In the spirit of Community Supported Art I donate much of my time and resources to local and regional art projects.
Roger Goldenberg, a Portsmouth artist, known for his jazz-inspired, highly textured abstract work, curated the first display in the the Artist Curated Book Display series at the Portsmouth Public Library in Portsmouth, NH. The display went up in February 2012.
For the ACBD, the Portsmouth Public Library invites an artist from the community to create a display of ten items that inspire them from the library collections. Alongside the display the artist showcases an example of their work.
Goldenberg dedicated two weeks and many hours preceding this period to devise his approach to this new, unfunded Portsmouth Public Library program. Goldenberg remembers that it was Halloween night when he was approached by a costumed librarian as he was about to sign out some books. “Nice costume,” he remarked, “Thanks for dressing up.” The librarian smirked, and said, “Do books inspire your art?” Goldenberg was taken aback, first, that anyone really new who he was, and second, that was a weighty question. Fumbling for a reply, the librarian ( Jenn Moore) cut in, “You don’t have to say ‘yes’ just because I’m a librarian!” Well that was the beginning of Roger formulating not just his answer answer, but the start to his mulling over how to approach his display.
“Really?” he repeatedly asked over the weeks ahead, “Only ten items?” What a challenge to pare down all of the offerings in the library to just ten pieces that inspire this artist somehow. So for three months or so Roger pondered the library challenge. Two weeks before the February deadline, Roger began to explore “officially” the library’s wares. Goldenberg put in at least 80 hours of collecting, preparing and decorating his 2 1/2 foot x 4 foot display case. He decided to photograph the spines of about a hundred books that were dearest to him, ones that he culled from the many hundreds that he’s read throughout his lifetime, and use these to decorate the outside and inside of the display case. This forced the viewers to peer into the case from above to discover the 10 precious books the meant so much to him. Goldenberg chuckles, as he recalls, “Photographing the books was my way of skirting the rule restricting the artist to 10 books. How could I possibly abide by that!”
Below are some snapshots of the finished display and a couple of Roger’s paintings that were invited to be part of the overall display.
Goldenberg sites this project as one example of his pro bono work that he hopes will inspire appreciative folks to click his Please Donate Now button and help support his future projects such as this worthy one.
For more information about the program or for a media preview, please contact:
Portsmouth Public Library
Library Assistant -Technical Services