We (white people) should all be reading more Black authors and Black stories, especially this month, to honor an experience and history we could never imagine. The Vanishing Half is an inter-generational saga of the Black Feminist perspective throughout the latter half of the 20th century. Bennett intricately weaves together the lives of five women, spanning three generations, all a part of the same broken family. She eloquently describes how they go out into the world to find themselves and eventually find a way back to each other.
From childhood to adulthood, these women share dreams of escaping a small hometown, they love deeply and unapologetically, they lie and learn how quickly other lies pile on top to keep that first lie safe from discovery. They tell them sells they have to lie to protect themselves and their loved ones. They learn how to heal when the tower of lies they build comes crumbling down. Bennett also ventures into the mysterious connection between twins and how hard it is to keep your true self a secret from the ones you love.
Most notably, Bennett illustrates how different life is depending on the lightness of your skin, from subtle differences to horrifying realities. The possibilities of passing to having reoccurring nightmares from witnessing your father’s lynching. It is a shocking, moving, empowering story of what black women go through every day. Full of the emotional turmoil between mothers and daughters, sometimes without forgiveness. These women find themselves in their own cross-hairs, making them face the question: were all the lies worth this?
This memoir made me cry, everywhere I listened to it. More than that, it made me hungry. For those of you who don’t know, H Mart is an American grocery store chain of Asian supermarkets. It’s one of the few places Asian-Americans can experience the tastes of home. It’s a wonderful place, filled with so many foods I have never seen or heard of. I used to go all the time in Boston, but there are only two in Colorado. Michelle Zauner finds herself crying in H Mart, because it reminds her of her mother. In the only place in America Zauner is surrounded by people of all different Asian cultures, and immersed in the food of her homeland, she is flooded with memories of her mother.
Zauner grew up in Oregon, to a Korean mother and an American father. She seamlessly weaves mouthwatering descriptions of Korean food with the story of losing her mother to cancer. She scatters little anecdotes from her childhood and her adulthood, showing little pieces of who her mother was, her Korean culture, how Zauner was raised, and who she became. Her memoir is funny, sad, sweet, salivating and full of hope, while acknowledging the unending reality of loss. I highly recommend listening to Zauner read the book herself.
Michelle Zauner is best known for her vocals in the alt pop band Japanese Breakfast. A band whose first album Psychopomp had a photo of Zauner’s mother, Chongmi, on the cover. The songs were written by Zauner when she was grieving her mother’s passing. Zauner planned to quit music after the album’s release, but it gained so much praise, the band continued and became the huge success they are today. Even though Chongmi never approved of her daughter’s dream of being a musician, she would be so proud.
A prodigious array of artists and craftspeople call the Roaring Fork Valley home and we are honored to showcase their work. Current exhibitions include:
Central Library Gallery
Cate Tallmadge Wildflowers oil on canvas
"I have always been a maker. Whether it's painting, drawing, weaving, embroidery, botanical sculpture, cooking, or picture framing I am always working on something. I get antsy if my hands aren’t busy, if there isn’t paint under my nails, pencil shavings in my hair or stray threads stuck to my clothes.”
Born and raised on the Western Slope of Colorado, Cate Tallmadge spent most of her formative years in idyllic Carbondale. In the early 2000s a big city life and art school beckoned. She moved to Chicago and enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating in 2006 with a BFA in Fiber and Material Studies. She spent the next seven years in Chicago working as a picture framer and sporadically producing new works. In 2013, tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, she could no longer ignore the siren song of the mountains and was soon Colorado bound. At first the move back to Carbondale was just going to be a pit stop on the road to some new exciting place. A great job opportunity at Main Street Gallery and The Framer opened up and the move back home became a more permanent one and now Cate can't imagine living and creating anywhere else.
Reina Katzenberger art in process mixed media
In 2022, artist Reina Katzenberger moved her Carbondale studio to The Art Base in downtown Basalt for a month-long residency. The entire front gallery became a work-in-progress as she created a body of work in full view–and with the participation of–the public. The massive collaborative painting completed during this time hangs above the New Books section in the Main Room of the library.
The Project Shop mixed media
“Service-learning is an educational approach that combines learning objectives with community service in order to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience while meeting societal needs.” -Wikipedia
Community Service Projects at The Project Shop engage student-artists to learn practical design development, printmaking and production skills, with access to equipment and instruction in a safe, supportive and inclusive environment. Through personal instruction and community workshops, the student-artists will be involved in every aspect of producing artwork and presenting it to demonstrate how art can encourage conversation within our communities.
Each young artist dives into the design development process in collaboration with Project Shop artists to help translate their ideas to image. Various printmaking techniques are explored and upon selecting the best application for the student's vision we head into production. Community workshops are hosted at the shop for public participation to learn printmaking and production skills while giving back to the community. All proceeds from product sales are donated to the non-profit or cause chosen by the artist. The items displayed in the Lobby Gallery are a sample of the projects completed during the last three years.
Adult News & reviews
Library news, info about upcoming events, reviews of books and films, and a look at the topics that affect us as a library.