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Quick Center’s ArtMobile celebrates 10 years of visiting local libraries in 2018

July 10, 2018

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University kicks off its 10-year anniversary this month participating in the National Summer Reading Program, making stops at public libraries across New York and Pennsylvania.

“This is one of the Quick Center’s most ambitious summers to date,” said Sean Conklin, assistant curator of the Quick Center and coordinator of summer programming. “We have an ArtMobile trip planned every day for the rest of July and first three weeks of August, along with additional community outreach activities such as StrOLEAN and the recent Allegany Fire Department’s Old Home Week Parade, as well as new summer camp we are offering this year.”

Summer programming is supported by four summer arts education assistants: Gwendolyn Brown of Ellicottville, N.Y, a recent B.F.A. criticism and curatorial practices graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design; Abigail MacWilliams of Olean, a recent M.S. Ed. graduate of St. Bonaventure and incoming eighth-grade Spanish teacher at Olean High School; Jacqueline Philp of Randolph, a B.S. Ed. candidate at St. Bonaventure; and Brittany Winans of Bolivar, a B.F.A. candidate at Alfred University from Bolivar.

“I am very excited with the mix of backgrounds and skillsets we have with our summer arts education assistants,” said Conklin. “They are four extremely intelligent, creative young women who are highly passionate about community engagement and we are fortunate to have them on board the ArtMobile this summer.”

For the library program each day, staff will load the ArtMobile with works from the university’s collection, educational resources, and art supplies, and make one or two trips to each of the 25 participating libraries. Each hour-long visit will present a lesson and activity aligned with the “Libraries Rock” theme of the National Summer Reading Program.

Libraries were offered two programs to select from for their visit. One option focuses on discovering how sound works, teaching participants about the elements and principles of music and their counterparts in art. Those in attendance will experience artists who used sound and movement as inspiration for their work and create their own Keith Haring-inspired dancing masterpiece to take home at the visit’s conclusion.

The other option features the music and art of the Harlem Renaissance, a golden age in African American culture. Participants will learn about the history of the time period and the strong sense of community and identity that led to major breakthroughs in art, literature, music, architecture, design, fashion and popular culture. They will experience the work of Romare Bearden, whose collage pieces were heavily influenced by the time period, and create their own inspired collages combining images cut from magazines and colored paper to showcase their favorite musicians or styles of music. 

“This year we wanted to offer a fully immersive experience for our library visits,” Conklin said. “We wanted to move away from the drop in, make-and-take style activities of the past few years and instead focus on multimodal learning, allowing visitors to make connections among the lessons, activities and their day-to-day lives while highlighting what the Quick Center has to offer our area. We’ve run each program a few times in late June and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

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