Everybody is an artist in the eyes of Richland Library

By Kinsley Thurston, South Pointe HS (Rock Hill, South Carolina)


The Richland Library’s main branch on Assembly St. plans to create a mural using bookmarks covered in doodles from members of the community. The plan is to use bookmarks submitted from the community along with bookmarks submitted from the project director and Richland Libraries resident artist, Marius Valdes. Valdes was the main curator for the idea of the mural; however, the mural was originally meant to be created by only him, but now it includes community submissions.

Valdes got the idea from his solo exhibit at the University of Miami. He says that he loves to create and share his art so he had done quick doodles on business card sizes of paper and handed them out to people as they left the exhibition. “What I found in doing that was that I really liked making these little small drawings and liked making them quickly,” Valdes said. He enjoyed the spontaneity of the creating these doodles and not being pressured to create a huge masterpiece.

After coming back from the University of Miami, Valdes was approached and asked to put together a proposal for the library. His main goal was finding something that would make sense with the library. Valdes wanted to show the way that Richland Library was still a traditional library in the fact that community members can still check out books from the library, but it has modernized in all of the renovations and new resources and opportunities provided.

Richland Library KT

Valdes then started to think about bookmarks. “On one hand you have a bookmark that you can stick on the inside of a book to hold your place but on the other hand you have the option to bookmark things on a computer to also hold your place,” Valdes said.

Place holding is where the elements of doodle and bookmark come together. Valdes took his enjoyment for the quick easy doodles and realized that a bookmark is similar to the business cards that he handed out at his solo exhibit in Miami. He wanted to be able to gather around 5000 bookmarks and doodle. Afterwards, the plan was to tile them together to create the mural. As he started on the project he realized the amount of doodles he needed far exceeded what he had originally envisioned. He decided why not ask the community to doodle them rather than simply having doodles of people and things in the community.

Valdes is an associate professor with the University of South Carolina and teaches studio art with the school of Visual Art and Design. Valdes started to email teachers and mention the bookmarks to students that he taught at the USC. After getting some good feedback and interest from people who wanted to submit doodles, he created a brand kit for the doodles by designing and printing boxes and creating kits.

Valdes says that once he gathers all of the bookmarks, it will take about two to three weeks of scanning the bookmarks into the computer. He also plans to create vector bookmarks on the computer to show the difference between the old school and the new school. The mural is expected to be done by the end of the summer.

[Check out posts on the CJI Library group’s Instagram account.]



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