WESTERVILLE — A unique collection of international art in the Courtright Memorial Library at Otterbein University gives a new purpose to old catalog cards that have been sitting in storage or are being used as pieces of scrap paper.
Otterbein librarian Allen Reichert began a new hobby in 2014 by trading these unused catalog cards with artists around the world, asking them to create a work of art on that card.
“The cards were being used as scrap paper and with these being an important part of history for libraries, this seemed like a fun project to be able to repurpose them,” said Reichert.
Reichert sent cards to approximately 100 different artists and an estimated total of 120 to 130 cards were returned; many artists enjoyed the experience and created multiple cards. Most of the swaps were made with artists within the United States, however a few were made with artists from Finland, Australia and the United Kingdom, making this an international project.
The only requirement given to the artists was that the old library catalog card must remain visible in some way underneath the artwork. A majority of the artists tried to match their art to the subject material the card represented.
Reichert wanted to ensure that the cards he chose to send to these artists had a visual quality to them so they would be easier to work with.
“I didn’t want to limit someone’s art but I did like to give a few people a challenge here and there with the card that I chose for them to interpret,” said Reichert.
Artist trading cards are a fun and easy way to approach art — there is no money involved and artists have the opportunity to be creative with it. Reichert wants people to know that even those who don’t think they are good artists can do it.
These trades that he completed were within an open community and sent to artists who wanted to experiment with their craft. Now, what started off as just a hobby for Reichert has turned into a unique collection for people to see at the Courtright Memorial Library.
Courtright Memorial Library is located at 138 W. Main St., Westerville. Hours vary and can be found online at www.otterbein.edu/library.
Otterbein University is a private university nationally recognized for its intentional blending of liberal arts and professional studies through its renowned Integrative Studies curriculum and its commitments to experiential learning and community engagement. Its picturesque campus is perfectly situated in Westerville, Ohio, America’s fifth friendliest town (Forbes), just minutes from Columbus, the 14th largest city in the country. To learn more about Otterbein, visit www.otterbein.edu.
Otterbein announces 2019-2020 galleries
Otterbein University’s art galleries feature world-class art thanks to the support of grants like a recent $15,000 grant from National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
Acting Chairman of the NEA Mary Anne Carter said, “Organizations such as Otterbein are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired.”
The grant supports the exhibition, Patti Warashina: Conversations in Clay. The NEA grant is the fourth Otterbein has received in recent years, according to Director of Museum and Galleries Janice Glowski.
See all exhibits for the 2019-2020 academic year below:
• Otterbein and the Arts: Opening Doors to the World (Fall 2019) Japan *Featuring Japanese/Japanese-American Ceramics in all exhibition spaces. Plus: A Public Ceramic Symposium II with Kaneko & Warashina, will take place Oct. 25-27, 2019, at The Point at Otterbein (60 Collegeview Road, Westerville) and in the three exhibition spaces. See otterbeingceramics.org for details.
• Jun Kaneko: Dot in Space (Aug. 28-Dec. 6, 2019) Frank Museum of Art, 39 S. Vine Street, Westerville. Museum hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Reception: Friday, October 25, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
• Patti Warashina: Conversations in Clay (Aug. 26-Dec. 6, 2019) Miller Gallery, 33 Collegeview Road, Westerville. Gallery hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Reception: Friday, Oct. 25, 8:30-9:30 p.m., following her keynote address at the Ceramic Symposium II.
• Aikio Takamori: The Passenger (Aug. 26-Dec. 6, 2019) James Harris, Curator. Fisher Gallery, Roush Hall, 27 S. Grove Street, Westerville. Gallery hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Reception: Saturday, Oct.r 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
• Otterbein and the Arts: Opening Doors to the World (Spring 2020) Nepal An Unquiet Mind Youdhisthir Maharjan (Jan. 15-April 23, 2020) Frank Museum of Art, 39 S. Vine Street, Westerville. Museum hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Reception: TBA.
• Interwoven Anita Maharjan (Jan. 13-May 3, 2020) Fisher Gallery, Roush Hall, 27 S. Grove Street, Westerville. Gallery hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Reception: TBA.
• Provocateur Jim Bowling (Sabbatical Exhibition) (Jan. 13-Feb. 14, 2020) Miller Gallery, 33 Collegeview Road, Westerville. Gallery hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Reception: TBD.