Beauty and Books 4

The Medina County District Library is composed of six libraries scattered throughout the county. Each library acts as a cultural hub to its hometown, but they also each honor a variety of unique artists.

Throughout the year, Brunswick, Buckeye, Highland, Lodi, and Medina Library host art shows in their designated gallery spaces. Though they feature artists for short periods in their shows, many more artists have found ways to leave a more permanent impact on the libraries.

“We believe that art and literature are both integral parts of culture,” says Senior Administrative Assistant Tammy Nabdrasy, who coordinates art shows at the Medina Library. “We strive to be a cultural center. We love to bring arts and people together.”

The local libraries have solidified their belief that art and literature go hand-in-hand in many ways. Not only do they have partnerships with the Medina County Art League and Medina County Arts Council, who both provide displays and art classes throughout the year, but they have also made each building into a richly-decorated monument that celebrates a perfect union between literature and art.

“The architecture of our buildings make for a lot of little surprises, as you cannot see everything at once,” says Theresa Laffey, Assistant Director of the Medina County District Library.

“I think we reinforce that with the artwork we have chosen to display throughout them—there is so much detail and intricacy in everything.”

When the libraries took on an expansion project in 2008, the staff decided to begin seeking an abundance of artwork to decorate the updated libraries.

“We were looking to have a variety of art forms represented throughout our buildings,” explains Laffey. “From metal sculptures to floor-to-ceiling paper cutout landscapes, we now have a little bit of everything in the district.”

Each library features a healthy mix of local and out-of-state artists that use beautiful and mind-blowing mediums to create unique art. Each piece of art adds to the overall personality of the library and reinforces a sense of community pride.

For example, the centerpiece of Medina Library is a breathtaking glass mosaic by Maryland-based artist Yulia Hanansen. The mosaic, named Chippewa Creek: Spring Continuum, is inspired by a picture depicting the familiar Chippewa Creek landscape. Husband Charles Basham and wife Julie Friedman, an artist duo based out of Medina, both have pieces in the library that immortalize local landscapes. Celebrated illustrator Dan Andreasen, also a Medina County native, has provided original illustrations to the libraries. Paintings by a local World War II-era artist, Franklin Bates, are also on display.

“There is a lot of talent in our community,” notes Nabdrasy. “The variety of skills I have encountered here blows my mind. I especially love seeing the work by local artists that show with us. It is so refreshing to always find something new and beautiful to look at.”

The artwork represented in the art shows and libraries range from kooky to sophisticated, and provide a variety of work that appeals to all ages and backgrounds.

“We love that we have the opportunity to bring people together in appreciation and celebration of both literature and art,” says Laffey.

Brunswick, Highland, and Medina Library will each have art shows on display this month. On September 17 and 18, the Medina Needlework Guild will host their 34th Annual Needle Art Show. Highland will feature Karen Martin through a partnership with Cliffside Artists Collaborative until September 30, and Medina Library will feature artist Lacey Huffman through September 25th. If you are interested in showing your art in future shows, contact Tammy Nandrasy at nandrasy@mcdl.info.