June 5, 2007

It’s going to be a colorful summer at Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) as four vibrant and varied exhibitions featuring vivid children’s book illustrations, avant-garde artists books and more open to the public on June 20. The following free exhibitions will be on display at BPL’s Central Library, located at Grand Army Plaza through Friday August 31, 2007.

My Brooklyn, in the Grand Lobby, features the works of the winners of an annual photography and essay contest that invited artists and writers of all ages to express the impact that Brooklyn has on their lives. Whether sharing a vision of Green-Wood Cemetery’s rolling hills of fall foliage or childhood memories of riding Coney Island’s historic icon The Cyclone, the images and words featured in My Brooklyn capture the borough’s essence. In addition to having the opportunity to display their work, winning contestants also won $500.00, $300.00 and $100.00 U.S. savings bonds. A panel of esteemed judges, including Daily News columnist Denis Hamill, selected the winning pieces based on creativity, originality and a true representation of Brooklyn’s spirit. “Few places in the world can compete with the diversity of Brooklyn, and this year’s My Brooklyn winners truly capture this great character and spirit,” says Dionne Mack-Harvin, Executive Director of Brooklyn Public Library. “For six years, the My Brooklyn Contest has brought together Brooklynites of all ages, from every neighborhood, to express what this extraordinary place means to them, and we are proud to continue to connect people in this way at BPL.”

Livable Streets in Brooklyn, in the Lobby Gallery, is a site-specific installation that shows alternative ways to make Brooklyn and New York City streets more pedestrian friendly. It is presented by the partner organizations of the NYC Streets Renaissance (NYCSR) Campaign—Transportation Alternatives, Project for Public Spaces and the Open Planning Project. The NYCSR started in 2005 to promote the transformation of New York City’s streets into quality public spaces for all to enjoy.

Book: Book, in the Second Floor Balcony Cases, displays artist’s books by Claire Rau shown with the sources that inspired their making, ranging from Viollet-Le-Duc’s Annals of a Fortress to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. These works openly demonstrate the processes of binding, box building and printmaking. Rau received her MFA from the University of North Carolina. She has displayed her work across the United States and in Italy. She recently completed a self-directed creative residency at The Banff Centre in California.

Reading Between the Lines, in the Youth Wing, is selected artwork from award-winning children’s book illustrator R. Gregory Christie. While some of his children’s books are endearing, others are a bit tougher in the spirit of preparing readers for the reality of the life ahead of them. Christie received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in media arts from New York City’s School of Visual Arts. He painted for The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children, a Coretta Scott King Award winner. He has also received two New York Times Certificates of Excellence for his work in Only Passing Through and Stars in the Darkness. He is currently a regular contributor to The New Yorker.

My Brooklyn is made possible through generous support from Con Edison of New York.

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