Georgia Velisaris

In 2017, the Brookfield Public Library will begin displaying the work of local artists in partnership with the Community Arts Initiative. Works of art will be displayed on the walls surrounding the library’s Story Room and above the shelf to the right of the circulation desk.

Works of a particular artist will be displayed for eight weeks and then the work of a different artist will go up.

“We’re doing this because the artist community reached out to us and the library is responsive and hopes to be enriched by the display of public art work,” said Brookfield Library Director Kimberly Coughran.

The idea for displaying art at the Brookfield Public Library came from Jason Michael West, a Brookfield resident and artist who works at Burger Antics on Grand Boulevard. West said that he noticed that some libraries display the work of local artists. He brought the idea to a library representative this summer at the library’s tent at the farmer’s market. 

A couple of months later, Coughran visited Burger Antics while promoting the library’s annual Taste of Brookfield. West was bartending at the time. He and Coughran had discussion about the proposal and the details were eventually ironed out. 

West is happy that art will be displayed at the library. 

“I feel wonderful about it,” said West. “I’m really happy that I kind of kick-started something like this. I’ve noticed that more and more artwork and creativity has started to pop up everywhere [in Brookfield] and I think that the best place to see that is at the library, because everyone goes to the library. It’s going to bring inspiration and more culture to our neighborhood.” 

The first artist to have her work displayed will be Georgia Velisaris, who grew up in Brookfield. Velisaris specializes in nature photography and mixed media photo collages. 

“She does this brilliant computer collage-type stuff with various materials put on to the photographs,” West said. “She’ll make something that just kind of a mundane building or whatever look like something out a Van Gogh painting.”

Velisaris work went up on Jan. 2 and be displayed for eight weeks. A reception to mark the kickoff of the program will be held on Friday Jan. 6 at 6 p.m. The second artist to have his work displayed will be West, who specializes in surrealistic art often with scientific themes.

The artists will not have to a pay a fee to have their work displayed, and of art displayed at the library will not be available for sale at the library. No pricing information will be provided, but it is likely that information about how to contact the artist will be provided in case someone is interested in purchasing a work of art that is on display.  

“I would probably say that an email address will be provided,” West said.

Artists who wish to have their work considered for display at the library should contact Coughran or West. They will jointly choose the artists whose work will be displayed. 

An application form for artists is available on the library’s website at www.brookfieldlibrary.info. Applications should include three to five high-quality jpeg images, a brief biography of the artist, and a link to the artist’s web site (if applicable). Only two-dimensional art work will be exhibited. Applications can be submitted to Coughran at kcoughran@brookfieldlibrary.info or to West at musicandunity@gmail.com.

The library will not be responsible for any damage, loss, of theft of art works that are on display and the library reserves the right to reject requests for any reason and to remove exhibits and displays at any time.