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Life at the Library

Posted on: November 5, 2020

Creative connections: Art and books we want to re-read

Creativity in the arts opens doors to a different world outlook. We seek other’s ideas, especially at a time when we are focused inward due to COVID-19. Amy Zeuli, Andrea Garvey, and Sylvia Roman tell us what books they were inspired to read or re-read after viewing the NorthStar Watermedia Society National Juried Exhibition at Wildwood Library.

The NorthStar Watermedia Society’s National Juried Exhibition will be up at Wildwood Library in Mahtomedi through November 13. We hope you have a chance to stop by Wildwood Library before than and get inspired by all the creative arts have to offer!

woman holding a book called "Amy's Bread"Amy Zeuli, librarian at Wildwood Library in Mahtomedi

One painting that instantly struck me as my theme for 2020 was America’s Covid Kitchen by Elizabeth A. Oppenheimer. The book Amy’s Bread by Amy Scherber and Toy Kim Dupree is one of many bread baking books that inspired me to dust off my Kitchen Aid and tackle that sourdough starter. Even though I usually wind up with more flops than successes, there is something therapeutic about baking bread from scratch to remind us that the simple things in life do bring joy and meaning to us. We all need that in this COVID era.

Andrea Garvey, NorthStar Watermedia Society

The painting Kettle River immediately said fall in northern Minnesota to me. Nels Femrite has captured the brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows of the changing leaves. It reminded me of a book I read last year, Dead Man’s Mistress by David Housewright. The story is set in Grand Marais, Minnesota and is about three stolen paintings. Housewright, a Minnesota writer, describes a drive up the North Shore that many Minnesotans are familiar with.  

The painting and the book have a sense of place. Enjoying the beauty of the changing leaves and driving up north are common experiences for many Minnesotans. And the book is a fun murder mystery set up north with lots of twists and turns. I really liked the painting—so much more real than a photograph of trees. And I re-read the book. It’s a great one if you like murder mysteries set in Minnesota.

Sylvia Roman, NorthStar Watermedia Society

Robert Wardle's painting Butterfly Kisses, of two skeletons surrounded by a dancing field of butterflies, brought to mind one book in particular for me. The symbolic butterflies and skeletons remind me of Alan Lightman’s Einstein’s Dreams. Einstein’s Dreams is a delightful read on how we think about time and reality. Our dreams are compelling because they fit in with our deepest thoughts and imaginings. Lightman suggests that out of many possible natures of time, only one of our dreams can be compelling. Not that the others are impossible. They just might exist in another world. 

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