Tiny Libraries Project To Enliven State Street

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Source: Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture

The Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture (www.sbac.ca.gov) is pleased to announce the “Tiny Libraries on State” project in partnership with the City of Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara Public Library, with additional funding support from Santa Barbara Beautiful, Downtown Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation. Artist Douglas Lochner has been commissioned to produce six brightly-colored, dynamic and functional public art “libraries” shaped as life-sized punctuation marks on the State Street Corridor from mid-August through mid-October 2019.

The Santa Barbara Public Library will stock the Tiny Libraries with books and contribute corresponding pop-up programming on State Street, including poetry readings, book recommendations, storytimes, and more! The books in the libraries will be free to the public to keep or borrow. The community may also leave books in the libraries to donate to other readers.

Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo shared, “These libraries will create the opportunity for people to read for pleasure. How wonderful it will be to lose yourself in a novel or pick up a book because the title or subject sparked your curiosity. I tell the students I mentor that to be a good writer, you must be a good reader. This project will connect us to information, to stories, to ourselves.”

Additional programmatic partners, including the Santa Barbara Education Foundation, will utilize the project to promote youth literacy. Artist Simon Kiefer will host pop-up interactive typewriter events and the Print Power Collective will hold print demonstrations.

Lochner, whose work has been exhibited along the Central Coast, will receive a stipend of $10,000. Lochner is known locally for his Wings of Honorproject, which is slated to debut at the Santa Barbara Airport in 2020.

Lochner’s proposal was chosen through an open submission process juried by representatives from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara; University of California, Santa Barbara; Arts Commission; Santa Barbara Public Library; Santa Barbara City College; Moxi; City Arts Advisory Committee; and The Book Den. Artists living or working in Santa Barbara, Ventura, or San Luis Obispo counties were eligible to apply for the commission.

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a-1563907668 Jul 23, 2019 11:47 AM
Tiny Libraries Project To Enliven State Street

I like this idea and it is a positive thing - but there are so many problems with State Street I don't think this will garner much appreciation. I refused to frequent downtown any longer. I've been harassed on too many occasions by the aggressive homeless that frequent the area. The amount of empty stores makes downtown look like it is in a depression. Too much alcohol drinking going on throughout the day and too many impaired drivers. It's just not fun anymore.

ZeroHawk Jul 23, 2019 12:38 PM
Tiny Libraries Project To Enliven State Street

i don't get it...so are we that lazy now that we can't just walk 1/2 block off of State to the actual library...so now we need mini versions on State?

monkeyboy Jul 23, 2019 01:24 PM
Tiny Libraries Project To Enliven State Street

It's interesting to contrast Murillo's pollyanna speeches with her petty actions on the Council. I'll take right minded action over flowery speech any day. BTW, these books are going straight into a bum's cart...without benches, no one is going to stop and read the Library's cast offs.

biguglystick Jul 24, 2019 10:54 AM
Tiny Libraries Project To Enliven State Street

Flicka, considering that there ARE NO benches on State st. anymore for us good citizens because the city took them all to deter homeless people from using them. A lose/lose for everyone. The cops cannot be bothered to move vagrants along away from benches on State st. so we ALL LOSE.

CloudsInSky Jul 24, 2019 08:26 AM
Tiny Libraries Project To Enliven State Street

“Little Free Libraries” already installed all over Santa Barbara in front of private residences have created an opportunity for people to exchange books with the community. I hope the tiny State street libraries are as successful!

nope Jul 24, 2019 08:29 AM
Tiny Libraries Project To Enliven State Street

Great idea but the brief from the City was - "We seek artwork that captures the spirit and ideals of Santa Barbara"
How on earth do a series of large punctuation marks fit that brief?
These could go in any city in any country, they say literally nothing about SB.
That said, the meager $10k offered by the City and the artist having to provide all materials and work space all but guaranteed this sort of response.

Ahchooo Jul 24, 2019 09:48 AM
Tiny Libraries Project To Enliven State Street

This a temporary installation like the other sculptures they periodically install on State. I'm not sure I like how these look, but books are always a good addition to any environment.

nope Jul 24, 2019 11:14 AM
Tiny Libraries Project To Enliven State Street

There's a real double standard in the way these organisations treat art vs. regular construction projects.
If the City had to construct ONE 6ft tall metal question mark they would burn through $10,000 before the plans were approved, it would be a prevailing wage job and all of the craftsman involved would get paid, but call it an art project and they expect the artist to buy materials, provide the labor and work space to make 6 of these things under $10k. Because the artist will benefit from the "exposure"! You would think an office of arts and culture would value artists work at least as much as that of any construction worker. Enough of these bogus "art" competitions that basically ask artists to work for free.

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