The public is cordially invited to a free program celebrating “The Book-Loving Dragon” and “Phenomenon” public art at Hennepin County Library – Maple Grove on Saturday, June 2, at 10:30 a.m. The library is located at 8001 Main St. N.
Hennepin County Library Director Lois Langer Thompson and Library Board President Jill Joseph will welcome visitors to the library and offer brief remarks.
“The Book-Loving Dragon” interior sculpture installed last year in the children’s area and the recently-installed “Phenomenon” outdoor sculpture were funded by Hennepin County’s One Percent for Art initiative.
Created by artists Darcy Ferrill and Shawn Trentlage, “The Book-Loving Dragon” is an abstract sculpture suspended from the ceiling and composed of colored glass, acrylic, and brushed aluminum.
“We chose to create a character who loved books and knowledge…a character that would delight and be memorable to the young readers as well as all visitors to the library,” the artists wrote in their proposal to the Art Selection Committee. “It was our goal to invent a playful and lighthearted piece that spoke about imagination and the magic of books and learning.” Dragons, they added, typically are intelligent creatures that possess magical powers.
Senior librarian Kathryn Zimmerman says the sculpture’s vivid colors compliment the library’s interior and the sculpture “seems to float above the children’s collection and give the area a focal point.”
“Phenomenon” is a 22½-foot tall sculpture composed of welded stainless steel rods and glass rocks.
When artist Janet Lofquist submitted her art proposal to the Art Selection Committee, she wrote that she “wanted to draw on the ephemeral qualities of nature as a visual metaphor for the creative process and the alchemy of ideas and images within the context of the library.” She noted that the sculpture may remind library patrons of rushing water “as a metaphor for the flow of knowledge…a gust of wind scattering the essence of an idea…or a comet as a fleeting moment of light.”
“Light conditions and seasonal change will add to the visual dynamics of the sculpture, with snowfall enhancing its textural qualities,” she added.
Zimmerman agrees. “The outdoor sculpture has a natural look – it blends into the surrounding green space and has an organic look. It is so large, and when the sun hits it, you can see the glass rocks [between the sculpture’s rods]. The sculpture is stationary, but it seems to have a lot of movement.”
Hennepin County recognizes that public art inspires citizens and contributes to civic pride. To further the acquisition of public art in Hennepin County Library building projects of $1 million or more, one percent of the project costs (cost of the library, only; does not include associated projects such as a parking ramp) will be dedicated to the selection, purchase and installation of works of art.