil Miller (he's the father of our library) would have liked that.

To participate in this project, please address your checks to the Genevieve Mead Memorial Fund, care of the Douglas Public Library Foundation, 961 S Plum Creek Blvd, Castle Rock CO 80104.

No comments:

Post a Comment