SC LIBRIS 2010: Using Art to Examine and Inspire Your Library Career

Presenter: Kris Jones, Head Librarian of the Anne Springs Close Library at York Technical College

1: 15 – This looks hands-on, so the blog post may have to come later! 🙂

It was a very meaningful, hands-on workshop!  Here are the notes I jotted as we worked:

  • Presenter is a soul collage facilitator.  Soul Collage was developed by Seena Frost.
  • Use images to get in touch with who we are as a librarian, a professional
  • Has been used in book groups, scouting, writers groups, psychologists, in hospitals, etc.
  • “transformative power of the imagination”
  • can work with it in small groups – share cards – describe how another’s card seems to you
  • Presenter is looking for ways to use in the library – let her know if you think of something that would work.
  • She displayed sample cards.

How the process works?

  1. look at images & gather ones that speak to you.  Don’t over-think this part
  2. Can create a card with a stated purpose (“I am making a card that will be about this thing that I do that I can improve on at work”) or go in without a real idea of the outcome & just let it happen (“I’m gonna make a card today”)
  3. Look at completed card.  Common question to ask yourself once you are done: “I am a person who…” and fill in the blank based on what the card means / how it pertains to you.

For a more detailed look: use x-acto knives & tiny scissors for fine, detailed cuts.

We then looked at a bunch of pics & magazines, catalogs, etc., she’s laid out on other tables.  I chose two pictures.  The first one was an aerial view of the marina at Hilton Head at their famous lighthouse.  It reminded me of a maze because it was circular.  A couple seconds later, I flipped open a magazine & saw an ad for a small stone copy of the famous Chartres cathedral labyrinth, a deeply spiritual & symbolic maze.  Each attendee took a moment to explain why they chose their pic.  I chose mine because I understand mazes are deeply spiritual & symbolic, and because hey! I am a person who tends to make things overly complicated. (Ask me how many blogs I have.  Go on, ask me!)

  • You can answer the “I am who” question with your voice, the voice of the image.
  • We are then using the visual & auditory learning style which helps us learn better.  [If you also write your I am who answer down as she says you often do, you’re using the kinesthetic learning modality, and then yay! The gang’s all here! – A]
  • She passed out a handout that can function as a frame to test image arrangement before gluing.  Had info on where to find precut soul collage cards & other info.
  • Glue?  Glue sticks and rubber cement ok: goal is to keep image smooth as possible.
  • Can do full-bleed type edge to edge collage, or leave a small border. Some used colored pens to decorate border
  • Can use either blue or white side of the card
  • Can decorate back of related cards to make a suit [I’d call it a deck in that case myself, but that’s all my personal reading on the history & symbolism of tarot art coming out. -A]
  • To protect image, you can laminate it [ugh! goes the archivist in me – A] or mod podge [can find this glue/sealer stuff at an arts supply store – A]
  • Can photocopy down to travel size cards & carry them with you
  • Can draw a card a day as a daily reading/prompt card
  • You will change over time & cards that you make that represented you once will no longer be who you are
  • She had done a workshop where they produced a lovely book of soul collage cards.

After we all made our cards, we shared them.  It was fascinating!  Everyone’s card was fascinating & meaningful.

For my card, the Hilton Head pic is the background.  I added the labyrinth maze & aligned it’s opening with the marina’s.  It didn’t look done, so I poked through a magazine about Charlotte & found a pic of a man who could have been a librarian in a business suit handing a book to a little girl.  And just like that, the message appeared: “Everything doesn’t have to be so complicated!”  There is a wordless something more to the collage though, because between the man & girl (and directly above their book) peeks out the Chartres labyrinth.  To me, that shows that the bond between them is a deep mystery.  Yes, the book is a simple thing, pages full of words & pictures, but no matter how simple the act of sharing the book is, it is full of something More.  This was an excellent workshop & I can’t wait to share what I learned with several people I know.  [will add a photo of the collage here soon – A]

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