Stanford L. Warren Branch Library is home to a collection of modern and contemporary art that offers visitors inspiration and enjoyment. Featured artists include Vernon Pratt, Lamar Whidbee, John Hiigli, and others. The collection is curated by Adult Services Librarian Carter Cue, who explains its goals:
At its core, art is a witness to, and an expression of, time, place, society, beauty, and human emotion. While the artist may be cognizant of the intent of the portrayed image, the artist is equally mindful of the fact that the viewer’s experience, perspectives, and biases shape their individual interpretation and engagement with any work of art.
In today’s technologically advanced, fast-paced, and ever-changing world, many people have become bereft of the creative and exploratory zeal that is the hallmark of children, scientists, and inventors. For much of the 21st century, museums and art galleries have served as catalysts (at least in the Western world) for humans to reflect upon nature and ponder their existence on planet earth. For others, museums, galleries, and art making have been the perfect way to understand design, color, the creative impulse, and human intelligence.
There are more libraries than museums in the United States and the world, with each having its own value and purpose. Why does there seem to be a greater awareness and acknowledgment of literature and books than of visual art? It is true that one can read about art; however, visual art is of greater value when it can be viewed, or in the case of sculpture, touched. The answer to the question of “arts awareness” might be predicated on acculturation, education, class, experiences, or general interests that preclude many from enjoying art or visiting a museum or art gallery.
The art placed at Stanford L. Warren Library seeks to address this conundrum. To allow those persons who might not experience art or a museum/art gallery in the formal sense to also be equally inspired, informed, and educated by the power of visual art.