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‘Old Books/New Lives’ Treats Discards With Distinction


The first floor of Madigan Library is overflowing with imaginative creations by Pennsylvania College of Technology students: “Old Books/New Lives: The Art of Upcycling,” an exhibit of “novel” artwork, is on display through Feb. 28.

The library and The Gallery at Penn College invited students, faculty and staff to upcycle a selection of old books into creative art objects. The result is a presentation of more than 50 inventive pieces.

Students participated in upcycling projects during class time and in open workshops at the library throughout the Fall 2017 semester. Classes led by Thomas E. Ask, professor of industrial design; Dorothy J. Gerring, associate professor of architectural technology; and David A. Stabley, instructor of ceramics and wood sculpture, joined the endeavor.

The display embodies the "civic and social literacy" skill in the PA Forward library initiative.

The collaborative project to repurpose and transform discarded books into objets d’art or useful purposes supports “civic and social literacy,” one of five literacy skills identified by the Pennsylvania Library Association’s PA Forward initiative as essential in powering progress. Madigan Library is participating by engaging in displays, activities and projects that focus on those essential skills (basic literacy, information literacy, civic and social literacy, health literacy, and financial literacy) that strive to benefit not only individual lives, but by developing citizens who are well-informed, engaged and contributing to their communities’ growth.

Madigan Library’s hours are 7:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 2 a.m. Sundays.

“Old Books/New Lives: The Art of Upcycling” is being held in tandem with “Books Undone: The Art of Altered Books,” a national juried exhibit in The Gallery at Penn College, on the third floor of the library. Five of the student pieces pictured below were awarded with “honorable mentions.”

– Majority of photos by Rachel A. Eirmann, student photographer

Reborn into "The Butterfly Book," this work by Yousef I. Asiri provides an apt example of metamorphosis. Asiri, of Saudi Arabia, is a plastics and polymer engineering technology student.
Reborn into “The Butterfly Book,” this work by Yousef I. Asiri provides an apt example of metamorphosis. Asiri, of Saudi Arabia, is a plastics and polymer engineering technology student.

The assignment was a perfect mate for pieces fabricated in a 3-D printing lab, as Jonathan W. Myers, of Mechanicsburg – a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration student – carved out a functional chessboard.
The assignment was a perfect mate for pieces fabricated in a 3-D printing lab, as Jonathan W. Myers, of Mechanicsburg – a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration student – carved out a functional chessboard.

"Enlightenment" – fashioned by Abigail M. Meredick, an industrial design major from Danville – is one of several illuminating entries in the exhibit. (Honorable mention)
“Enlightenment” – fashioned by Abigail M. Meredick, an industrial design major from Danville – is one of several illuminating entries in the exhibit. (Honorable mention)

Some of the faces behind the creations! Early in the Fall 2017 semester, students in an Architectural Design Studio VI class, taught by Dorothy J. Gerring, deliver their upcycled creations to The Gallery.
Some of the faces behind the creations! Early in the Fall 2017 semester, students in an Architectural Design Studio VI class, taught by Dorothy J. Gerring, deliver their upcycled creations to The Gallery.

Nina M. Hadden, of Murrysville, upcycled this book into a bluetooth speaker powered with a rechargeable battery (and a USB port to provide juice for an external device). The leather detailing of the industrial design major's "Speaker Box" adds to the book's vintage aesthetic, and the metal buttons on top act as power and volume controls. (Honorable mention)
Nina M. Hadden, of Murrysville, upcycled this book into a bluetooth speaker powered with a rechargeable battery (and a USB port to provide juice for an external device). The leather detailing of the industrial design major’s “Speaker Box” adds to the book’s vintage aesthetic, and the metal buttons on top act as power and volume controls. (Honorable mention)

Thomas E. Ask, professor of industrial design, embraced the challenge, creating several pieces on display – including "Here I Am."
Thomas E. Ask, professor of industrial design, embraced the challenge, creating several pieces on display – including “Here I Am.”

Evoking the relaxation she feels when lost in a book, Angelina J. Ward – a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration major from Middletown – took her theme from nature.
Evoking the relaxation she feels when lost in a book, Angelina J. Ward – a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration major from Middletown – took her theme from nature.

"Childhood Fort," constructed by Darien J. Ketterer, a plastics and polymer engineering technology maor from Cranberry Township, pays tribute to enduring favorites.
“Childhood Fort,” constructed by Darien J. Ketterer, a plastics and polymer engineering technology maor from Cranberry Township, pays tribute to enduring favorites.

"Fox" shares a page in this contribution by graphic design student Kennedy L. Englert, of Williamsport.
“Fox” shares a page in this contribution by graphic design student Kennedy L. Englert, of Williamsport.

"The Red Man's Continent" acknowledges Native American tribes' settlement of territories through the construction of climate-responsive housing. The piece was created by Adam J. Christopher, of Bellefonte, a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration student.
“The Red Man’s Continent” acknowledges Native American tribes’ settlement of territories through the construction of climate-responsive housing. The piece was created by Adam J. Christopher, of Bellefonte, a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration student.

An untitled vision by James P. Simasek, a welding and fabrication engineering technology major from Landenberg
An untitled vision by James P. Simasek, a welding and fabrication engineering technology major from Landenberg

Craig A. Lucas, a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration major from West Chester, used the neck of a worn-out ukulele in his "Books to Instruments" piece (Honorable mention)
Craig A. Lucas, a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration major from West Chester, used the neck of a worn-out ukulele in his “Books to Instruments” piece (Honorable mention)

There's something fishy about this untitled entry, for which no information was provided.
There’s something fishy about this untitled entry, for which no information was provided.

Palmyra resident Timothy W. Wegman, studying industrial design, tells the "Story of a Town."
Palmyra resident Timothy W. Wegman, studying industrial design, tells the “Story of a Town.”

"Legion" was contributed by industrial design student Thomas Proske, of Meshoppen. (Honorable mention)
“Legion” was contributed by industrial design student Thomas Proske, of Meshoppen. (Honorable mention)

Industrial design major Brian J. Bustard, of Mount Arlington, N.J., amplifies the notion that "Books Rock!"
Industrial design major Brian J. Bustard, of Mount Arlington, N.J., amplifies the notion that “Books Rock!”

"Rising Forms" add dimension to this piece by industrial design student Christopher J. Epure, of Winfield.
“Rising Forms” add dimension to this piece by industrial design student Christopher J. Epure, of Winfield.

Another faculty contribution – from Jessica U. Oberlin, librarian for information technology initiatives – provides a literal "Second Shelf Life" for cast-off titles.
Another faculty contribution – from Jessica U. Oberlin, librarian for information technology initiatives – provides a literal “Second Shelf Life” for cast-off titles.

"Books Make Me Happy," declares this entry by Sean J. Lambert, of Easton, enrolled in automotive technology management.
“Books Make Me Happy,” declares this entry by Sean J. Lambert, of Easton, enrolled in automotive technology management.

The words of animal-rights activist Anthony Douglas Williams – "Not a single creature on earth has more or less right to be here" – inform the work of Samuel K. Yochim, a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration student from Cranesville.
The words of animal-rights activist Anthony Douglas Williams – “Not a single creature on earth has more or less right to be here” – inform the work of Samuel K. Yochim, a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration student from Cranesville.

Joseph A. Eirmann's "A Book" puts a generic name to an anything-but-commonplace creation. Eirmann, of Bellefonte, is enrolled in machine tool technology.
Joseph A. Eirmann’s “A Book” puts a generic name to an anything-but-commonplace creation. Eirmann, of Bellefonte, is enrolled in machine tool technology.

"Part-Page Perennials" bloom from the mind's eye of Nicholas B. Spiro, of Warrington, pursuing a bachelor's degree in industrial design. (Honorable mention)
“Part-Page Perennials” bloom from the mind’s eye of Nicholas B. Spiro, of Warrington, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in industrial design. (Honorable mention)

Balzac's "Eugénie Grandet" scenically cascades from 1820s-era France into the 21st century through the vision of Vito Galati, a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration major from Saylorsburg.
Balzac’s “Eugénie Grandet” scenically cascades from 1820s-era France into the 21st century through the vision of Vito Galati, a building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration major from Saylorsburg.

"The Madigan Collage" takes disparate portions of volumes and organizes them into "a picture that we can all relate to, regardless of the information shown in the books." The tribute is the handiwork of Brett T. Mulroy, of Kresgeville, majoring in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration.
“The Madigan Collage” takes disparate portions of volumes and organizes them into “a picture that we can all relate to, regardless of the information shown in the books.” The tribute is the handiwork of Brett T. Mulroy, of Kresgeville, majoring in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration.

Another piece inspired by Balzac, particularly noting the "trials and tribulations" endured by his characters, form "Balzac's Canyon." A building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration major, the artist hails from Hughesville.
Another piece inspired by Balzac, particularly noting the “trials and tribulations” endured by his characters, form “Balzac’s Canyon.” A building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration major, the artist hails from Hughesville.

Derrick R. Morrison, of York, working toward a degree in automotive technology management, submitted this untitled piece.
Derrick R. Morrison, of York, working toward a degree in automotive technology management, submitted this untitled piece.

An untitled (but clearly not unimaginative) entry by pre-nursing major Stephen E. Smeltzer, of Jersey Shore, offers passage to a whimsical destination.
An untitled (but clearly not unimaginative) entry by pre-nursing major Stephen E. Smeltzer, of Jersey Shore, offers passage to a whimsical destination.

 

Comments

Lisa De Vito,

Awesome job! What a beautiful display of imagination!

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