Turn castoffs into art: Call for Detritus Project
You’d be amazed what sorts of things people leave tucked inside their library books. Staff at the Fond du Lac Public Library routinely make calls back to patrons to return their driver’s license or baby pictures. But most often, the objects left behind – the detritus – are more mundane: receipts, ticket stubs, candy wrappers. Normally, this stuff goes straight into the trash bin.
But local artist Mel Kolstad, who also volunteers as curator for the library’s Langdon Divers Gallery, was intrigued by what sort of things people left behind. She asked the Circulation Desk to save all that stuff, and in 2012 turned the castoffs into a collage, The Detritus Project: Fond du Lac Public Library, that she donated to the library. It hangs on the first floor. The project was featured in The Artist’s Library, a book created by the founders of the Madison-based The Library as Incubator Project.
The experience was so fun and rewarding that Kolstad is expanding the scope. She’s issuing a call to artists to create original artwork using returned-book detritus that will be displayed at the library gallery February 3 to March 2. Here’s how it will work:
- Starting immediately, any artist can come to the downtown library’s Main Desk and ask to see the detritus box.
- Artists can take whatever they like from the box and leave the rest.
- Create artwork using the detritus in any media, but the original detritus must be visible. Works must use the library’s detritus to be eligible for the show.
- Send a JPEG photo file of your detritus artwork no later than Jan. 10, 2016, to Kolstad at [email protected].
- The show will be non-juried, but Kolstad will choose artwork that best fits the theme.
Questions should be directed to Kolstad at [email protected].
In the photo: Mel Kolstad created "The Detritus Project: Fond du Lac Public Library" using materials library staff found in returned books. The experience was so rewarding that Kolstad is asking local artists to create their own detritus pieces for a show in the Langdon Divers Gallery in February.