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American Artists Appreciation Month @ TPL

American Artists Appreciation Month is a celebration that takes place each year to honor the incredible contributions and achievements of artists from the United States. It serves as a reminder of the profound impact that art has on our society, culture, and individual lives. From painters and sculptors to musicians, writers, and performers, American artists have captivated audiences with their unique visions, exploring beauty, pushing boundaries and challenging societal norms. This month is a perfect opportunity to explore and appreciate the vast array of artistic expressions, from established masters to emerging talents, and to support and promote their work.  American Artists Appreciation Month celebrates the transformative power of art and encourages everyone to embrace and cherish the rich artistic heritage of the United States.

- by David Craig, Circulation Supervisor

Book RecommendationsLouise Bourgeois: She Saw the World as a Texture Tapestry by Amy Gugllielmo
Have you ever wondered exactly what your favorite artists were looking at to make them draw, sculpt, or paint the way they did? In this charming illustrated series of books to keep and collect, created in full collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you can see what they saw and be inspired to create your own artworks too. In What the Artist Saw: Louise Bourgeois, meet famous French American painter, printmaker, and sculptor Louise Bourgeois. Step into her life and learn what led her to explore her fears and emotions through her art. Learn all about her family and what inspired her to create her large spider sculptures. Have a go at producing your own art inspired by your dreams!

I've Seen the Future & I'm Not Going: The Art Scene & Down Town New York in the 1980s by Peter McGough
Escaping the trauma of growing up gay in Syracuse and being bullied at school, McGough attended art school in New York, dropped out, and took out jobs in clubs, where he met McDermott. Dazzled by McDermott, whom he found fascinating and worldly, McGough agreed to collaborate with him not only on their art but also in McDermott's very entertaining Victorian lifestyle. McGough evokes the rank and seedy East Village of that time, where he encountered Keith Haring, Rene Ricard, Kenny Scharf, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, and Jacqueline and Julian Schnabel, among many others. Nights were spent at the Ninth Circle, Danceteria, and Studio 54; going to openings at the FUN Gallery; or visiting friends in the Chelsea Hotel. By the mid-1980s, McDermott & McGough were hugely successful, showing at three Whitney Biennials, represented by the best galleries here and abroad, and known for their painting, photography and "time experiment" interiors. Then, overnight, it was all gone. And one day in the mid-1990s, McGough would find that he, like so many of his friends, had been diagnosed with AIDS.
I've Seen the Future and I'm Not Going is a compelling memoir for our time, told with humor and compassion, about how lives can become completely entwined even in failure and what it costs to reemerge, phoenix-like, and carry on.

African America Art and Artists by Sharon F. Patton
From its origins in early eighteenth century slave communities to the end of the twentieth century, African-American art has made a vital contribution to the art of the United States. African-American Art provides a major reassessment of the subject, setting the art in the context of the African-American experience. Here, Patton discusses folk and decorative arts such as ceramics, furniture, and quilts alongside fine art, sculptures, paintings, and photography during the 1800s. She also examines the New Negro Movement of the 1920s, the era of Civil Rights and Black Nationalism during the 1960s and 70s, and the emergence of new black artists and theorists in the 1980s and 90s.
New evidence suggests different ways of looking at African-American art, confirming that it represents the culture and society from which it emerges. Here, Patton explores significant issues such as the relationship of art and politics, the influence of galleries and museums, the growth of black universities, critical theory, the impact of artists collectives, and the assortment of art practices since the 1960s. African-American Art shows that in its cultural diversity and synthesis of cultures it mirrors those in American society as a whole.

Growing an Artist: The Story of a Landscaper and His Son by John Parra
Today is a big day--the first time Juanito gets to help his papi on the job as a landscape architect! Throughout the day, Juanito sketches anything that catches his eye: a nest full of baby birds, a nursery with row upon row of plants and flowers, and more. Father and son travel from house to house, pruning, weeding, mowing, and turning overgrown and chaotic yards into beautiful spaces.

Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas by Jeanne Walker HarveyCelebrate the life-changing power of art in this inspiring and stunningly illustrated picture book biography of American artist Alma Thomas.
Meet an incredible woman who broke down barriers throughout her whole life and is now known as one of the most preeminent painters of the 20th century. Told from the point of view of young Alma Thomas, readers can follow along as she grows into her discovery of the life-changing power of art.
A few of the clients don't appreciate Papi's hard work, like Juanito's classmate who pretends not to see him. But Papi always feels pride in owning his own business and in a job well done. And at the end of the day, Juanito may get the chance to turn his artistic eye toward landscape design--just like his papi.

Foursome: Alfre Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, Paul Strand, Rebecca Salsbury by Carolyn Burke
New York, 1921: acclaimed photographer Alfred Stieglitz celebrates the success of his latest exhibition--the centerpiece, a series of nude portraits of his soon-to-be wife, the young Georgia O'Keeffe. The exhibit acts as a turning point for the painter poised to make her entrance into the art scene. There she meets Rebecca Salsbury, the fiancé of Stieglitz's protégé, Paul Strand, marking the start of a bond between the couples that will last more than a decade and reverberate throughout their lives. In the years that followed, O'Keeffe and Stieglitz become the preeminent couple in American modern art, spurring on each other's creativity.  Observing their relationship leads Salsbury to encourage new artistic possibilities for Strand and to rethink her own potential as an artist.

Great American Artists for Kids by MaryAnn F. Kohl
Fun and easy art-appreciation activities abound in this resource that features 75 American artists from colonial times to the present. A brief biography for each artist tells why his or her work is important, and a kid-tested art activity tries out the artist's approach. For Georgia O'Keeffe, children will explore the concept of distance and foreground in a desert painting. To understand Frederic Remington's sculptures, they will create a face cast. Leroy Nieman will inspire a sketch of athletes. And for James Whistler, children will explore portraiture. Projects stress the creative process and encourage kids to try unusual techniques such as block printing, soak-stain, and stone carving as they learn about architecture, drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture. Great American Artists for Kids includes easy-to-follow icons to indicate the experience, preparation, and materials necessary for each project, as well as guides to the style, movement, or era of each artist. Resources include websites for further research or artworks, a glossary, and a list of artists by style.

Carrie Mae Weems – October Files: Volume 25 edited by Sarah Elizabeth Lewis and Christine Garnier
Since the 1980s, the artist Carrie Mae Weems has challenged the status of the black female body within the complex social fabric of American society. Her photographic work probes various spaces from the American kitchen table, to the historical archives of the Hampton School, to the ancient landscapes of Rome. Tugging at established roots of power that perpetuate violence and injustice, Weems's photographic portraits of her muse have not only become iconic, but she has become a rallying voice for change through her engaged performances, video work, and convenings. This October Files volume brings together critical essays and interviews that explore Weems's work, shedding light on her interventions in the fields of photography, African American art, and the institutions that shape the field of art history at large. Essays by Deborah Willis, Erina Duganne, Sarah Lewis, Robin Kelsey, Katori Hall, Salamishah Tillet, Dawoud Bey, and Jennifer Blessing that probe the underpinnings of photographic history in Weems's work, primarily focusing on her earliest series from the 1980s and 1990s, including The Kitchen Table series. Texts by Yxta Maya Murray, Kimberly Juanita Brown, and Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw that reconsider how Weems engages the photographic archive as in From Here I Saw What Happened series, historical spaces in Roaming and The Louisiana Project, or the legacy of critical aesthetic concepts like the sublime in art history. Engaging beyond the art object, Huey Copeland, Coco Fusco, and Thomas Lax consider Weems's impact of the space of her exhibitions by making connections between installed work and the institutions. Interviews also operate as a critical form of analysis for Weems's body of work, so we have included a variety of more-recent interviews with fellow photographer Dawoud Bey, MET social media manager Kimberly Drew, and acclaimed Curator Thelma Golden, among others. These essays not only provide a clear glimpse at the writing on Weems, but also indicate numerous horizons on how to interpret her work for future scholars.

Drawing Fire: A Pawnee, Artist, and Thunderbird in World War II by Brummett Echohawk and Mark R. Ellenbarger
In 1940 Brummett Echohawk, an eighteen-year-old Pawnee boy, joined the Oklahoma National Guard. Within three years his unit, a tough collection of depression era cowboys, farmers, and more than a thousand Native Americans, would land in Europe--there to distinguish themselves as, in the words of General George Patton, "one of the best, if not the best division, in the history of American arms." During his service with the 45th Infantry, the vaunted Thunderbirds, Echohawk tapped the talent he had honed at Pawnee boarding school to document the conflict in dozens of annotated sketches.
These combat sketches form the basis of Echohawk's memoir of service with the Thunderbirds in World War II. In scene after scene he re-creates acts of bravery and moments of terror as he and his fellow soldiers fight their way through key battles at Sicily, Salerno, and Anzio. Woven with Pawnee legend and language and quickened with wry Native wit, Drawing Fire conveys in a singular way what it was like to go to war alongside a band of Indian brothers. It stands as a tribute to those Echohawk fought with and those he lost, a sharply observed and deeply felt picture of men at arms--capturing for all time the enduring spirit and steadfast strength of the Native American warrior.

Upcoming ProgrammingArt Gallery Night
August 11 | 4PM – 6PM | 1st Floor
Channel your inner Van Gogh and capture the true beauty you see when you look in the mirror. Join the Temple Public Library in creating stunning self-portraits to be displayed during our gallery night on August 11. Pick up a canvas and paint brush from the Youth Reference Desk starting July 10, and remember to return your masterpiece by July 29. The theme is “Reflections,” so showcase that lovely face in your own unique style.
Ages 0-18
Contact: or 254.298.5557

Art Journaling
August 17 | 2PM – 4PM | 2nd Floor
Do you enjoy being creative? This form of journaling allows you the space to express yourself with the combination of words and art. Some supplies will be available, but feel free to bring your own!
Ages 18+
Contact: or 254.298.5702

Kids Craft Corner
August 24 | 5PM – 6PM | 1st Floor
Youth are invited to explore their creative abilities. All supplies provided.
Ages 7-11 years
Contact: or 254.298.5557

Crafts and Drafts
August 26 | 2PM – 4PM | FoxDog Café
This meet-up is for all adults who want to build a community of artists, crafters, and friends in the area while enjoying a cool beverage at Temple’s own Foxdog Cafe. (Bring your own project and supplies)
Ages 18+
Contact: or 254.298.5703

Teen Craft Corner
August 28 | 5PM – 6PM | 1st Floor
Take a break from the stresses of life and create something fun during our monthly craft program!
Ages 12-18
Contact: or 254.298.5557

August 9 | 5PM – 6:45 | 2nd Floor
August 19 | 11AM – 1PM | 2nd Floor
Meet up group for all fiber art enthusiasts. Bring your own projects.
Ages 18+
Contact: or 254.298.5703

Foreign Film Friday
August 11 | 6:30PM | 3rd Floor
Come and enjoy great movies from around the world.  Every month, a different film will highlight the talent that abounds outside of Hollywood.
Ages 18+
Contact: or 254.298.5703

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