Salt Lake libraries celebrate Black History Month with exhibits, events

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    By SUZANNE BONNER

    The Salt Lake Public Library System has planned a number of exhibits and events for the month of February. In celebration of Black History Month, from Feb. 1 through June 5, the Chapman Branch, 577 S. 900 West, will be hosting “African Art: For Purpose and Pleasure.”

    This exhibit displays works from the country of Zaire, and includes everyday items and decorative objects. Works are on loan from the Permanant Collection of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

    “(This exhibit) extends celebration beyond what wonderful things people have done in America to the wonderful things people have brought from their past,” said Lori Arnall, Chapman Branch librarian and director of the exhibit.

    Art displayed in the exhibit include such items as mugs and jewelry. Musical instruments such as rattles, flutes and drums are also on display, as well as a collection of currency, such as anklets and bracelets, said Heather Riggs, resource and museum coordinator.

    “I think this is all very interesting. I like the fact that these are utilitarian objects. It’s nice to see another cultural interpretation of these objects,” said Loren Triolo, library assistant at Chapman Branch.

    On Feb. 2, the Chapman Branch and Day-Riverside Branch will be hosting “African Heritage: Music, Stories and Art.” This program will feature storytelling by Joan Nabors and music by the Northwest Middle School Choir, as well as a display of arts and crafts.

    “There are many different ways we can celebrate the background of African-Americans in this country. We can draw from this heritage through things like artworks and music,” Arnall said.

    “African Heritage: Music, Stories and Art” will take place at 6 p.m. at the Chapman Branch and 7 p.m. at the Day-Riverside Branch. The Day-Riverside Branch is located at 1575 W. 1000 North.

    Riggs hopes everyone will become involved in these events in some manner.

    “We’re trying to reach a community we normally don’t reach,” Riggs said.

    Another event the Salt Lake City Public Library System will be hosting is “Assemblages: Recent Works by Dorothee Martens,” which will run from Feb. 1 through March 13 in the Sweet Branch, 455 F Street.

    Martens focuses on architectural design using materials such as cement and often discarded items.

    “I think her work is very original and whimsical. It’s interesting to see how she combined these use of elements. (Martens) has a real keen sense of style and direction,” said Jody Plant, curator of the exhibit.

    From Feb. 6 through March 18, “Landscapes by Patricia Fishler” will be hosted by the Anderson-Foothill Branch, 1135 S. 2100 East.

    Fishler graduated in 1944 from the University of Utah and has continued studying art both on her own and through classes.

    For more information regarding any of these events or exhibits, contact the Salt Lake City Public Library System at 801-524-8200.

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