Every month, the Beauchamp Branch Library invites a Syracuse artist to show their work in the main room of the library. This month, 70-year-old artist Judith Hand proudly displayed 25 watercolor and acrylic paintings in a series titled “Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow.”
Lining the tops of the worn library bookshelves, Hand’s paintings—featuring various subjects from scenic lakes to colorful flowers—are displayed in chronological order from her first painting to her current and more advanced work.
“The exhibit is evolutionary in nature,” said Beauchamp Branch librarian Paschal Ugoji, who is responsible for setting up the monthly art exhibit.
Walking through the exhibit, library patrons can walk up to each painting and read a short description about the artist’s experience with the work. Through these explanations, the viewer can more clearly see the journey of the artist honing her skills through the years.
“My [art] education was more of an informal education,” Hand said.
With a degree in art education, Hand ended up working as a grant administrator at Syracuse University (SU) for years while she raised her family. Throughout this time, she persistently worked on her paintings. She took art classes at SU and also joined local art guilds. Hand participates in the Onondaga Art Guild, where she continues to attend classes and workshops taught by other artists.
Through the “Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow” exhibit, Hand hopes to create a dialogue among library goers about her work. “Art is a two way street,” said Hand. “I need the feedback. I’m not in this to support myself, I’m just in it to support the habit.”
While Hand is happy to have her art on display, the library hopes the splashes of color atop the bookshelves will create a sense of creativity and learning.
“The art beautifies the library,” said Ugoji. The art also creates an atmosphere of serenity, encouraging information seeking and reading, he said.
Hand’s exhibit will run until the end of September. For the month of October, Beauchamp will feature the photography and abstract digital paintings of Stan Bowman. For more information on upcoming art exhibits at Beauchamp, visit www.onlib.org.
— The Beauchamp Branch Library is located at 2111 S. Salina St., Syracuse