No. Not that kind of mount -- although it would be fun to watch (and no, not that other kind of mount either, which is totally inappropriate here) -- I'm talking about installing artwork.
Last week, while my parents visited us in Alaska, we loaded the commissioned painting that's been finished and sitting in my studio since June -- just waiting for flood/fire/riot/acts of god/small children screaming past on yoga balls to ruin it before I could get it installed -- and drove north from Anchorage about an hour to Wasilla.
The Wasilla Public Library's grand opening is at the end of the month. Librarians are stacking shelves, carpenters are finessing details and this was the last piece of public art to be installed. We chose to wait since it hangs in a higher traffic area and we didn't want it to accidentally get dinged by tool belts/new shelves/book carts/children screaming past on yoga balls.
My dad wouldn't let go of the top of the painting while we were rolling it in and sometimes it's clear where I get my everything-that-can-go-wrong-probably-will-go-wrong-all-hopped-up-on-worry-prickly-sweat personality. It was great to spend that hour in the truck with my parents, despite all of us feeling nervous about moving the piece, installing it and hoping everyone would be happy after we drove away. We had some good chuckles about all the unicorns I used to draw when I was the same age as my children are now. Thank you Mom and Dad for keeping me sane that morning.
Thank you architect husband and trusted finishing carpenter friend for hashing out the details on the design and execution of the maple frame and panel, which was created as a complete unit before the painting even began. I removed the mdf panel to do the work, then reinserted it when complete. A double row of French cleats holds the piece flush to the wall. The frame is super clean, all biscuit joined with a 1/4 " reveal around the work -- basically a custom piece of furniture that happens to have a unicorn painted on it. Painting, schmainting. This frame is freaking gorgeous.
"Lost in a Book" hangs at the entrance to the library's childrens' section. It echoes the birch forest that surrounds the building and the materials used inside. It looks like it was made to hang on that wall.
(Because it was).
Below are more images from the children's area (note the Narnia lightpost in the courtyard outside, just waiting for the first snowfall). The librarians are all smiles and you would be too if you got to come to work in a space like this.
Lucky, lucky folks in Wasilla who deserve a lovely library. I'm honored to be a part of it and looking forward to the grand opening.
The Ribbon Cutting and Open House is on Thursday, September 22 from 2 - 6:30 pm if you're in the area -- all are welcome! A shout out to Cornerstone (general contractors) and ECI (architects).
I'm about to start working on a big dragon. More on that below.
More posts about children's book illustration and other illustration:
More posts about public art:
Artist in Anchorage, Alaska, sometimes blogging about the collision of history, family & art, with the understanding that none exists without the other.