ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University has again drawn itself into summer reading programs at public libraries across the Twin Tiers.
And taking a cue from this year’s program theme, “Dream Big,” the Quick Center has nearly doubled the number of library stops scheduled by the ArtMobile and its driver/educator Miranda Earley, museum educator at The Quick Center.
“We’ll visit 17 libraries this summer, which is up from about 10 or 11 stops last year,” said Earley. “We’re all over the place – five counties in two states, from Jamestown to Alfred to Port Allegany.”
This is the fourth year that The Quick Center has been invited by local libraries to inject a dose of art into the unified, themed summer reading program held by public libraries across the country.
Earley will load up the ArtMobile with supplies and make two trips to each of the 17 participating libraries. Each hour-long visit will present a lesson and activity aligned with the “Dream Big” theme of the summer reading program.
In Session I, participants will view prints of artwork created by the late Marc Chagall, a Russian artist known for his dreamlike paintings that reflect his favorite childhood memories. Participants will then use a variety of materials to create their own dreamlike mobiles.
In Session II, participants will view photos from The Quick Center’s Native American collection and explore the history of the dream catcher, an object consisting of a web woven around a circular or tear-shaped frame. Hung over the bed of sleeping children, it is said to “catch” bad dreams while letting good dreams through. Participants will build their own dream catcher from materials found in the home.
Earley will be assisted by two students: Patrick Alfonso from Tampa, Fla., a senior at St. Bonaventure majoring in finance and philosophy; and Brooke Skroback, who will be a senior next year at Portville Central School. A budding photographer, Skroback will keep a visual journal of the summer sessions.
Each library hosting the ArtMobile will announce the dates for those visits, the age range of the intended audience, and the procedure for signing up. Those interested are encouraged to contact their library for details.
There is no cost to participants, thanks to support from The Ink Well, an art supply, design, instruction and framing center in Allegany.
“This is really a nice opportunity,” said Earley. “We supply all the materials; all the participants have to do is show up.”
And show up they do, said Tom Sharbaugh, director of Salamanca Public Library. “Our youngsters look forward to the ArtMobile visits each year. The Quick Center does a fantastic job and the kids just love it,” he said.
Evelyn Sabina, curator of education at The Quick Center, said she looks forward each year to expanding the reach of St. Bonaventure’s arts center. “Not everybody can get to this incredible resource, so this allows us to bring The Quick Center to them,” she said. “We’re excited that so many libraries in our area appreciate the connections between literature and art. And we’re also grateful to The Ink Well for sponsoring this summer’s program.”
Participating libraries in New York include those in Alfred, Allegany, Belfast, Canaseraga, Cuba, Ellicottville, Franklinville, Jamestown, Olean, Portville, Randolph, Salamanca, Scio and Whitesville. Participating Pennsylvania libraries include those in Coudersport, Duke Center and Port Allegany.
St. Bonaventure’s Artmobile was purchased and equipped with a $50,000 grant secured in 2009 with the assistance of Sen. Catharine Young of Olean.
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