Borrowing Art, As You Would a Book, or, Walking Out the Doors With a Painting
When walking to the Science Fiction section for adults from the main doors of the Salem Library, I pass through a very specific hall.
I don’t spend too much time in front of that particular bookshelf; in the two weeks that a set of books is allowed to be taken out at one time, I read many more children’s books for Toby than I do adult books for myself. Thus, when passing back through that hall, I had only two books of short stories in my hands. One which I would later renew because I hadn’t even cracked it.
I have stopped in this hall before. There’s a beautiful set of tiny drawers in that hall that I inquired about during a previous trip to the library. I knew what card catalogs were before, and I knew how most of them worked, but this one had a bar through the cards. And most card catalog cabinets are empty now. Being a member of the curious sort, I pulled out a drawer and spent the rest of that particular trip learning about this specific card catalog from the librarians there.
But something else caught my eye while passing through that hall: a painting. I stood and admired, then sat down in front of it and ab
sorbed. I had wondered, before, why paintings were propped up in a sliding glass cabinet instead of properly hung on the wall, but was more intent on books. I had chalked it up to funny and outdated means of security. Maybe the glass doors were locked so as to prevent people from filching cool art from the walls and walking off with it.
I was so taken by this painting that I investigated. Boldly, like a thief testing the security of the thing she wants to steal. And, lo, the glass doors slid smoothly in their tracks. And I was startled. So I began walking up and down the hall, examining the walls. And sure enough, at the beginning of the hall, above a table and next to one of the painting cabinets, there was a smallish sign that explained a concept called Art on the Go.
Yes. Apparently, you can check out art from the library. And I did, with much glee.
Easy–pass back and forth across the check-out counter, along with my library card. They also loaned me a cool padded bag (handmade by Northwest Textile Center’s Cottage Industry) with which to carry it out. And I did, with a large grin.
NOTE: I was going to post a close-up of the image I was so taken with. But it’s original art that someone worked hard at creating, not a picture that anyone can potentially yank from this site and use however they want. So if you like it, visit the library and Enchanted Forest 167/250 can hang on your wall too. After I’m finished savoring it.