Inspire, Discover, Connect. These three words—writ large across the library's homepage—encapsulate NYPL's mission statement and embody the synergistic relationship that NYPL has with its communities and the patrons who reside there.
Self taught artist Harriet Bailer, is one such patron who exemplifies this relationship. An exhibit of her artwork entitled Fiber & Photographs will be on display at the George Bruce Branch through August 21, 2010.
Back in the fall of 1973, Harriet learned how to create fiber coiled baskets—in particular the designs used by the Native American Indians. As she created more and more of these baskets—she thought that they might look grand on display at her local branch—the Washington Heights Library. She approached the librarian there at the time with her idea. An exhibit was planned—and it was successful. The exhibit was even covered by a local paper. Harriet was Inspired by her initial success and she had Connected with an outlet for her craft. As she says: "My trail of exhibiting at the libraries had begun."
She soon found that by introducing her collection of artwork to other libraries, she Discovered new works in the making. "What a gift to an artist" she states. She later broadened her artwork to include fabrics, photographs and fibers, creating a rich mixed-media style.
Since that initial exhibit Harriet has shown her work at several NYPL branches including: the Fort Washington Branch, the Hamilton Grange Branch, the Harlem Branch, the Kingsbridge Branch and now the George Bruce Branch. That synergistic relationship established so many years ago has enlivened many of our library spaces over the years—and has enriched the artistic life of one of our patrons.
Come and view Harriet's work. Who knows—maybe it's your turn to get Inspired, Discover and Connect at the New York Public Library and help us continue to achieve our mission: "To inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge and strengthen our communities."
See you at the branch.