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March 19, 1992 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-19

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The Michigan Daily-Weekend etc.-March 19,1992- Page 3

A2 Library's renovation
Check out library's new attractions
by Joseph Smith

long overdue


i p
° -G 1

D oes the hush-
hush atmosphere
of the Grad cramp
your style? Never
quite been able to
scam into the law

Are you tired of attempting to study
at the UGLi, only to wind up hearing
about Buffy's last fantastic date with
Biff? Well, now you can avoid
happy hour at the UGLi and all your
other study-time pet peeves by
hanging out at the newly-remodeled
Ann Arbor public library.
The Ann Arbor library's main
branch is just four short blocks from
the Diag, and has recently undergone
major reconstruction, which began
in 1988. The remodeling project al-
most doubled the library's size. And,
it only cost 9.75 million dollars ...
"The remodeling was desper-
ately needed. We needed more
space. There wasn't room to place
the books, and there wasn't even
enough room for people to sit. Pa-
trons were sitting on the floor," said

Assistant Director Kathleen Daly.
For most, it was the McDonald's
of libraries - get your books on the
fly. "Before the remodeling, I didn't
really stay (in the library) to browse
through books. I would just come
here, get the books, and then go
home to read them. Since they've
fixed up this place, I spend a lot of
time here reading," said Ann Arbor
resident John Morris.
Now, the library is practically a
vacation spot.. People are spending
entire afternoons lounging in the
spacious new reading areas. (No
worry about cramped legs here.) A
complete tour of the addition is a
recommended for those of you who
haven't been frequenting the place.
First, make sure you take in the new
fiction and current magazines in the
roomy foyer complete with sky-
lights. Then, it's up to the second
floor for research on your latest
paper. Don't forget to notice the
small art displays tucked into nooks
and corners.
If you can't find your info on the
shelves, the librarians will tap your

request into a computer at the Star
Trek-like control panel of a refer-
ence desk. Forget the lines and in-
competence of the grad, but alas,
you can't pen nasty graffiti in the
Public's stacks.
Though the tapes, CDs, albums
and videos in the new audio-visual
room may not be well-organized,
they're much more spread out.
Not only is the new design
functional, it also gave the structure
a complete facelift. Library patron
Bill Smith said, "It seems like its
bigger and brighter in here. I don't
know if they have more books or
not, but they sure have more places
to put the books since they've fixed
up the building."
The building's new style sur-
passes its former brick blockiness,
exuding an aura of sophistication
and comfort. It now features a
newly-expanded art exhibit in the
basement which is rotated monthly.
Beginning in April it will include
several displays straight from the
Smithsonian itself. In upcoming
months, featured exhibits will in-
clude work by Mexican artists and
an examination of American Greek
revival architecture.
For people less interested in artsy
attractions, the library's new micro-
computing center may be of interest.
It's open to the public and (listen up
penny-pinchers) free of charge. But,
don't expect to use this as an escape
from the endless wait for a computer
at Angell Hall. The library's "com-
puting center" boasts three (count
them) computers - including two
Macintosh LCs and one IBM PC.
Though few in number, the li-
brary offers several computer pro-
grams attractive to graduating
University students. A College
Search program helps students
bound for graduate school find an
ideal institution. The program
includes 600 options, including cost,
location, and size and profiles more
than 2000 different colleges.
So if you're bored with your
usual study haunts, check out Ann
Arbor's multi-million dollar mecca.
"It's like it is a totally new library.
Everything is changed. I don't come
in very often, but each time I do, I'm
amazed with the changes that have
gone on in this building" said library
patron Robert Wilson.

A spring sky is reflected in the mirrored windows on the exterior of Ann Arbor Public Library's latest renovation
U 'Art Professors broaden audience

by Amy Meng

0 -

A n art show
doesn't have to be
crowded by stuffy,
snooty gallery go-
ers. Mixed-Media
Constructions, an
exhibition of art

work by two University Art and
Architecture professors, comfortably
fills the Ann Arbor Library's base-
ment multipurpose room without a
hint of pretention. The newly reno-
vated area allows the artwork to
breathe openly in a relaxed atmo-
Carol Ann Carter, Assistant
Professor at the School of Art
shares the exhibit with Associate
Professor of Architecture and Urban
Planning Sharon Sutton. A common
theme runs through both artists'
work. Each artist conveys an Afri-
can-American cultural heritage
through images and references to
womanhood and daily universal ex-
periences. Their styles and interpre-
tation, however, are quite different
from one another.
Carter explores the essence of
materiality in her artwork. She com-

bines both mundane and exotic raw
materials such as silk, metallic
thread, beads, canvas, horse hair,
paint, pigment, buttons and wood.
Carter integrates these materials in a
way that identifies the disparities be-
tween cultural traditions.
Each piece is rich in texture and
surface quality. Though the objects
may seem arbitrarily placed, all of
the materials mesh coherently. The
details are carefully rendered, creat-
ing pieces that contain concentrated
amounts of energy and harmony.
Apron with Front Pocket and
Crutch reflects Carter's fascination
with diametrically opposed concepts
such as elegance/ugliness, male/fe-
male, reveal/conceal and tradition-
al/non-traditional. The front pocket,
colored in bright red, opens up to
reveal layers of cloth underneath -
a symbol of woman as a womb or as
the bearer of burdens and respon-
sibilites. A decorated wooden stick,
the 'crutch', may represent support.
Outside, another piece, displays a
figure symbolizing a woman step-
ping outside her consciousness. The
figure seems to live in a lush mist of
thought and emotion.

Sutton emphasizes her own in-
digineous culture but in a more ge-
ometric, patterned style than Carter.
Sutton constructs the extraordinary
from the ordinary. Fascinated with
the interrelatedness of individual and
collective consciousness, Sutton of-
ten utilizes these psychological as-
pects in her work
Sutton's work is mostly two-di-
mensional and has a peaceful,
graphic quality. She works effec-
tively with geometric form and
grids, giving it an overall linear,
spacial composition. A Family of
Friends, I, a hand-colored lacquered
etching in Collagen also involves
culture and women's issues. It is a
series of five prints depicting a pat-
tern of symbols printed in repetition
in sea blues and mustard yellows.
An image of a sculptured African
woman with sharp, distinguished
features is juxtaposed within the
hand-painted background.
will be on display until March 31 at
the Ann Arbor Public Library during
regular library hours. Call 994-
8513 for further information.

Sun filters from a skylight into a stairwell in the library's new addition.

i --


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