Arts and Entertainment

Cats, art for Marysville Library

Mark Stevenson and Sarah Ohman sculpt Library Cat in their Port Townsend studio, as part of a $10,000 commission of art paid for by a bequest from Harold and Julietta Gellerson for the Marysville Library. - Courtesy photo
Mark Stevenson and Sarah Ohman sculpt Library Cat in their Port Townsend studio, as part of a $10,000 commission of art paid for by a bequest from Harold and Julietta Gellerson for the Marysville Library.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

MARYSVILLE – Patrons of the Marysville Library will be getting some new cats soon.

The "Library Cat" is manifested as several bronze sculptures by Port Townsend artists Mark Stevenson and Sarah Ohman, who were selected from dozens of Northwest artists who responded to a request earlier this year for proposals of original art for the Marysville Library.

The $10,000 commission is funded through a bequest made to the Marysville Library in 2003 by Harold and Julietta Gellerson. The Gellerson's generous $150,000 donation was set up to be used for enhancements to the Marysville Library, including programming, library materials, equipment, furnishings or art.

"Library Cat is one cat in seven different poses," Ohman said.

The bronze sculptures range in size from five to 12 inches, depending on the pose.

"We refer to her as a single cat," Ohman said. "We like to think of her as a pet for all the patrons of the Marysville Library."

Marysville's new librarian, Eric Spencer said that the juvenile-sized cat sculptures will be scattered around the library.

"Each has a unique cat-like attitude," Spencer said.

"Library Cat" is one of several new pieces of art acquired for the Marysville Library.

Earlier this summer, a dip-tich by a well-known Marysville artist, Joan Grout, was selected for purchase by the Friends of the Marysville Libraray, along with a painting by Gene Cyrus. Grout's two-piece painting portrays lush pink rhododendrons and is hanging by a window in the reading room at the back of the library. Gene Cyrus painted a collage based on photographs of children during story time and it is hanging in the children's section, Spencer said.

Both Grout and Cyrus are Marysville artists and members of the Friends of the Marysville Library.

"It's an honor for me to have these paintings in our library's permanent collection," said Grout, who is has been teaching art in Marysville for many years and shows her work in many Northwest shows and galleries.

Spencer said he is excited about all the new art.

"The Friends selected excellent pieces by artists of our community," he said. "Joan's rhododendrons are absolutely perfect for us with such beautiful colors, and Gene's picture of children fits well in the children's section."

Spencer said the cats were selected by an art committee with representatives from the library board, city officials and Snohomish County Arts Commission.

Stanwood artists Chaim Bezalel and Yonnah Bin Levy entered proposals and although they were not selected for the purchase, they decided to donate a tall, vertical scroll, "Snowfall on the Skykomish." A stained-glass window by Camano Island artist Jack Archibald is also in the works.

The permanent collection will compliment rotating exhibits provided by the Greater Marysville Art Guild and a Round Robin program that displays art in offices around town.

The Round Robin installs a different exhibit every two months in the display case at the front entrance and just recently started filling a new case in the back of the library with three-dimensional exhibits of cultural artifacts. Janet Myer's Native American artifacts were the first show there, and the next show features artifacts from China and collages by Sheila Harrington Stump.

"Library Cat" will be dedicated with a ceremony this fall.

For information call 360-651-7030.

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