After Hours: Creative Pursuits of Stanford University Libraries Staff

Creative people are everywhere, including in the library, as demonstrated by the exhibit “After Hours: Creative Pursuits of Stanford University Libraries Staff,” on display in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda of Stanford’s Green Library from June 26 through August 27, 2014. 

The exhibit features almost fifty works of art and artisanship created by more than thirty staff from all corners of the organization, in media as widely varied as the job titles of their creators. In addition to traditional fine art techniques of drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography, the show includes mixed media sculpture, stone carving, ceramics, collage, textiles, costuming, and creative writing. Each artist contributed a brief statement about the how and why of their creative process to accompany their work in the show.

Among the works on display are charcoal-on-paper gesture studies by Ray Heigemeir, (Public Services Librarian, Music Library), aquatint etchings by Sarah Newton (Conservation Assistant, Preservation Department), wet plate collodion photographic prints by Richard Webber (Associate Director, Enterprise Systems and Programming), a pair of quilts abstracted from a photograph of a Mountain View alley by Amy Hodge (Science Data Librarian, Branner Earth Sciences Library), and a roman capital alphabet, hand drawn and V-cut from limestone using a mallet and chisel by David Brock (Conservator, Conservation & Preservation).

Map Cow This Is, a large-scale watercolor painting on plywood by Everardo Rodriguez (Library Specialist, Latin American Collections), superimposes a map of the United States on the image of a calf and uses a play on the words “mad cow disease” to comment on the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq during the War on Terror. Safety Zone, a fleet of painted model ships by Angela Tsai (Technical Administrative Assistant, Library Director’s Office), employs the metaphor of dazzle camouflage to explore and convey issues of racial and cultural assimilation.

Repurposed materials are the stuff of several pieces in the exhibition, including Pozitizer 3, a mixed media sculpture by Bruce Lundquist (Senior Designer, Stanford University Press), which he says “arose out of a box of odd pieces of hardware, a conversation with an eccentric rock hound about the powers of various stones, and an affinity for stacking things.” Altered books figure in collages by Justine Withers (Data Control Specialist, Technical Services), and in the diorama Mask of the Red Death—an homage to the Edgar Allan Poe story—by Laszlo Jakusovszky (Operations Manager for Media and Microtext). Junk Jewelry Box & Brooch by Becky Fischbach (Exhibits Designer, Special Collections)is assembled from salvaged copper sheeting, weathered bottle caps, and plastic mesh.

Computer graphics come into play in “Custom Orthotics Changed My Life,” a work of slideshow fiction in the form of a short movie produced using Keynote and QuickTime by Rich Holeton (Director, Academic Computing Services).