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Artists & Librarians 'Look Here!' In Collaborative Exhibit

Kwasniewski, Roman B.J./Roman Kwasniewski Photographs, UWM Archives; Marc Tasman
Artist Marc Tasman used a photograph of a truck that crashed into a pole and building (undated) as inspiration for his truck crash installation (to the right).

Look Here! is a collaboration between the UWM Libraries and artists from RedLine Milwaukee and the UWM Peck School of the Arts. It was two years in the research and making, and was installed at the Villa Terrace Museum on Milwaukee’s east side earlier this summer.

The initial idea for the collaboration and the exhibition came from Ann Hanlon, the head of Digital Collections and Initiatives at the Golda Meir Library. She wanted to bring public attention to the library's collections, both physical and digital, which are available to the public. Certainly, artists had worked in the past with materials from the UWM Libraries as their inspiration. But this time the plan was to make the collaboration between the libraries and the finished art an important part of the exhibit.

Credit American Geographical Society Library Digital Map Collection; Nirmal Raja/The Villa Terrace Museum
"Europe to India"(J. Rapkin, 1851), a map of the overland route to India, inspired Nirmal Raja's installation to the right.

We spoke with Hanlon, along with fellow librarians Marcy Bidney of the American Geographical Society Library and Max Yela, head of special collections. Yela wore two hats — he was also one of the 15 artists who produced work for the exhibit. Artists Marc Tasman and Nirmal Raja, and the Villa Terrace's senior curator Shana McCaw rounded out the group.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.